“These professors do a phenomenal job integrating common, everyday business lessons and language into how we practice medicine. This helped facilitate our learning process a thousand fold,” added Dr. Wolfe.
One of those new areas she began to explore was marketing – an area many physicians either write off or find mystifying. “Now I understand that opening a new clinic is more than simply hanging a shingle – it requires market research, deciding how to market a new physician and understanding how patients perceive our brand. I understand how it all blends.”
After accepting the new role at Rush, Dr. Wolfe was able to immediately put into practice her newfound business knowledge as she transitioned her private practice over to the top-ranked hospital. Since the position was created specially for her, Dr. Wolfe says there was a flurry of activity during the transition, but not a specific process for how it should unfold.
“I stopped and said, 'OK, what should the process be? How will we move my practice? What’s the timetable and who’s the project manager?' It was incredibly helpful to wear both my administrative and clinical hats to consider my workflow – and which supplies and equipment I would need. By leveraging the operations lessons I gained through the Kelley Physician MBA, the transition was much smoother.”
Once aboard the Rush team, Dr. Wolfe scored some early wins by reviewing the department’s strategic plan, which was created a few years prior, but had never been truly implemented. She was able to accomplish a few items right off the bat, demonstrating that the department was gaining forward momentum.
“Having this degree is more of an enhancement. It’s not that I’m some superhero, coming in wearing a cape and magically making everything perfect,” she said. “There are challenges when you're new and adjusting, but I also think the leadership and negotiations training I gained in my coursework at Kelley really made a difference as I found my way in a new environment.”
In August, Dr. Wolfe will graduate with her Kelley Physician MBA, armed with a sharper understanding of the language of healthcare business, as well as a new way to approach administrative issues.
“Now when I’m asked about a venture, I want to know what the finances look like. What’s the operational process? What tools do the team need to make the whole patient experience successful?” she said.