Physician Executive MBA (PEMBA)
Master the business of care.
Learn more about our Physician Executive MBA.
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Physicians face new challenges in our healthcare systems that require a business acumen not found in the traditional medical school curriculum. We designed the Physician Executive MBA (PEMBA) at the Haslam College of Business to prepare you to lead healthcare forward with an agile suite of core leadership principles. In less than one calendar year, the PEMBA will equip you with valuable business insights to become an informed healthcare leader proficient in advancing organizational and patient health.
An MBA in One Year
We designed our Physician Executive MBA so that you can earn your MBA in just 11 months, with only 25 days out of the office. The four, one-week residence periods take place on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville, Tennessee, and are reinforced with distance learning sessions.
Build the expertise to lead your healthcare organization with an industry-specific MBA curriculum. As a PEMBA student, you’ll study business principles in the context of patient care so that you can conceptualize the real-world application of your coursework from day one in the program.
Join a network of physician leaders and expert clinicians representing top healthcare organizations in every state and overseas. Our alumni cite these relationships with their classmates as one of the most pivotal aspects of our program, and one that endures long after graduation.
Develop the business and executive competencies to guide your teams with confidence as both a clinician and healthcare leader. Our students undergo extensive leadership training with a dedicated coach to become capable and strategic physician leaders.
DESIGNED FOR PHYSICIAN LEADERS
The Physician Executive MBA is ideal for full-time physicians with a medical doctorate who plan to continue working while earning their degree. We designed our degree for medical professionals with clinical expertise who want to assume a greater scope of leadership, but need a solid foundation in traditional business acumen. From establishing a virtual private practice to driving patient throughput to eliminate clinical burnout, our program will prepare you to strategically solve challenges at the intersection of clinical care and the C-suite.
To maintain a supportive learning environment and allow for close faculty connections, our program is limited to an average of 40 students per cohort. The typical PEMBA student has 5-20 years of clinical experience, including residency.
As a designated 2021-2022 Military Friendly Gold School and Military Spouse Friendly School, our program also offers a broad range of resources to support students in the military and their families as they pursue their educational goals.
Percentage of PEMBA Alumni in Physician Leadership Positions
Physician-Only Executive MBA in the World
Ask a Graduate
As the longest-running executive MBA program for physicians (26+ years) and with over 900 graduates, we have a lot of resources to help you. Each graduate entered the program with two major goals in mind: a better, more fulfilling, career and learning how to build a healthcare system that performs optimally, is sustainable, and is patient centric.
We encourage all physicians who are considering investing in their career by earning an accredited MBA designed for physicians to take advantage of our ask a graduate program. You may have a single question or a multitude of questions. The good news is that our graduates love answering your questions!
What may I ask a graduate about?
You may wonder about things like whether your background is a good fit for the program. You may wonder about what drew the graduate to enroll in the program or which features dovetailed into the graduate’s needs. You may have questions about the program’s culture, curriculum, how the program’s schedule, or how the program’s service delivery model assisted in ensuring the student had an experience that exceeded their expectations. Still other questions may come up. Rebalancing work-life-school is a frequent question. Others with young children or new babies may wonder how to best manage raising children while enrolled.
How do I get started and what happens after I ask a question?
To get started simply click the ask a graduate button below and let us know what is on your mind and how to best reach you. Once received, we will put you in direct contact with a graduate(s) best aligned to answer your question. Your correspondence with the graduate is between you and the graduate(s). This is by design. Usually, graduates answer your questions within a few days. But sometimes it can take longer depending on the questions asked and their workload or schedule.
“Thank you for your guidance and mentorship throughout PEMBA. It has changed the landscape for me. I am grateful for the education and the ongoing support of the program.”
PEMBA, Class of 2020
Emergency Medicine Medical Director WellSpan Good Samaritan Hospital
“Understanding the business of healthcare ultimately will improve the lives of patients and also the quality of practice for physicians. The Haslam PEMBA program provides a multidisciplinary perspective for physicians to expand boundaries and careers for the future.”
Hal Matthews, M.D., MBA
PEMBA, Class of 2009
Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Paradigm Spine, LLC
Participants complete the Physician Executive MBA in less than a single calendar year, spending roughly one week per quarter out of office. The average time commitment is about 20-25 hours per week for readings and assignments, with distance learning classes one day a week. Assignments relate directly to the work you perform in your job to help you best retain the information, immediately apply new concepts and return value to your organization.
QUARTERLY IN-PERSON RESIDENCIES
Invaluable learning takes place during four one-week residence periods (RPs) on the University of Tennessee campus in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The program breaks from the traditional academic format where you complete a collection of required and elective courses, and instead integrates business topics in the classroom to replicate how leaders make decisions in the healthcare environment.
