New Business Immersion Program offered to medical students

Mays Business School offers a two-week comprehensive elective course in business foundations for Texas A&M College of Medicine students
May 3, 2021

Third- and fourth-year Texas A&M University College of Medicine students are currently being offered a new Business Immersion Program through Texas A&M Mays Business School. The immersive program will teach students the fundamentals of various business concepts and help students position themselves for success when applying to residency programs, fellowships or full-time positions.

Offered through the Reynolds and Reynolds Sales Leadership Institute at Mays, the two-week program offers curriculum in the foundational business disciplines of accounting, finance, management, marketing and supply chain management, taught by faculty members of Mays. In addition, the program offers classes in business communications, self-awareness, sales skills and professional presence.

“Health care professionals, like all professionals, are likely to need business skills in their careers,” said Wendy Castro, assistant director of the Business Immersion Program. “Whether they are running practices, managing departments, or leading teams, they will benefit from understanding the business mindset and from having some fundamental business skills. The Business Immersion experience helps students identify their own strengths, weaknesses and interests.”

Additionally, the collaboration between Mays Business School and the College of Medicine advances Mays’s mission of service to Texas A&M University through business and sales communication education.

“It is an extension of a program we are already offering for the College of Engineering,” said Janet Parish, PhD, associate department head in the Department of Marketing and director of the Reynolds and Reynolds Sales Leadership Institute at Mays Business School. “We saw an opportunity to tweak a program we already had to fill a need that arose in collaborative conversations between our two colleges.”

The first session of the program occurred this past Feb. 22 through March 5. Participants of the program heard from medical practitioners and representatives from the industry to better understand the intersection of medicine and business.

“Because of the complexity of schedules, a short intense boot camp approach really works for students in the health professions,” Parish said. “We’ve positioned the program to be offered at a time that can work in their busy schedule.”

During the program, students also worked in teams on an interdisciplinary project that tested the skills they learned throughout the course. The teams presented the projects to a panel of faculty members and practitioners at the end of the program.

“I’m really glad I participated in this program,” said Sebastian Powell, fourth-year medical student and participant in the program’s first session. “It opened up my eyes to the world of business and through it, I gained a beginner’s understanding and foundation of different business concepts that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

Upon completing the program, students will earn a program certificate and be able to add this valuable business experience to their resumes, helping them showcase their experience as well-rounded medical practitioners.

“All of these students will make business decisions in their career—some earlier and some later,” Parish said. “These students will also have investment and business opportunities throughout their careers.  Understanding the mindset and fundamentals of business is beneficial for both their clinical careers and also any additional ventures they get into, which is fairly common for health care professionals.”

The second session of the Business Immersion Program will occur May 17 to May 27 via Zoom and is open for any Texas A&M third- or fourth-year medical student to enroll.

“While we spend four years learning the science and clinical aspects of medicine, we don’t get many courses on the business side. Getting to dive into the business concepts prepares us to use the system for the benefit of the patient,” Powell said. “This program is definitely something that every medical student should have a chance to participate in because they’ll gain a basic understanding of business acumen that I believe will greatly benefit us in the future.”

— Gracie Blackwell

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