Which Hospital Degree Is Right For You?

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When discussing careers in the medical field, physicians and nurses are typically the first professions that come to mind.  Though healthcare administration managers held about 333,000 jobs in 2014, this lucrative medical management sector is often overlooked.  These non-direct patient care positions involve tasks ranging from overseeing the operational activities of healthcare facilities, to implementing regulatory policies and procedures within the workplace.

More and more health systems are appointing physicians and clinicians to prominent leadership roles in an effort to integrate licensed medical professionals into healthcare administrative processes. For medical students and residents who want a competitive edge in leadership, there are three types of degrees that should be considered – each with their own pros and cons.

Master’s of Business Administration in Healthcare (MBA)

An MBA in Healthcare is thought to be the most versatile of the three degrees. You will learn all the necessities of managing a business such as accounting and leadership development, while also learning about healthcare practices. Heavily focused in business management, if you were to choose to leave the healthcare industry your degree would still be applicable to other fields. For example, working for an insurance company or a new medical start-up could be feasible alternatives for a MBA graduate.

Master’s in Public Health Administration (MPH)

As the title implies, the MPH gives emphasis to health issues on a larger, public scale. Rather than focusing on one particular facility, those in the public health sector will identify how certain government regulations and public policies effect the community on a local, state, or federal level.  Due to how all encompassing the training can be, many schools will require students to pick a concentration in addition to learning the core public health curriculum. Typically there are five specializations to choose from- biostatistics, community health sciences, epidemiology, environmental health sciences or health policy and management.

Master’s in Healthcare Administration (MHA)

The degree focused most specifically on healthcare, obtaining your MHA will prepare you for every aspect of management in the healthcare industry.  Whereas an MBA teaches general business management, the MHA curriculum will teach you about healthcare finances, IT systems that are used, and regulatory healthcare law. If you want to gain the most comprehensive knowledge of the healthcare management system, an MHA may be the best fit.

Sierra Kennedy
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