Q&A with 2018-2019 HCC Co-Presidents, James Couch and Charlotte Ryan

James Couch and Charlotte Ryan
Candidates for MBA, 2019
Duke MBA Health Care Club Co-Presidents, 2018-2019

  1. What made you decide to run for co-president?
    • The HCC has created a fantastic community that we have loved being a part of during our first year at Fuqua. The support we got from the club during recruiting, and more broadly navigating Fuqua and HSM, has had a big impact on us, and we want to give that back. Additionally, we think there is an opportunity to ramp up some of the programming outside of recruiting. We want to generate discussion around the ever-changing healthcare space and provide opportunities for the HCC to learn from the vast experiences of its members.
  2. What have been your favorite aspects of the Health Care Club so far? How will you continue those elements and/or enhance them during your tenure as co-president?
    • The FY-SY interaction has been one of our favorite aspects of the HCC. Many of the relationships we built originally revolved around recruiting and meeting second years who were so incredibly generous with their time. Those interactions will certainly continue. On top of that, we want to create opportunities to build more personal relationships outside of coffee chats that revolve around internship recruiting.
    • The Health Care Conference, the flagship HCC event, was also such a memorable event last year, and we look forward to this year’s conference on November 7.
  3. What new ideas and/or initiatives are you hoping to bring to Health Care Club?
    • The HCC is full of interesting and incredibly experienced people. Whether its knowledge on epic, experience as a practicing pediatrician, experience at start-ups and building start-ups, it is very clear we have a lot to learn from each other. We want to harness these experiences and create a forum where we can learn from each other.  We also want to continue a culture of community within the club through several initiatives such as FY/SY buddies, HCC lunch series, and volunteering in the broader Durham community.
  4. What do you see as an opportunity for MBAs to make an impact in the health care field?
    • HSM is a unique opportunity to spend two years looking at the entire healthcare ecosystem and how the different pieces come together. Many of us come into HSM with experience in either provider, pharma, med device or insurance. It has become abundantly clear that moving the needle in healthcare means understanding how all the pieces fit together and designing solutions that take the full ecosystem into account. As such, we think Fuqua MBAs have a unique opportunity to take what we have learned in these two years and be a connector for the traditionally siloed components of the healthcare ecosystem.
  5. Was the HSM programming a part of your decision to come to Fuqua? If so, what attracted you the most?
    • Absolutely! It is one thing to learn the core business skills like finance, strategy, marketing etc., but it is an incredible opportunity to learn how to apply them to an industry you want to impact. To do the core curriculum in conjunction with the HSM programming has been a great way to connect our hard skills education with the industries we want to be in after Fuqua.
  6. What is something you have learned about health care while at Fuqua that you have found surprising or illuminating? How will you use that knowledge in your future work?
    • Charlotte: I have learned a lot about Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) stemming from the ACA. Specifically, what makes ACOs successful and the inevitable movement towards value-based care.
    • James: I was surprised to learn about the increase in consolidation activity, specifically across different aspects of healthcare (ie. Payers and Providers, etc.).  This is a huge shift from traditional siloed healthcare, and it’s been interesting learning what effects these integrations have on the future of the industry as well has how it will ultimately affect the delivery of patient care.

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