Curriculum

Course Descriptions*

Advanced Strategic Analysis

This course uses the case method to introduce the fundamental conceptual models, analytical frameworks, and financial analyses, essential for strategy formulation. Students will decide where to compete, and how to sustain a competitive advantage over rivals, by analyzing cases and applying rigorous financial methods to solve key challenges encountered at each stage of the business lifecycle: entry, funding, organic growth, acquisition, turnaround, and exit. Students will confront critical issues such as: What business should we be in? What products or services should we provide? Which customers should we serve? In which geographic areas? The course will provide students with the conceptual models, analytical tools, and financial methods they need to formulate and implement strategy at each stage of the company lifecycle. The class will enhance performance as general managers and consultants.

Biostatistics

This course places emphasis on understanding of statistical concepts behind data analytic principles. This course will be accompanied with a computer lab to explore, visualize and perform statistical analysis with data. Lectures and discussions will focus on the following: exploratory data analysis; basic concepts of statistics; construction of hypothesis tests and confidence intervals; the development of statistical methods for analyzing data; and development of mathematical models used to relate a response variable to explanatory or descriptive variables.

Business Strategy

Students learn the tools and analytical techniques that managers need to assess and formulate effective strategies for their organizations. Topics include strategic analysis, industry analysis, value chains, core competencies, competitor analysis, scenario analysis, portfolio analysis, option analysis, and game theory. The focus is on analyzing and diagnosing business problems as well as developing and implementing effective strategic solutions.

Capstone course

This is the culminating capstone course of all masters-level graduate education programs. It has two aims: (1) helping students to discover and develop new and effective ways of managing and working together with all the stakeholders within the healthcare field and (2) helping accelerate a student's development of the context awareness, integrative management, and industry skills that are needed to lead in a rapidly changing healthcare sector. This capstone course puts students in a new organization, one they don’t already know well, and gives them the chance to practice hitting the ground running. This culminating course provides a deeper preparation for the next stages of a student's career.

Financial Accounting

Knowledge of accounting is a core requirement to any career that is business related. The accounting system provides much of the data needed to make business decisions. The aim of this course is to help you build a strong base of this essential building block at the outset of your business education.

This course is designed to provide you with a comprehensive, graduate level introduction to accounting. You will learn how the accounting system used by firms stores information. This information is used to measure and report their economic performance to external constituents such as stockholders, debt holders and potential investors. You will build a solid foundation of accounting concepts and mechanics, and develop a perspective for the intelligent use of this information. By the end of the course you should be able to read and interpret financial accounting reports and draw conclusions about a firm's performance.

The course is organized into two interrelated modules. First, you will learn the process of accounting ‐ how the information is recorded, organized and collated to produce reports. You will learn to create the reports. This includes an examination of the main financial statements, the nature of accrual measurement, revenue recognition, assets, liabilities and equity. The first half of the course is the foundation. In the second part of the course, you will systematically review important parts of the financial statements that are issued by companies. You will learn to analyze the information and make inferences about firm quality, performance and risk.

Health Data Analytics

Big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence have been playing more and more important roles in modern medicine. The main goal of this course is to introduce the basic concept of data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence, what are the classical and state-of-the-art technologies? How are they applied in analyzing medicine and healthcare data? What are their limitations? What would be the future on this topic?

Specifically, we will start with the basic introduction of machine learning and artificial intelligence, their concepts, relationships and histories, as well as how are they adopted in biomedicine. We will also compare the difference between small scale but rigorous cohort study, and large scale but noisy real world data study. Then we will introduce the basic procedure of data preprocessing, such as quality assessment, feature extraction and standardization. Two most important analytical problems, predictive modeling and patient stratification will be introduced afterwards with related classical techniques, followed by more state-of-the-art methods introductions such as network and deep learning methods. Evaluation methods will be briefly introduced as well. Biomedical application examples will be provided throughout the entire course to help the students understand those different methodologies.

The course will be mainly lectures plus exercises. Light programming with R/Python will be needed in the class. There will also be guest lectures given by speakers in industry and other research institutions.

Health Informatics and Quality

Clinical information systems such as electronic health records are central to modern healthcare. This course introduces students to the complex infrastructure of clinical information systems, technologies used to improve healthcare quality and safety (including clinical decision support and electronic ordering), and policies surrounding health information technology.

