The process improvement skills she gained during Lean Six Sigma training stand out among the greatest returns on her investment in the program. Not only is she armed with valuable skills in cost estimating and goal setting, but also new negotiation skills.

“I negotiated every day as a physician — with my staff, payers, patients,” she said. “Through my degree, I’ve improved my ability to negotiate, to truly articulate my needs and to ask better questions about what the other side needs in order to reach an agreement.”

Marketing is another business proficiency Dr. Nelson gained during her studies. “There’s so much marketing aimed at medicine,” she said. “After my marketing class, I’m able to understand why I’ve been targeted with specific messaging. Also, I now consider what my online presence looks like. Initially, I avoided social media, but I now find myself following medical issues on Twitter and staying current on what people are discussing online because it pertains to me. I’ve gained a lot of perspective through this training.”

Through my degree, I’ve improved my ability to negotiate, to truly articulate my needs and to ask better questions about what the other side needs in order to reach an agreement.

Dr. Ann Nelson, DO, MBA'15

By completing relevant, healthcare-focused business coursework and one-on-one executive coaching to identify personal strengths, Dr. Nelson says she and her physician classmates are now stronger leaders in their medical communities.

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Dr. Nelson talks with Reed Smith, professor of accounting, during her time in Kelley's Physician MBA Program.

“You will come out of the Kelley Physician MBA program as a leader because you will have a much broader understanding of healthcare than most people in the room,” she said. “Because of this new skill set, you can offer new ideas and better address the issues you see in clinical medicine.”

Based on her education and executive training, Dr. Nelson realized how broad the options are for physician leaders. She went from healthcare administration to the pharmaceutical industry; another classmate went from clinical care to entrepreneurship—all with the consultation, support and feedback from expert business faculty at Kelley.

“We’re all facing the same challenges in healthcare; we just have to put our heads together and determine how to solve each problem. A lot of what’s within this MBA curriculum –marketing, operations, management – is helping you to solve problems broadly across healthcare industries.”

Overall, Dr. Nelson feels she achieved her original goal for earning an MBA: to master the balance of growing demands and diminished resources.

“This program clearly and absolutely helped me get to where I wanted to be, and that was taking control and making decisions toward my goals,” she said. “Part of my issue was the lack of work-life balance. The business skill set helped me achieve balance, and I know I have the ability to do something about it.”