One of the PEMBA Class of 2015’s stops was the Royal College of Medicine in Edinburgh, Scotland.
How do healthcare systems in the United Kingdom deal with budget challenges or integrate information technology? Twenty Class of 2015 Physicians Executive MBA students from the Harbert College of Business recently spent 11 days in Scotland and England exploring these issues and more.
“I really got to learn about -- and get a good feel for -- another healthcare system different than the one that I have practiced in for over a decade,” said Dr. Paul Richardson, owner of Carolina Internal Medicine in Conway, S.C. “There is no question that this perspective is going to make me a better leader here in my own system. For me, I think witnessing the common problems that we all face being managed from a totally different outlook will benefit me and help to shape my own strategies going forward.”
The purpose of the trip, split between Edinburgh, Scotland, and London, England, was to:
- Inform students how to analyze a country’s healthcare system using a matrix of critical and universal elements;
- Identify the benefits and liabilities of a country’s healthcare system;
- Compare the country’s healthcare system elements, including cultural, governmental, educational, delivery of care, and financing to those of the United States’ healthcare system;
- Select and list elements of a country’s healthcare system which might be beneficial to the United States’ healthcare system;
- Explain how a country’s history of economics, values, and culture tend to determine the development of its healthcare system in its current status
Students were provided a series of classroom lectures from healthcare professionals, and tours of the University of Edinburgh Medical School, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London, and HCA Wellington Hospital.
“The trip was a well-organized experience and made to fit the comparative health systems class -- no organizational detail was left to chance,” said Dr. Francisco Suarez, otolaryngology, from Puerto Rico. “We felt safe and it was a great opportunity to establish friendships that probably will last for many years to come, it is important not to forget the advantage that a good network of friends and colleagues implies in the business world.”
The trip wasn’t all work and no play. Students had the opportunity to visit Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Highlands, Stirling Castle, St. Andrews, Falkland Palace, Stonehenge, and the historic sites of London.
Stan Harris, Associate Dean for International and Graduate Programs who made the trip, noted another issue related to current events.
“Scotland will soon vote for independence,” Harris said of the Sept. 18 referendum. “What does that do to its system and tax base? They will be facing some real budgetary issues.”
The 21-month PEMBA program is a blend of five residencies, lectures on DVDs, internet discussion among professors and classmates, and two study trips – one overseas and another to Washington, D.C.
For more about the program, contact Stan Harris, Associate Dean of Graduate and International Programs, at (334) 844-4838 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Kim Kuerten, Director of Executive Programs, at (334) 844-4853 or email@example.com; or Jana Smith, Assistant Director of Executive Programs, at (334) 844-5078 or firstname.lastname@example.org