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        Executive Programs, Students

        PEMBA Student Spotlight: Keneshia Kirksey

        August 31, 2020 By Harbert College of Business

        All News


        The Harbert College is committed to developing graduates who are highly-skilled, professionally prepared, confident, ethical, and globally-minded.

        kirkseyKeneshia Kirksey

        Hometown: Aliceville, Alabama

        Currently Reside: Birmingham, Alabama


        Prior Education

        Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, B.S. in Biology

        University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Doctorate       

        Carolinas Rehabilitation, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency

        Current Role/Organization:

        I am the Medical Director of Spinal Cord Injury Patient Services in a large academic healthcare system. I have also been the Program Director of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency Program for over 6 years. In this role, I oversee all education initiatives including resident curriculum and professional development. 

        Why did you choose the Auburn Physicians Executive MBA program?

        I researched several executive MBA programs across the country, and Auburn’s Physicians Executive MBA program remained at the top of my list. After numerous discussions with other healthcare leaders and alumni from this program, I knew the Auburn Physicians Executive MBA would be the right fit me and align with my career endeavors. The program also offers a comprehensive educational experience that provides online instruction and direct interaction with professors and colleagues through weeklong residencies. This program combines high expectations with the support and understanding that we are also running busy medical practices. 

        As you conclude your first week of residency, how would you describe the experience? What are your key takeaways?

        In one word, “Insightful.”  I did not want the experience to end. I was able to interact with a cohort of amazing, well-accomplished physicians from all over the country and from diverse specialties, cultural backgrounds, and practice models. I learned new perspectives and gained new insights about myself.  At the end of each day, I found myself reflecting on the day’s rich experiences from faculty and my classmates.

        Although our first residency was delivered virtually, the interactive participation and quality of the lectures made it feel like we were physically together.  The level of class participation and engagement were incredible and filled with rich conversations. By the end of the first week of residency, I truly felt part of the Auburn family. War Eagle!

        When we can welcome you and your cohort to campus, what are you most looking forward to?

        I am looking forward to meeting my amazing cohort in person.  The opportunities to network and create lifelong friendships is invaluable.  I learned so much from everyone virtually; however, it does not replace the in-person experiences and continuous sharing of ideas.  I am looking forward to one on one conversations and continued peer-learning experiences on the beautiful campus of Auburn University.

        What do you hope to achieve through the Auburn Physicians Executive MBA program?

        Auburn’s Physicians Executive MBA program will position me to create more diversity in my current practice and will be a catalyst for new executive leadership opportunities. I hope to continue to learn more about my leadership style and personal attributes that are necessary for effective leadership.  Auburn’s supportive environment will strengthen my skills in current roles by providing resources to develop my executive presence and leadership capabilities. 

        In medical school and residency, I learned how the human body works, disease processes and treatment, but very little about finance and hospital operations, which is a much-needed skillset. This program provides physicians with a strong understanding of business and how organizational management works, which is imperative during challenges facing healthcare today. Finally, the PEMBA experience will enable me to participate in decisions beyond the practice of medicine.

        About the Physicians Executive MBA Program

        Any medical organization, hospital or specialization group needs both business and clinical talents to achieve operating success. Too often, these two vital functions exist in separate camps within the same organization. What’s missing? The hybrid healthcare professional who understands both the practice of medicine and the business of medicine. 

        Auburn’s Physicians Executive MBA program provides physicians a comprehensive understanding of critical business disciplines and practices. The 21-month program blends intensive residencies with distance courses for best of both worlds – face to face instruction that provides interaction with faculty and peers and online learning that offers the flexibility to balance a physician’s busy schedule. The physician-only cohort sees the value of learning the business of medicine in the context of the practice of medicine, learning not only from our top-notch faculty, but also from each other. This delivery model binds students into a tight-knit cohort that later becomes a professional network offering benefits long after graduation. 

        Visit us for more information about the Auburn Physicians Executive MBA program or schedule a consultation today. Contact us by email at