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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > Five-year dual MD/MBA degree program

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

The University of Arizona answers call for the business of medicine with five-year dual MD/MBA degree program

Eller College of Management and the College of Medicine collaborate to offer a five-year MD - MBA 

TUCSON, Ariz. – May 13, 2008 – With health care at the crux of the 2008 elections and the challenge of managing issues ranging from skyrocketing insurance costs, medical malpractice, and drug safety, the need for business-savvy physicians is paramount. The 21st century physician must have a solid grasp not only of the complexities of modern medicine, but modern business practices as well.

The University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management and College of Medicine are answering this surging need through a collaborative, five-year dual-degree program resulting in an MD (Medical Doctor) and an MBA (Master of Business Administration). The Eller MBA program currently offers dual-degree programs in pharmacy, law, engineering, optical sciences, international management, finance, and science.  This new dual-degree program allows students to reduce an otherwise six-year education to five years.

“Each year, physicians contact us about pursuing an MBA education,” said Brent Chrite, associate dean and director of the Eller MBA program. “The problem they have is juggling a rigorous MBA course load with an already busy medical practice. New doctors quickly recognize the need for business education in the medical school curriculum.  We’re pleased to offer this new dual-degree opportunity. When doctors finish the program they will have both the medical and business acumen they need to successfully negotiate 21st century health care.”

“The challenge for any medical school is finding time to incorporate business skills into a curriculum that places so many demands on medical students,” said Philip Malan, vice dean of academic affairs at the College of Medicine.  “We are fortunate for the opportunity to collaborate with the Eller College, whose national and international reputation is well known. The dual MD/MBA degree program provides a wonderful new opportunity for medical students at The University of Arizona.”

Students enrolled in the dual-degree program will concentrate exclusively on their MD education for the first two years. Year three will focus on MBA core curriculum courses at the Eller College, including finance, marketing, accounting, and leadership development. In the fourth year students are back at the College of Medicine for clinical rotations. Year five will be a combination of both programs; students will complete their clinical rotation requirements as well as MBA elective courses.

“Modern medicine is run like a business, so communication and leadership are crucial,” said Dr. Francisco Arabia, Eller MBA alumnus, chair of the division of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, and surgical director of the heart transplant program at the Mayo Clinic Arizona in Phoenix. “The MBA has not only helped me to read a financial statement and understand it, it has also enabled me to understand the needs of other health care providers so we can more effectively work as a team to take care of patients.”

UA College of Medicine students may apply to the Eller College of Management during their second or third years. More information is available at

The University of Arizona College of Medicine.  Since its founding in 1967, The University of Arizona College of Medicine has provided critical service to Arizona and beyond through medical education, biomedical research, cutting-edge patient care, and a variety of outreach programs. Arizona’s only MD degree-granting college, the UA College of Medicine has more than 3,000 alumni and today encompasses four-year medical-education programs at the Tucson campus and at The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix in partnership with Arizona State University. Enhancing Arizona’s health care with state-of-the-art clinical programs, the UA College of Medicine is responsible for pioneering medical achievements, from designing the world’s first artificial wrist to performing Arizona’s first heart transplant surgery; from developing the CardioWest™ temporary Total Artificial Heart to discovering breakthroughs in cancer treatments. The UA College of Medicine also is a powerful economic driving force for the state, providing thousands of stable employment opportunities and generating millions of dollars in research funding. For more information, please visit

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program #11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program #48 in the U.S. The College is among the leaders of business schools generating grant funds for research. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the 25th ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 750 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and a satellite campus in Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

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