As MBAs Get More Specialized, This College Is Launching an Orthopedic MBA

Located near a leading orthopedic industry hub, Indiana's Grace College will soon offer an orthopedic master of business administration degree.
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Published on January 11, 2024
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  • Grace College will debut an orthopedic MBA program in May 2024.
  • The one-year, hybrid program will connect students with industry experts.
  • Grace College is located near Warsaw, Indiana, a leading orthopedic industry hub.
  • Applications for the first cohort are due March 22, 2024.

A master of business administration (MBA) degree has traditionally launched graduates into managerial positions in business fields like finance and consulting. But a growing crop of specialized programs is opening doors for students in specialized, high-demand jobs.

Grace College in Indiana recently announced a new orthopedic MBA program to launch in May 2024. That program will feature a one-year, hybrid format and connect students with orthopedic companies so they can gain real-world experience while they study.

Orthopedics is a field of medicine that deals with conditions in the muscles and skeletal system. That critical field is expected to grow throughout this decade: The orthopedic devices industry alone is projected to grow at an annual rate of 5.3% over the next several years, according to the consulting firm Grand View Research.

"This is a huge opportunity for those in the area who want to enter the orthopaedic industry as well as those currently working in orthopaedics with a desire to pursue more specialized education," Grace School of Business Dean Jeffrey Fawcett said in a release from the school.

"The Orthopaedic MBA program combines a strong business education with Fellowships at multi-billion dollar global enterprises, giving students a world-class opportunity, so we expect the application process to be competitive."

The program coursework combines general online MBA courses with in-person orthopedic courses for a total of 39 credit hours. Those industry-specific courses will include professional tours and panels with professionals.

An MBA can help orthopedic surgeons navigate the healthcare system in providing care to patients. A 2019 study of orthopedic surgeons who had both MBA and doctor of medicine (MD) degrees — originally published in Orthopedic Reviews — found that the vast majority of orthopedic MD-MBAs, more than 96%, still practiced clinically. The few who weren't in clinical roles tended to take up jobs in administration, industry consulting, or entrepreneurship.

That article noted that many physicians are taking on nonclinical roles in addition to their regular practice and "working across silos to enact positive change" in the complex U.S. healthcare system.

"Through an MBA education, physicians seek to gain not only foundational knowledge of core business concepts, but also intangible growth in skills such as leadership and team-building," that article reads. "These skills will not only prepare them to become health system leaders, but also improve their daily clinical communication skills and ability to lead healthcare teams."

Grace College's location — in Winona Lake, just outside of Warsaw, Indiana — gives its students a unique opportunity to work with orthopedic industry leaders. Warsaw has earned a reputation as a leading orthopedic device industry hub, according to the nonprofit industry organization OrthoWorx.

"We believe that initiatives like this are critically important for developing the local talent pipeline that our orthopaedic industries need in order to stay competitive and that our region needs to remain the Orthopedic Capital of the World," Allyn Decker, OrthoWorx vice president of operations and engagement, said in the Grace College release.

"Students will not only receive excellent academic preparation, but also practical skill-building opportunities and hopefully rewarding local job opportunities."

Students will need to have finished an undergraduate degree by May 2024 and have a GPA of at least 3.2 to qualify for the program. Applications are due March 22.