The MBA Experience

Azalea Kim, MBA 2013, MD 2014

New York, NY

Health Care Delivery

Industry Interest
Health Care Delivery

What made you decide to go into your sector of interest?

"Unsustainable" and "broken" are just a sample of the words used to describe the American health care system. These are not only words thrown around by policy wonks but what I've heard around the dining room table my whole life. Coming from a family of health care providers, each with his or her take on what should be done to improve health care delivery, it was hard to feel reassured about a career in the health care sector. Yet, I find myself today a medical student training in a system ripe for change and progress towards health care delivery innovation that pushes for higher quality and efficiency in the utilization of limited resources. As an MD/MBA candidate, I hope to equip myself with the knowledge, experience, and skills that will enable me to contribute meaningfully to this progress. It's an exciting time to be in health care!

What kind of leverage do you think having an MBA will give you in the health care industry?

I think the role of MD/MBAs is still evolving, but I am confident that my time at HBS will enable me to go beyond the clinical sphere to be engaged in the broader, strategic decisions that are made about health care delivery at the management and leadership level. The MBA at HBS has rooted me in a common business and general management language. It has exposed me to issues of quality improvement, controlling costs, managing growth, and achieving sustainability across industries that have undoubtedly shaped my specific views on health care. The MBA will open many doors that would previously have not been options for me with only my background in health policy and clinical medicine.

How do you envision your MBA degree having an impact in health care delivery?

I have always envisioned myself first as a primary care physician directly engaged in patient care. From this perspective, I hope to be involved in the development of high quality, cost-effective health systems that bring value to patients, improve lives, and treat patients and communities as partners in achieving these goals. I feel that the MBA degree is one of the few opportunities for me to combine my background in health policy, love of patient care, and passion for health systems improvement. I hope to find that this combination, in this specific time in history, will yield a career much greater than the sum of its individual parts.