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Looking at Health Care through New Eyes

EMBA equips Dr. Shriji Patel for greater management responsibilities

Shriji Patel
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2021

Since 2016, Dr. Shriji Patel has served as a vitreoretinal surgeon who also oversees a clinical research team at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute. Recently, he was promoted to an additional position as Director of the Vanderbilt Vitreoretinal Fellowship.

Like many other highly trained physicians, Dr. Patel recognized that “effective healthcare delivery does not occur in a silo. The most indispensable physicians,” he says, “are those who can treat patients while simultaneously managing their staff, negotiating contracts, and achieving operational efficiencies. Learning these skills requires rigorous, guided training.”

That’s what he decided to pursue through the Executive MBA program. “Despite the rigors of my current schedule,” he says, “I knew that achieving my career goals would rely on getting valuable leadership training.”

His wife, whom he met while in medical school, fully supported the idea. “She thinks I am addicted to learning,” says Dr. Patel with a smile, “and was not at all surprised when I suggested going back to school.” As he neared graduation, he says, “I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I have been impressed by the quality of the educational experience and dedication of the professors. The most valuable learning has come from my classmates. It was refreshing to be able to interact with such a talented, varied group of individuals. Normally, I spend my time only around healthcare professionals. Interacting with professionals outside of my traditional sphere has been rewarding on both a personal and professional level.”

I knew that achieving my career goals would rest on getting valuable leadership training.