Health Sector Management Discussions

Erin Lipinski, Candidate for MBA, class of 2022

One of the first things I remember getting excited about regarding Fuqua was the Health Sector Management program. I wanted to find out more and for a while was able to content myself with the information that was on the HSM website, but soon I realized I was really looking for a more personal experience and for someone to answer the specific unusual questions that I had burning in my mind. Then I found the Health Sector Management Discussions through Fuqua Admissions, and it was exactly what I was wanting.

I was a prospective student, newly applied to Fuqua and wanting to learn more to cement in my mind why Fuqua would be a good place for me. At this point COVID was still waiting to be unleashed and the health care chat was in person. Together with about six other prospectives, I sat down to have a conversation with a current student in the program and the program director. It opened up a whole new world for me as I was able to ask the questions that hadn’t quite been answered from the info online. What were the good parts about HSM? Any drawbacks? How does it fit into a student’s schedule? And I wasn’t the only one. All of the other prospective students had their own questions to ask, creating a rich and enthusiastic discussion about the program, current events, and even what to expect for an internship or full-time offer. Even once our time was up, we were given contact information and instructed to reach out with any other questions or follow-up comments that we wanted to. I left the chat feeling confident and surer than ever that HSM (and Fuqua) was a program that I wanted to be a part of.

Fortunately, I was admitted to Fuqua and joined the HSM program as soon as I could. In an effort to pay it forward, I’m now the VP of admissions for the Health Care Club and regularly attend Health Sector Management Discussions as one of the current students to give my own perspective.

One of the things that I’ve realized going through my time at HSM is the value of a more holistic view of the health care system. Working for 4 years in med device, I got to get really comfortable and knowledgeable about how devices got approved because I was a part of it. From ideation to prototyping to testing, regulatory, marketing, and sales, I was a part of it all because there was no one else to take on that duty. I realize now that I almost had blinders on that stopped me from seeing the other verticals that had such an impact in my own field. Being a student at Fuqua has opened my eyes to all of these other components of the health system; talking to doctors and why they prescribed one drug over another, debating with health analytics people about the policies in place that affect us, learning why someone would choose one option over another. All of these things are not part of my chosen specification. And yet, they have such huge impacts in how and why a medical device would succeed or fail. By knowing more about the whole of the system, I’m better able to see problems that might arise in one policy or another before they cause harm. I’m better able to see a potential competitor in a pharma company because they treat the same disease state I do before I see sales declining. I’m able to understand better how policies will nudge a doctor to choose a drug over a device and hopefully head it off to make a better choice for me. The whole system is so interconnected that having a holistic knowledge is vital to making myself a better, more successful business person able to tackle the problems facing me over the next few years.

If you are looking for a way to get all of your questions answered, or even just to get a current student’s perspective of the program, the Fuqua Admissions Health Sector Management Discussions are a great way to connect and find that information. I hope to see you at one of them!