Healthcare Leadership

The fundamental view that guides this course is that leadership in diverse healthcare focused organizations has shifted from being predominantly about “command and control” to being more oriented towards “cultivate and coordinate.” Enabling change in the changing health care environment requires leaders to have a compelling vision of the change they want to create, insight into themselves and others, a clear understanding of the contexts in which change occurs, and effective practices for producing shifts in current ways of doing things.

This course is will include leadership concepts, tools and skills, as well as reflection. Through the use of assessments, as well as a variety of readings, cases, and classroom exercises, this course will help students develop leadership capabilities in the context of their careers in healthcare organizations. We will also hear from the experience of experts in the field to help guide our thinking and discussion.

Healthcare Policy and Economics

This course provides an introduction to basic economic concepts associated with health care and current policy issues facing the US health care system. Topics will include the historical foundations of the health care system, how the health care sector differs from other markets, financing of health care and the role of government, the structure and functions of public and private health insurance, economic components of the delivery system, and understanding the challenges of health care reform. These topics will be examined from the view of payers, providers, and regulators, and the interactions of these stakeholders.

Intro to Study Design for Healthcare Leaders

This course is designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of health services research. Health services research is the discipline that measures the evaluations of interventions designed to improve healthcare. These interventions can include changes to the organization, delivery and financing of health care and various healthcare policies. Common outcome measures in health services research include (but are not limited to) patient safety, healthcare quality, healthcare utilization, and cost.

Leadership & High Performance Teams

Leadership & High Performance Teams is a course on the theory and practice of high performance in task‐performing groups. The aim of this first course in the program is to provide information and experiences that are useful as you work in your study teams, as well as being directly applicable to the teams you participate in and lead at work.

In this short course, we will use cases, experiential exercises, simulations, and Socratic class discussion. You will also be introduced to the Team Coaching component of the program.

Managerial Accounting and Reporting

This course is designed for future managers who want to use accounting information within their organizations to improve decision-making. The class is divided into three units: costs and analysis, costing systems, and decision making. In the first unit, we learn about cost definitions, behavior, estimation, and cost-volume-profit analysis. In the second section, we discuss the pros and cons of costing systems with an emphasis on accounting for manufacturing. Finally, we explore internal planning and decision making topics, such as budgeting, performance measurement, and outsourcing decisions. Instruction is a mixture of lecture and case discussion. Grading is based on three exams, short quizzes, and class contribution.

Managerial Finance

This course examines the decisions faced by corporate financial managers in their efforts to maximize the value of their firms. The basic principles and practices of corporate financial planning and management are discussed, including the underlying theories and their applications.

Specific topics include: the role of the financial manager, function of financial markets and intermediaries, capital markets, institutions, interest rates, types of financial instruments and their uses, valuation concepts, dividend discount models, capital budgeting, risk and return, cost of capital, and capital structure.

Managing & Leading in Organizations

This course is intended to expose Executive MBA/MS students to some of the major ideas and findings in the field of managing and leading in contemporary organizations. It is based on the proposition that leading well requires thinking well. Succeeding in any business leadership role requires you to think critically, and make quality decisions, even in the face of challenges such as imperfect/incomplete information, changing and unforeseen circumstances, and human nature in all of its complexity and unpredictability. This may be especially true for those working in demanding healthcare environments, in which the stakes are often high.

We will focus on three leadership competencies that are crucial for your success: 1) critical thinking and decision making, 2) smart collaborating with an eye toward creativity and change, and 3) the ability to motivate, influence, and negotiate. Critical thinking involves developing hypotheses about the causes of problems, using all the available evidence to test those hypotheses, and developing solutions that address those causes most effectively and efficiently. Knowing how to collaborate, negotiate and work together, is essential for getting to the best solution. But having the right answer is rarely good enough. Very often the right answers have to be sold. Thus, you will work on your ability to motivate and influence others through the merits of your analysis and your solution.

Major themes of this course focus on thinking and leading rationally; recognizing and avoiding reasoning flaws and the forces that make us most susceptible to such flaws; approaching business problems systematically and thoroughly; and producing a problem solution that is (a) well-reasoned; (b) likely to be well-received by ultimate decision makers; and (c) able to be implemented successfully. You will be introduced to, and then practice using, analytical frameworks that you can apply to any leadership challenge or opportunity – regardless of company or job function -- in order to solve problems and communicate your proposed solutions effectively. These are not only essential business leadership skills; they are life skills.

