Physician MBA empowers pediatrician to lead change

Networking is a common practice in business — perhaps as ubiquitous as spreadsheets — but it’s used less frequently to advance within the medical community.

In the Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, interactions among physician peers and other medical professionals are central to the learning process. Such networking helped Holly Robinson, MD, MBA’18, create new connections, transition to a new sector and earn her current role as senior medical advisor at Eli Lilly and Company.

“The Kelley Physician MBA is a very intimate program, and we got to know the faculty and staff personally. They were aware of our capabilities, interests and career pursuits,” said Dr. Robinson. “Kelley professors were on-site at Eli Lilly providing physician education when they were approached about MBA students for an open position. It turned out to be an excellent opportunity for me.”

Many physicians enter the Kelley Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program seeking to advance to a leadership position. Dr. Robinson, however, was already vice president of quality at a rural health system when she enrolled in the 21-month, physician-only program. She decided to pursue an MBA to grow and strengthen her business skills.

“I loved my VP role and wanted an MBA to become better,” she said. “Because I worked in a rural area, I also wanted to meet like-minded physicians looking to achieve change beyond direct patient care. Not only did I connect with similar physicians, but I still engage these contacts in my role today.”

The physicians in Dr. Robinson’s cohort joined her from all over the country, motivated and ready to make changes to healthcare. But where to begin?

“Like most physicians, I chose medicine because I want to impact people’s lives in a meaningful way,” she said. “Most of us do this on a daily basis, one patient at a time. But once you are keenly aware of how the flaws in our current system negatively affect everyone, you want to create fundamental change.”

The Kelley Physician MBA Program empowers you to get involved because you realize there is so much change that needs to occur, and a lot of that is at the policy level.

Holly Robinson, MD, MBA'18