Like many other current students, the HSM program was a major reason I chose Fuqua for my MBA. As someone coming from a non-traditional background and having no prior health care experience, I wanted to engage in a rigorous and specialized health care management curriculum. However, I knew I needed more than classroom experience to make the successful switch to health care. As such, I identified the Duke University Hospital Experiential Learning Practicum (DUH-ELP) as an experiential learning opportunity to pursue. I am grateful to have been accepted to the program in Spring of my first year.
The program begins with a meeting between hospital leadership and students to discuss the available projects, and project assignments take place. Unlike FCCP, these projects are assigned to just a single student or, if appropriate, a team of two. Projects tend to be wide-ranging, offering students an opportunity to select assignments that align with their learning goals. Past examples include women’s telehealth services implementation, process management in the emergency department, and identifying ways to use software to streamline discharge.
I chose a project aimed at developing a roll-out strategy for a new patient management dashboard. My teammate and I conducted interviews and a survey to identify where the new software could fit within existing workstreams and what obstacles would exist in obtaining widespread adoption. At the end of the semester, we presented our work and recommendations to hospital leadership.
For me, the experience was truly invaluable. I hoped to not only become stronger with my analytical and presentation skills, but also to learn if hospital administration or consulting were areas of interest. As a result of the program, I better understood my career goals and trained some of the muscles I would use daily during my internship. Shadowing at the hospital is also a part of the curriculum and one of the highlights.
In short, DUH-ELP is for students who want to do meaningful, hands-on learning, all while supercharging their skills and self-confidence.