Academic Year 2024
- Classes Start: January 6, 2024*
- Residence Period 1: January 6 – 13 — 2024: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
- Residence Period 2: May 4 — 11, 2024: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
- Residence Period 3: August 10 — 17, 2024: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
- Residence Period 4: December 7 — 13, 2024: University of Tennessee
- Graduation Date: December 13, 2024
*Optional Computer Boot Camp: January 4 — 5, 2024: Offered in-person and virtual
Between each residence period you will participate in regularly scheduled Distance Learning (DL) sessions, complete relevant and applied assignments, have access to recorded course content and work on your year-long Organizational Action Project (OAP). This combination of in-person residencies, online sessions and direct application of concepts to your work allows for the program’s compressed duration.
2024 Cohort Distance Learning Sessions:
- Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET
ORGANIZATIONAL ACTION PROJECT
During the program, PEMBA candidates participate in an Organizational Action Project (OAP) targeting issues of major importance to their organization. Each student designs their own project and works in concert with the organization’s leadership team. They also work with a faculty advisor who provides mentorship and assesses deliverables throughout the program year.
Similar to a thesis, the project is graded independently of other assignments. Across our programs, our Executive MBA students routinely generate millions in return to their companies through the Organizational Action Projects.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The Physician Executive MBA helps physician leaders develop the vision, communication and leadership skills necessary to succeed in transforming their healthcare organizations and patient care at large.
Students work with a Haslam coach to create a personalized leadership development program targeting the student’s individual strengths and weaknesses. This coaching relationship supports the student throughout the year and beyond graduation to experiment with new approaches, reflect on their discoveries, and see real-world improvements as a leader.
Peer-to-peer relationships contribute significantly to leadership development throughout the program. Students spend a year in communication and collaboration with other physician leaders in their cohort, exchanging ideas and best practices.
Haslam College of Business Physician Executive MBA faculty are internationally recognized for their cutting edge research and innovation at the intersection of business and healthcare. Our faculty regularly present at conferences and are published in academic journals focused both on healthcare and business.
Distinguished LecturerView Profile
Associate Professor, Haslam Family Faculty Research FellowView Profile
Physician Executive MBA, Associate Professor LawView Profile
Adjunct Professor, Quality ImprovementView Profile
Associate Dean, Graduate and Executive Education, Distinguished Lecturer.View Profile
Adjunct Professor, Lean for Healthcare, Chief Medical Officer, and TeamHealthView Profile
First Horizon Professor, Cheryl Massingale Faculty Research FellowView Profile
Voigt Scholar, Associate ProfessorView Profile
Stahl PEMBA Fellow, Charlie and Caroline Newcomer Faculty Research Fellow, Associate ProfessorView Profile
Professor EmeritusView Profile
Senior LecturerView Profile
Professor EmeritusView Profile
Director of Leadership Development ProgramsView Profile
Adjunct Professor, Healthcare PolicyView Profile
Distinguished LecturerView Profile
Linda Blake Walsh
Adjunct FacultyView Profile
Senior Lecturer and Executive Director of the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship & InnovationView Profile
Alex Ricardo Zablah
Marketing Department Head, Gerber/Taylor Professor of Marketing, Fisher Family Faculty Research FellowView Profile
Haslam’s PEMBA is the longest running and most highly respected physician-only MBA worldwide.
All residence periods include curricula specifically geared toward physician leadership, including courses in:
- Accounting, finance and economics
- Quality improvement, lean operations and change management in healthcare settings
- Customer value, strategy, business planning in healthcare
Within two years of graduation, our candidates often see significant return on learning in the form of promotions and meaningful strides in their respective health systems. What makes this Executive MBA unique is the dedicated cohort of clinicians who come together to advance the quality, access, affordability and financial performance of their healthcare organizations while moving patient care forward.
CORE EXECUTIVE COMPETENCIES
Apply Business Acumen
Physician Executive MBA graduates will be able to implement leading business principles into practice due to a robust understanding of finance and accounting, marketing, analytics and more.
Create Operational Excellence
Physician Executive MBA graduates will be able to drive organizational excellence by understanding and adapting strategic business models to fit the needs of their patients, providers and healthcare organizations at large.
Prioritize Systems Thinking
Physician Executive MBA graduates will be able to assess and improve the health of their organizations through integrated care, value-based and risk-sharing service models, and continuous monitoring of individual and organizational performance.
Physician Executive MBA graduates will be able to empower their teams and stakeholders while creating initiatives and open communication models to alleviate healthcare provider burnout.
Applied learning is emphasized throughout the year with individual and team assignments. This means students have the opportunity to immediately translate course concepts into action in the workplace.
Instead of teaching standard courses or classes on traditional business disciplines, professors address real-world problems from multiple perspectives and focus on common challenges that executives share across all segments of the healthcare sector.
