My HSM Bootcamp Experience

Naeal Abu Speitan, Candidate for MBA, class of 2023

What is HSM Bootcamp?

HSM Bootcamp is a week-long, intensive health care deep-dive, where you learn about the different aspects of the industry. But don’t be fooled! It’s not just an overview of the US health system. Throughout the course, we reviewed and discussed how health care is delivered across the world, what makes some systems work, what their drawbacks are, how health care is changing, and, most interesting to me, how COVID-19 has changed the industry. What made it even more thought- provoking was hearing from my international classmates, who shared their experiences as patients and providers in systems around the world. To further that, the diversity of backgrounds amongst my classmates was unmatched. Some hailed from pharma, medical devices, and government, while others came from consulting, finance, and startups. As someone who spent 7 years in health care consulting, I thought I had a strong understanding of the industry. However, there were was never a moment that I wasn’t learning from my classmate’s insight or the two lead instructors, Dr. Ubel and Professor Ridley.

Why I did HSM

Coming from a family of physicians, I was always passionate about health care, and I loved how Fuqua is a leader in the space. I was excited to expand my industry knowledge, connect with other health care-focused classmates, and meet with world-renowned professors and professionals through HSM.

HSM is an immersive experience that will really get you to think about health care in a different way. Regardless of whether you have health care experience or not, the course is presented in such a way that everyone is on the same learning platform. Outside of learning more about an industry I am very passionate about, Bootcamp starts ahead of general orientation. Now this may sound like a drag (who wants to take a week-long intensive course before orientation?) but it honestly couldn’t have been a better decision. Making nearly 80 friends throughout HSM helped me feel like I already had a Fuqua community before orientation even began.

We also got to hear from a variety of companies throughout the week during exciting industry presentations. These presenters hailed from venture capital, medical devices, pharma, government, and beyond. During these presentations, we were asked to evaluate real life cases the companies faced. It was fascinating to deep-dive into complex problems and participate in decision-making simulations.

Afterwards, we reviewed what the companies actually did, and discussed whether the right approach was taken. These small snippets gave a sample of what problems we will be tasked with solving after our studies.

At the end of an exhausting week, I felt like my approach to thinking about health care had changed. I now not only had my own consulting experience learn from, but also case studies from various industries and insight from countless classmates.

My Favorite Part

The guest speakers were phenomenal. For example, we had the President & Chief Medical Officer of LabCorp discuss trends in the diagnostic industry and its future, while a co-founder at a Venture Capital firm analyzed the current boom of biotechnology. Each and every speaker presented a unique topic that drew us in.

My favorite part was hearing from the Chief Health Policy Officer for COVID-19 at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, who is also an Associate Professor at the Duke-Margolis Center. In her talk, she discussed the challenges that the State of NC faced in distributing vaccines in an equitable way and outlined the state’s vaccine campaign. We had a rich back-and-forth throughout the presentation discussing how the state had to adapt its approach in real time, from messaging and tracking to distribution, as well as their plan of attack moving forward.

Looking Ahead

Now, in the midst of Fall 1, getting back together with the HSM crew during our bi-weekly Seminar is something I look forward to. During this time, we get to discuss current news and trends, hear from Fuqua alum in the industry, and engage in thought provoking discussions; I can’t wait to see what else is in store!