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A healthcare management MBA is an important stepping stone for healthcare professionals preparing for a management role, or for managers transitioning into healthcare from another industry. Specialized training is crucial, given the unique challenges of administering a healthcare organization.

Healthcare managers face unique challenges in controlling costs while maintaining quality of patient care. This specialized MBA trains managers to effectively distribute resources in the context of legal, regulatory, and ethical requirements.

In addition to business fundamentals, coursework covers resource allocation, risk assessment, and financing. Depending on the focus of the program, the curriculum may also cover working with HMOs, healthcare finance, database management, healthcare strategic management, and health policy.

Healthcare managers can expect no shortage of demand for their expertise, as the healthcare industry expands and the need for effective management becomes even more pressing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts faster than average growth in healthcare management jobs, with especially strong prospects in practitioner's offices and home healthcare agencies.

Health services managers with a specialized healthcare management MBA are well positioned to land the top management jobs. The MBA is no guarantee of performance, but graduates are likely to earn over the $71,280 annual median for all health care managers in 2004.

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