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Students in New MD/MBA Program Want to Make a Difference

November 24, 2008
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MD/MBA students 
 MD/MBA students Ghislaine Guez and Peter
 Michael hope to combine their medical and business
 training to improve the U.S. health care system.
Students enrolled in the School’s new joint MD/MBA program, launched this fall, may have differing backgrounds but one thing they do share is a desire to use the program’s business training to make contributions that extend beyond conventional patient care. The program, which is conducted in partnership with the UM Miller School of Medicine, adds a year of business education following the third year of the traditional four-year MD track.

“I realized early on that policies and administrative issues have a direct impact on patient care,” says Ghislaine Guez (left in photo). “I knew that I wanted to help as many people as possible, and for me, this meant being involved in the day-to-day business of medicine and how we run our hospitals. When the MBA program came along, it was the perfect fit.”

Guez, known to her friends as “Gilly,” was born in St. Louis Park, Minn., but raised in Boca Raton and Paris. No one in her family worked in the medical field, and she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an undergraduate degree in psychology.

“I decided to become a doctor a few years after graduating from college,” she explains. “I was working for a New York City surgeon as a technical writer, and I realized that I could actually do the things I was writing about.” That realization drove Guez to take some pre-med courses at Columbia University while continuing to work fulltime. “Once I knew that it was possible to go back to school and become a physician, I never gave it a second thought,” she says.

Why did she come to UM to study medicine? “The faculty and students I met when I came to interview were the most friendly, caring, interested and involved that I had come across. I knew that I wanted to learn medicine in a positive and supportive environment.”

Guez has plans for a residency in internal medicine with a specialty in infectious disease. Her dream job, someday, is to be the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By contrast, Michael grew up surrounded by doctors. The Miami native’s father, mother, brother and sister-in-law, and many of his extended family members, are all physicians. “I was probably influenced a little,” he says with a smile. “When I was in first grade — no kidding — I stole my mother’s stethoscope and brought it to show and tell.”

Michael stayed local and attended UM as an undergraduate, majoring in psychology. He remained for medical school, he explains, because Jackson Memorial Hospital is one of the best at which to train. “As a student, you really get hands-on learning with so many of the top physicians in the country,” he says.

Michael hopes one day to become involved in decisions about health care policy. “Many of the people making these decisions now aren’t doctors,” he says. “I hope to change that situation and combine the skills I am learning in both medical school and business school to make a difference.”
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