During each residence period, participants take classes, meet with faculty advisors and leadership development coaches, and work on project teams with peers.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Haslam’s Physician Executive MBA is the only one-year-long accredited MBA offered exclusively for physicians. The program takes one year to complete. During the year there are four one-week-long on-campus residency periods spread out quarterly.
In the case of governmental travel warnings or restrictions, we may utilize an online or hybrid modality for some aspects of the program; however, we will diligently pursue on-site learning experiences where possible.
For more information, please reference our Covid-19 health and safety guidelines at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Physician Executive MBA applicants should have the following:
- Medical doctorate (MD or DO) from an accredited institution or foreign equivalent (MBBS, MB ChB, BM or BMed)
- 5+ years of professional experience in healthcare
- Bachelor degree from an accredited institution; 2.7 min GPA out of a possible 4.0 (exceptions may be available for minimum GPA)
- Interested in making an impact in healthcare delivery
- Proficiency in spoken and written English
The total program fee for the Physician Executive MBA is $79,000. The program fee includes:
- All university tuition and fees
- Personalized Leadership Development Plan and coaching, including 6 months after graduation
- Books and materials, including course-specific software
- Technical support for all software
- Local transportation to and from classes and special events during residence periods
- Breakfasts, lunches and several dinners
The program fee does not include:
- Professional subscriptions and other supplies
- Laptop computer (if needed, you can purchase a laptop at a discount through the UT Computer Store)
- Lodging and travel during residency periods
*UT reserves the right to adjust tuition and fees when deemed necessary. These are set by the UT Board of Trustees in June/July of each year.
Yes. Some applicants’ employers provide full or partial financial assistance, as the Physician Executive MBA assignments relate directly to work and improve employee performance and retention. Organizations can be billed directly for their tuition support as well.
We are happy to consider applications from physicians educated outside the United States. We routinely accept international applicants and physicians educated outside the U.S. into the PEMBA program.
International applicants may be eligible for a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) waiver, and we encourage you to contact our team for guidance on your eligibility for a waiver. Applicants required to submit TOEFL or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores must meet the minimum score requirements for admission to the program,a total score of 100 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT), or a 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS.
TOEFL or IELTS scores are considered valid if taken within two years from the application date. Applicants may be exempt from the English Certification requirement if English is an official language in the applicant’s country of citizenship, according to standards published by the Graduate School, or if English is the primary language of instruction at the institution in which the applicant received an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree, or on a case-by-case basis as determined by the Admissions Committee.
The PEMBA has one start date each year in early January.
Yes. Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits are built into the program. Students earn 50 CME credits upon completion of the Physician Executive MBA, with an additional 10 CMEs from attending optional sessions.
Interested candidates are encouraged to speak with our recruiter to discuss the program and the fit with your career goals
Begin your application at https://apply.haslam.utk.edu/apply/
- Start by indicating whether you are a new, returning or current student under “Admission Type.”
- Scroll down to choose “Physician Executive MBA” under “Program”
- Choose the next spring semester under “Select Term”
- Click “Save Your Selection”
Review and complete the following application components:
- A resume or C.V.
- Transcripts (for all schools attended)
- Personal Statement: After you submit the application, please provide a concise personal statement that includes perspective on the items below:
- A brief description of your organization and a longer description of your role, including responsibilities, reporting relationships, and budgetary scope
- Critical challenges facing your organization and how these challenges impact your role
- Describe your motivation for pursuing an Executive MBA
- Describe your plan for balancing your various commitments (work, school, family, etc.) while earning your MBA
Yes. The 2023 tuition* payment schedule is:
- Program deposit: $1,000 (paid to confirm attendance)
- Spring semester 2023: $26,000
- Summer semester 2023: $26,000
- Fall semester 2023: $26,000
Tuition may also be paid in a lump sum at the start of the first semester. We are able to bill your organization in full or in part. Please contact us to learn more.
*The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Board of Trustees sets the program’s tuition. For 2023, the tuition is expected to be set at $79,000 by the trustees during their June 2023 meeting. The payment schedule shown above anticipates the adoption of this tuition for the Class of 2023.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is a designated 2021-2022 Military Friendly Gold School and 2021-2022 Military Spouse Friendly School due to the expansive support available for the military community and their families at UT. Talk to an enrollment advisor for more information.
Learn more about UT’s Military Veteran Services.
The Physician Executive MBA admissions team reviews applications on a rolling basis. Cohorts are limited, so the earlier you complete your application, the sooner you can get an admissions decision to reserve your seat.
MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION, TODAY
Are you ready to commit to leading in the business of medicine with the Haslam College of Business? Request more information or contact Tom Brown at 865-742-1596 (mobile) or 865-974-1772 (office) to learn more about the Physician Executive MBA.
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