Maëlys Amat, ’18
Maëlys Amat says she always knew she wanted to attend medical school. The idea of going to business school, however, didn’t occur to her until she was well into her studies at the Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCOM).
“Talking to older physicians really sparked my interest,” she says. “During my clinical rotation, I kept hearing about the huge disconnect between hospital administrators and physicians. It just seemed like the perfect combination, and an important background to have as a doctor that a lot of people don’t have right now.”
Maëlys enrolled in the joint MD/MBA program offered through a partnership between LeBow and the Drexel University College of Medicine. It involves completing an abbreviated MBA between the third and fourth years of medical school, with academic credit for business courses offered through DUCOM making up the balance. A select few medical students take part each year, and she was determined to get the most of the experience.
That drive led her to completing a fellowship through the Coulter-Drexel Translational Research Partnership Program; Maëlys calls the fellowship “the best thing I did outside of the MBA curriculum.” Coulter fellows provide market analysis for proposals submitted from biomedical engineering and biological sciences programs for technology commercialization. “It brought together what I’d learned in the MBA and applied some of those skills, and I met a lot of interesting people, including doctors, who were utilizing administrative and business skills in a different way,” she says.
She also took part in a spring break international residency and traveled to Spain, visiting Madrid and Barcelona with the LeBow MBA cohort. “I wanted to do anything I could to get some hands-on experience that I couldn’t get via internship or co-op,” she says. “All these different site visits in Spain exposed me not only to international business, but to all these different aspects of the business world.”
For Maëlys and other students who take part in this dual program, the MBA component requires taking a detour without getting off track, so while taking her MBA courses, Maëlys continued working with patients in DUCOM clinics.
“I remember the dean encouraged me to keep doing clinical work,” she says, stressing the importance of keeping up her skills and knowledge base while taking a year away from medical study. “It’s really important to disconnect yourself from the MD and to really focus on the MBA for that year,” she says. “There are so many people available to you and so many interesting opportunities.”
She found getting back on track following her year at LeBow a challenge – the fourth year of medical school is filled with demanding rotations and preparation for residency applications – but noted how she felt changed and improved by her MBA studies. “I feel I became more of a critical thinker and approached problems in a different way, thinking of multiple solutions,” she says. “Classes in leadership and innovation were so valuable to me because they make you take a step back to reflect on who you are as a person, as a leader or as an employee.”
Following graduation from DUCOM, Maëlys is headed to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School, where she’ll be an internal medicine resident focusing on primary care. She also previously lived in Boston after college, working for Healthcare for the Homeless through AmeriCorps.
Beth Israel emphasizes training leaders in primary care, and Maëlys hopes to become involved in innovative projects in administration. “I was really excited about the prospect of using my MBA to get me on that track during residency,” she says. “I hope it will open some doors to meeting people who are doing other interesting things.”