Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rockhurst Launches Dual Physical Therapy and Business Degree


Rockhurst University is adding a degree program that is only the second of its kind in the nation. Rockhurst’s Department of Physical Therapy Education and the Helzberg School of Management are proud to announce the creation of a dual Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master of Business Administration program (DPT/MBA).

The new and fully integrated dual-degree program was designed to give Rockhurst graduates the competitive edge they needed to meet the emerging demands of the health care industry.

Brian McKiernan, PT, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Physical Therapy Education, said more physical therapists are starting private practices without necessarily having the knowledge they need to fully succeed in a small business. In addition, many therapists are taking leadership roles within hospitals and other healthcare companies and could benefit from additional exposure to business fundamentals.

“Healthcare is changing so much that you often need two skillsets, especially if you are working in a leadership position,” McKiernan said.  “This dual-degree program will help further enhance what are already areas of strength within our PT program and the Helzberg School of Management.”

The new program’s curriculum was designed to help those students who want to run their own clinic, take on leadership roles for larger health systems or help create future legislation for the medical industry – all the while gaining the clinical and business skills they need to succeed.

Many of the business courses in the program center on issues in the health care industry. Students will be introduced to Medicare and Medicaid regulations as well as health care policy and politics. They will also become well versed in marketing tactics for the healthcare industry.

“Rockhurst University has positioned itself right at the forefront of a growing trend,” said Martin Stack, Ph.D., professor of management for the Herzberg School of Management. “More and more dual-degree programs with an emphasis on the healthcare industry are emerging. I think that this is a view of where the future is going. At this stage, Rockhurst offers a unique program that will give physical therapists a competitive edge.”

More information about the new dual-degree program can be found on the DPT/MBA Overview page of the Rockhurst web site.