Since the Wharton Business School graduated the first class of MBA students with a specialization in Health Care Management in 1971, the Health Care MBA has steadily grown in popularity as an educational track. The Health Care MBA’s popularity is well deserved. Health care administrators with an MBA are earning a median annual salary of $65,000, practice managers are earning $56,000, operation directors, $86,000 and CEOs are making $160,000 according to a source at Our Lady of the Lakes University based in San Antonio, Texas. Graduates from top schools who work in urban settings can earn even more.

Masters of Business Administration (MBA) programs teach students about the business world. Graduates develop an understanding of all things business, from accounting to marketing, finance to information systems, and strategy to basic management techniques. These skills help MBAs become well-rounded business professionals. Originally a path for administrators trying to climb the career ladder, the Health Care MBA has increasingly become a favorite of health care clinicians.

According to a source at George Washington University School of Business in Washington, D.C., “Health care training may help you understand and apply medical concepts, but it doesn’t prepare you for board meetings, budgets, and human capital management.”

“Health care management positions are increasingly occupied by physicians, nurses and other clinicians,” states Dr. Steven Ullmann, professor of health management and policy at the University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School. “For example, almost half of the University’s HEMBA students are doctors,” he adds.

“The business knowledge I acquired created a solid foundation so I can care for others in the best way possible,” states Allison Rand, an ophthalmologist and corneal specialist who currently serves as Assistant Medical Director of Rand Eye Institute and is a graduate of Miami Herbert Business School’s Healthcare Executive MBA (HEMBA) program.

And the reality is the healthcare space is increasingly competitive and an advanced degree has become fundamental to career advancement. According to one graduate of Miami Herbert Business School’s HEMBA program, who has worked for several South Florida and New York health systems, “A graduate degree in healthcare management is absolutely essential for advancement beyond mid-level management.”

The educational marketplace has responded to the demand for these programs. There are over a hundred Health Care MBA programs in the U.S. and online options eliminate geographic obstacles. So, the value proposition is evident but how does a healthcare professional choose which school to attend?

According to, the criteria are: accreditation, location, standing, coursework, time commitments, admission requirements and cost.

The Health Care Executive MBA (HEMBA) program, a more advanced type of MBA program designed specifically for working professionals, is a good choice for mid-level career executives. Another consideration is the on-campus instruction vs. online learning.

“I would absolutely recommend one of the hybrid programs,” states one health care education insider. “Online coursework has a ton of advantages, but at the end of the day you need face time with your colleagues and peers. You’re going to be missing something if you go for 100% online.”

“I would say that the business of health care is incredibly complex,” states Alex Azar, former Secretary of U.S. Health and Human Services and current adjunct professor and senior executive in residence at Miami Herbert Business School. “Simply the fact that purchasing decisions are separated from financing systems makes health care one of the most complex areas to understand in business. To succeed as a health care executive, one must have a keen sense of micro-economics, marketing, customer understanding, financials, the regulatory environment, and the external ecosystem,” he adds, underscoring the value of the HEMBA program. “As much as we try to provide this kind of information in undergraduate programs, there is no substitute for the depth and focus that can be provided in a graduate program.”


The Executive MBA in Health Management & Policy offered by Miami Herbert Business School is a 21-month program that promises to transform the healthcare professional’s career. With its distinguished business faculty, close ties to UHealth and the University of Miami’s medical school, and partnerships with health care leaders worldwide, the HEMBA program offers a rich learning experience that positions graduates for new leadership roles and career paths across healthcare. Classes are small, usually numbering 20-30 and the program is hybrid with online and in-person learning. In-person learning is on weekends to enable students the ability to balance their current job with the academic demands of the program. The dually accredited HEMBA program, currently ranked #1 by US News & World Report, attracts a wide range of healthcare professionals including doctors, nurses, insurance executives, healthcare finance and IT managers, medical device and pharmaceutical professionals, government administrators as well as entrepreneurs. The next class starts in January 2022. Learn more at:

Join the University of Miami on April 1, 2022, 10 am – 3 pm ET, as health sector leaders from the United States and the Americas explore challenges ahead, the latest policy issues, and much more at the university’s 11th business of health care conference, “Business of Health Care: Technology, Access & the New Normal.” Presented by Florida Blue, the conference will be livestreamed from the University of Miami campus and registration is free of charge. Learn more at: