Morgan’s Myth Busters: HSM Bootcamp Edition

Morgan Cohen, Candidate for MBA, class of 2023

Myth #1: “I worked in health care for 4 years. How much of this week will actually be new knowledge?”

Bust: Coming into the week of HSM Bootcamp, I was a bit skeptical since I had been working at a pharmaceutical company for the last four years. I came to Bootcamp with prior knowledge about how products come to market and the extensive process drug manufacturers go through to bring a new medicine to patients. However, I quickly learned my knowledge was only a small part of the health care industry. In fact, the “intro to pharma” portion of bootcamp only covered one hour of our six days!

The variety of the lectures and speakers ranged from health care coverage, payments, and spending, to devices, diagnostics, and biotech. We also covered interesting topics about analytics, health financing, and even the COVID-19 vaccine distribution in the state of North Carolina. One of my favorite parts of the week was the case study with Medtronic –a relevant and fascinating review of how Medtronic evaluated how to produce, manufacture, and disperse ventilators during the pandemic.

Regardless of the prior experience you bring, HSM Bootcamp is a unique opportunity to learn about the variety of companies in the industry, as well as network with Fuqua alums in the field. I learned so much about the health care industry in just one week of Bootcamp, and it made me that much more excited to continue my Fuqua journey.

Myth #2: “Is health care the right industry to be in? It seems too complex and it’s so frustrating!”

Bust: Let’s face it…the health care industry is daunting. Sometimes, we must remember why we want to work in health care in the first place. The lectures, speakers, and stories from classmates during the week of Bootcamp provided a reminder of the real sense of purpose as to why we work in health care. The first day of HSM Bootcamp, we were challenged to think about and write down why we are interested in the health care industry. For me personally, I have important people in my life who have influenced my passion for working in health care. My Grammy is a two-time breast cancer survivor and would not be here today without the amazing medicine, doctors, and other aspects of the industry she has had access to.

However, Dr. Ubel provided us with an important question: “Should someone’s ability to thrive be dependent on their ability to pay?” I am still reflecting on this question as it is relevant to every topic we explored during the week. These are the questions that remind us why we want to work in health care. We want to make the system more accessible. This work is so complex, and there are many barriers to getting innovative products to people, but this is the driving force of what we do every day.

Chief of Staff to the Chancellor for Health Affairs at Duke University Health System asked a group of tired students at the end of the week, “Why should we care?” Health care is not just another consumer good. It is a human right. And as we embark on the business world, a healthy workforce means higher productivity, lower cost of care, and more dollars that can be spent on other initiatives like education and infrastructure.

Myth #3: “Arriving to Durham 10 days before orientation even begins?!”

Bust: I have never been so thankful to arrive to school 10 days early. HSM Bootcamp is such a great opportunity to meet classmates and form meaningful connections before orientation even begins. Some of the best people I have met at Fuqua were introduced to me at Bootcamp.

The network I built during Bootcamp was formative to beginning my Fuqua experience. Bootcamp gave me the opportunity to work with a diverse group of individuals as soon as I arrived at Fuqua. Our group presentation allowed us to get back in the school mindset and work as a team. We represented a firm and performed a mock client presentation on how the firm could increase business while reducing health care costs.

Prior to HSM Bootcamp, when I heard the word “bootcamp”, the first thing that came to mind was intense fitness. However, this bootcamp was informative, meaningful, and enjoyable! I met so many people and learned more than I ever imagined I could in such a short amount of time. I am looking forward to continuing the HSM Program with my classmates this year and working together on ways to innovate the health care industry.