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UNLV students can earn MD and MBA in 5 years

UNLV will launch a program this fall that allows students to earn both a medical doctor and master of business administration degree in five years.

The university will join about half of the nation’s MD-granting medical schools — including the University of Nevada, Reno — that already offer a similar dual-degree program.

For leadership roles in medicine — particularly, in hospital leadership — a master of business administration (MBA) or equivalent degree is often recommended or required.

Also, “I think that business skills are very important for physicians,” said Dr. Marc Kahn, dean of the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV.

UNLV’s five-year program will allow students to spend their first few years in medical school and then spend one year devoted to earning an MBA. Their fifth year will be spent finishing medical school and any remaining business school classes.

Participating students will be enrolled in regular MBA classes at UNLV, and there won’t be special sections just for medical students.

UNLV’s Lee Business School already offers dual-degree programs in which students can earn an MBA while in the doctor of dental medicine, juris doctor, or master’s degree in hotel administration, management information systems and quantitative finance programs.

This fall, three new dual degree MBA programs are launching, including the MD offering. The other two are in cooperation with the master’s degree programs in computer science, and civil and environmental engineering.

One student is already enrolled in the new MD/MBA dual degree program, said Anjala Krishen, director of UNLV’s MBA programs, who initiated and developed the new dual programs.

As for Kahn, a medical doctor, he earned his MBA in 2010. He has previously taught business classes and is a published author, including a book last year called “The Business Basics of Building and Managing a Healthcare Practice.”

“For a long time, I’ve been a big proponent of providing business education for physicians,” he said.

He was also instrumental in establishing a four-year MD/MBA program while at Tulane University in New Orleans.

The four-year program is hugely popular, he said, noting many students want the business degree but didn’t want to spend an extra year in school.

With UNLV’s new dual-degree program, a four-year offering could be a possibility in the future, but “we want to walk before we run,” Kahn said.

UNLV’s medical school, which opened in 2017, graduated its first class of 50 students in May. In total, it has about 240 medical students and 320 residents and fellows.

The school’s first permanent facility, a medical education building on Shadow Lane in central Las Vegas, is under construction and is slated to open in summer 2022.

UNR’s School of Medicine already offers a dual MD/MBA program that allows students to earn both degrees in five years.

The offering was established around 2010 and at least one student is enrolled each year, said Cherie Singer, associate dean for admissions and student affairs.

It typically takes MD students in the program one year of intensive study, which happens mid-way through their medical school education, to complete their MBA.

UNR’s medical school also offers a MD/master of public health program and a MD/PhD research program.

At Touro University Nevada in Henderson, doctor of osteopathic medicine students have the option of participating in a dual degree program where they can earn a master of public health degree through a partnership with Touro’s California campus.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter.

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