Trauma surgeon Brian Brewer, MD, MBA’19, wanted to gain a greater understanding of business in order to lead in hospital administration. He thought he simply needed some hard skills around finance and accounting, so he enrolled in the Business of Medicine Physician MBA Program at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business.
“That’s why I originally enrolled, but the experience was much different than I expected,” he said.
Dr. Brewer didn’t expect to transform as a leader.
“This program taught me a lot about navigating corporate America as well as the hospital system: how to influence people and be effective in leadership as a whole,” he said. “It was a new idea to me—to consider what it truly means to be a leader and how much self-reflection and understanding occurs before you’re able to lead people. I realized leadership is the ability to influence, not just a title and a right to lead. All of this has impacted my effectiveness as a leader.”
As the medical director of surgical critical care at Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital and an assistant professor of clinical surgery at IU School of Medicine, Dr. Brewer assumes both clinical and academic duties. As a result of his medical training, he—like many physicians—typically uses data to drive decisions. During the Kelley Physician MBA Program, he discovered this clinical approach doesn’t always work in leadership.
“In the past, I felt like I could convince more people if I showed up with data. I thought people should adjust their practices based on the evidence, which is common in medicine,” he said. “That’s simply not true in most settings. There are all sorts of reasons people buy into your ideas, and it’s mostly due to how much they trust and like you. The Kelley Physician MBA training has changed the way I approach any kind of transition.”