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HSM Director's Corner

Insights from Kevin Schulman
Director of Health Sector Management Program
The Fuqua School of Business

It is important for us to stay current with the health sector issues of the day, I want our HSM students to be aware of the implications of topics and discussions outside these Fuqua walls, and formulate their own voice. I hope you will find these topics equally engaging. I am open to exploring your topics of interest so send them along.

Health Sector Management
November 2, 2009


Health Systems Curriculum and Competencies

Health Systems Curriculum and Competencies

Many different organizations have identified management skills and development as critical issues in crafting effective global health programs. In almost all countries (including the US), physicians get little or no management training to help them run clinics or hospitals. With a few exceptions, business schools have not placed great emphasis on this issue. Finally, public health schools have included management education on their agenda, but have largely focused on management needs in the public sector. In other words, the core curricula for almost all training programs for those preparing to enter the health care field are deficient in developing the leaders we need for health care.

To address this issue, the HSM program and the Global Health Institute are hosting a three-day meeting of medical, business and public health schools from 15 countries including 26 international participants focused on health systems strengthening. The participants include deans and senior leaders of educational institutions in Asia, Latin America and Africa, as well as the World Bank and several NGOs. In addition, we’ll be joined by faculty from Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and UC Berkley. The meeting, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and HSM, will address the educational needs of degree candidates in the medical, business, and public health fields.

The agenda for the meeting will focus on curricular goals, teaching tools and methods, required competencies and evaluation methods. The agenda is organized as a workshop with breakout sessions over the course of the meeting. We hope to have a thorough discussion of the types of skills we need to include in degree programs feeding the health sector, and the best ways to develop these skills in our students. We hope much of what we’ve learned from our development of the HSM program over the last decade will be applicable to this discussion.

Major results that will arise from the meeting are a better understanding of the educational needs and goals of the different institutions, and recommendations for supporting the health systems competency agenda. In addressing the issue of management education, why should the three different types of schools have different perspectives on the core issue of training? Can we broaden the focus of all of these programs to address the health care system as a whole (rather than from a single institutional perspective) and address management as a robust discipline rather than as a mere “exposure” topic?

Our goal is for this session to serve as a working meeting to develop a set of recommendations for moving this agenda forward. We hope to produce a summary document for public distribution. In addition, we hope to broaden HSM’s connections to a broad group of health leaders from around the world. 

While some HSM faculty will be participants in this session, we’re also going to use this meeting to help bring the broader Fuqua and Duke communities into our discussions.  Several Fuqua students have volunteered their time to assist with the meeting. We’ve set up specific meetings for participants with Duke faculty, and have invited specific Duke faculty and students to meet our workshop participants. Finally, we’ve invited four meeting participants to a public panel on health care reform around the globe on Tuesday, November 3, from 5:30-7:00pm in the Connally Classroom at Fuqua.  This session will also be co-sponsored by the Fuqua Health Care Club and is open to the entire Duke community. It will be recorded for our distance students as well.

Both Fuqua and Duke are very excited to host this important session here. It’s a great honor for all of us to be selected for this. I hope you’ll have some opportunity to benefit from this session during the week.



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