Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
MD/MBA Students Complete Summer Preceptorships

MD/MBA Students Complete Summer Preceptorships

group of students standing together

Fourteen TTUHSC School of Medicine MD/MBA candidates completed preceptorships this summer at TTUHSC, the Lubbock Health Department, Lubbock Heart Hospital, and other various medical practices in Austin, Houston, and other cities around the state. This course is a joint effort of the TTU Rawls College of Business and TTUHSC’s School of Medicine. Students were tasked with completing 150 hours of field experience time that included research, observation, interviews and surveys, data compilation and analysis, and project management. The final result for each student was a research poster describing their project that they presented in front of fellow students, physicians, and TTUHSC staff.

Student projects focused on various topics like telemedicine, workflow optimization, clinical cost-minimization, patient experience, COVID-19 response.  Throughout the duration of the summer, students had unique experiences in emergency and operating rooms, clinical settings of local detention centers, and the clinical departments of the TTUHSC. The field experience is expected to provide the students with healthcare management opportunities not readily available from classroom situations, such as functioning as a professional member of a healthcare organization, assuming responsibility for management, planning, and policy activities related to actual healthcare problems, and observing firsthand how executives adapt to the unforeseen circumstances and changing objectives of today’s turbulent healthcare industry. All of the students were able to shadow their preceptors directly in a clinical or office setting.  
Student Bridget Boeger worked with Lubbock Director of Public Health, Katherine Wells, and Lead Epidemiologist for the city, Tiffany Torres. Bridget said her preceptorship this summer was an invaluable experience. “I was able to work directly with the health department and tie in data from the global pandemic with concepts I have learned while getting my MBA. I will use the skills I learned this summer throughout my career in analyzing health data and trends.”

“In medical school we rarely learn about the business side of healthcare. In my preceptorship I was able to study physician compensation models, and how patient bias due to non-modifiable factors can influence the value-based pay system, which is becoming more popular for physician reimbursement,” said student Caleb Hawkes. He remarked that his preceptorship experience opened his eyes to the business side of being a physician.

This unique experience offered to our medical students allows for an exclusive and in-depth look at the business management aspects of a medical practice. The research contributions made by these students this summer have been recognized as useful and progressive by the organizations they served, with many planning to expand their projects and continue data collection.

We would like to extend much gratitude to those who served as preceptors for our students this summer and worked diligently to ensure that the students had valuable experiences. Brent Magers is the Professor of Record for the course, and it was my pleasure to serve as the teaching assistant for a third consecutive year.