Managing Operations

Managerial operations examines the management of processes: operations that convert inputs into outputs. Topics include process improvement, queuing theory, productivity, constrained optimization, inventory management, quality management, service operations, supply chain management, and the role of manufacturing in the firm.

Stakeholders, Incentives, And Performance in The U.S. Healthcare System

This course provides an overview and analysis of incentives in the current US health care system for consumers/patients, health care providers, payers and insurers, and other stakeholders such as pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Discussion centers around how the medical care market differs from markets for other goods and services and how incentives interact to affect health care delivery and outcomes. We then use the lens of incentives to examine the rationale and consequences – both intended and unintended – of major reform models designed to align incentives with improving the quality and experience of care while containing the growth of health care costs.

Marketing

The course is designed to convey the key concepts of marketing and how they fit into the larger context of management strategy and decisions. Both the practical "how" and the fundamental "why" of marketing activities are covered. The goal is to provide sufficient understanding for those who will only need interaction with the marketing function and its managers, while at the same time communicating concepts and developing thought processes that can provide the foundation for further experience in marketing.

Microeconomics for Management

All functional areas of business—accounting, finance, marketing, and production—

employ microeconomic techniques and principles. The goal of this course is threefold. First, it teaches the economic techniques and principles utilized in the functional areas. Second, it introduces the notion of a market, and teaches the role of market forces in determining the opportunities facing individuals and firms. Third, it teaches you how to think like an economist.

The course is divided into three parts, where each part is then broken up into individual topics. Part I focuses on the basic ideas concerning how markets operate—in particular, markets where there are many sellers and each firm acts as a so-called “price taker.” Here we cover topics such as consumer behavior, costs of production, and the operation of perfectly competitive markets. Part II considers market power, i.e., what happens when each firm faces its own downward sloping demand curve rather than being a price taker. In this part, we cover monopolistic behavior and pricing strategies, as well as a number of subjects related to the marketing area. Part III considers additional topics including the problem of asymmetric information in insurance markets and the role of contracts in business decision making.

The course is designed so that students develop an approach to thinking about problems that is useful in making managerial decisions. Like learning to ride a bicycle, learning to think like an economist takes practice. Note that while the lectures emphasize economic intuition and are mostly graphical in nature, the exams require proficiency in algebra since you need to apply the tools discussed in the lecture to numerical exercises. Seeing how problems are approached in lecture or the notes will not, by itself, enable you to solve similar problems. The only way to become proficient at solving problems is to do them yourself. A number of practice problems and old exams are made available, and my recommendation is that you work hard on these problems before consulting the answer keys. One of the goals of the course is to have students sufficiently proficient with the material that they can apply microeconomic techniques and concepts to problems they face in other courses and in real business settings. The emphasis on numerical problems is employed to help achieve this goal.

Electives:

Design Thinking

This hands-on course will prepare you to be future innovators by teaching you Design Thinking, the human-centered design methodology pioneered by IDEO and Stanford school founder, David Kelley. You will work on a team with peers from different backgrounds so as to experience the importance of “radical collaboration.” All teams will work on the same challenge, and you will be asked to design an innovative solution to this complex problem. We will discuss how to take the method you learn on this challenge and apply it to future challenges in health care and beyond.

Communication Skills for Managers

Professional communication skills are a foundational element for career success. They allow executives to engage effectively in different contexts because they are the basis for building trusting relationships, convincing tough stakeholders, or showing confidence at senior level.

This course will enable students to grow and develop their professional communication skills through evaluation, analysis, practice and feedback.

New Venture Management

Entrepreneurship is an important attribute of any thriving economy and indeed any thriving business. During this ‘age of disruption’ it has become a critical topic. Many would argue that the only way forward is to once again harness the entrepreneurial spirit to rebuild and recreate the economic engines that support the high standard of living to which we have all become accustomed, or to which we aspire. In few other industries is this imperative more prominent – with healthcare costs spiraling out of control, and new technological leaps forward possible, entrepreneurial thinking and knowhow are key to success going forward. This short course is designed to provide insight, skills and tools to help on this front.


 

*Subject to Change