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Business in Medicine Track

The Business in Medicine Track at Baystate offers residents an opportunity to be exposed to a wide variety of medical administrative experiences.  The track consists of participation in a monthly lecture series that covers essential topics over a two-year time-span.   Residents in the business track have the opportunity to actively participate on at least one hospital management committee, including Pharmacy/Therapeutics, Technology Assessment, Critical Care Practice, and Medical Service Performance Improvement.  

In addition, there is a one-month elective that permits shadowing opportunities within medical administration at Baystate Health.   These administrative experiences are based in Baystate’s three hospitals, at Baystate Health System headquarters, within Baystate’s group practice (Baystate Medical Practices), and in specialized areas including medical quality, medical management, patient safety, clinical informatics, pharmacy and research. 

We emphasize leadership and communication skills, as well as learning the language of medical administration.  The curriculum includes modules on billing and coding, health care finance and human resources.  While the track is not a substitute for fellowship training in administration or a Masters in Business Administration, the curriculum does cover topics typical of an MBA program.  We envision the majority of our graduates will seek for progressive management career opportunities while maintaining a clinical practice.  

Components of the track include:

  • Monthly seminars on business issues in medicine (see list below)
  • Formative experience during a one-month clinical elective shadowing physician leaders and administrators in the daily conduct of hospital, group practice, and health system initiatives
  • Required reading including classic management texts and selected management journal articles.
  • Discussions on the different ethical perspectives of business versus medicine.
  • Mentored scholarly expectations.
  • Exposure to quality and safety initiatives.
  • Teamwork training via assignments to various hospital and health system committees.
  • Leadership skills development with the BH management team and practice directors.
  • Opportunity and mentorship for independent study in fields of interest.

The Director of the Business in Medicine Track is Thomas Higgins., MD, MBA, Vice-Chairman for Medical Affairs in the Department of Medicine.  Dr. Higgins’s management experience includes running a rural federally-funded health center, directing the 55-bed Cardiothoracic Intensive Care unit at Cleveland Clinic; Division Chief of Critical Care at Baystate, Medical Director of Inpatient Informatics, Medical Director of Case Management, and interim chairmanship of the Department of Medicine at Baystate.  

He serves on numerous national and regional boards, including the Governor’s Council of the American College of Physicians, Massachusetts Chapter.  He earned his M.B.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts in 2002, and his Certified Physician Executive (CPE) credentials from the American College of Physician Executives.  

Contact Linda Baillargeon in the Medical Education Office at (413)-794-4373 or by email at, or track director Thomas Higgins by e-mail at with any questions you may have regarding this track.

Director of the Business in Medicine Track

Dr. Thomas Higgins

Thomas Higgins, MD, MBA

Email Dr. Higgins

Repeating Two-Year Schedule for 
Business in Medicine Monthly Lectures

  • Financial Reporting & Control
  • Public Relations
  • Leadership
  • Risk Management
  • Organizational Behavior/Teambuilding
  • Negotiation
  • Marketing
  • Quality and Safety
  • Information Technology
  • Credentialing and Privileges
  • Operations Management
  • Recruiting and Retention
  • Nursing Operations
  • LEAN & Effecting Change
  • Human Resource Issues
  • CMMS & other Government Regulatory Agencies
  • Compensation & VC metrics
  • Benchmarking Outcomes
  • Billing, Coding, Compliance
  • Strategy
  • How Budgets are Created
  • Health Insurance/HNE
  • Financing Health Care
  • Accountable Care Organizations

Suggested Reading

  1. Bolman, LG, Deal TE: Reframing Organizations? Artistry, Choice and Leadership 2nd ed, Jossey-Bass, Inc., San Francisco, CA 1997 
  2. Browne MN, Keeley S: Asking the Right Questions – A Guide to Critical Thinking 6th ed, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2001 
  3. Curry W, Linney BJ (eds): Essentials of Medical Management, ACPE, Tampa, FL, 2003 
  4. Few S: Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data, O’Reilly, Media, Inc., Sebastopol, CA, 2006 
  5. Jacobs P: The Economics of Health and Medical Care 4th ed, Aspen Publishers, Inc, Gaithersburg, MD, 1997 
  6. Kastor JA: Specialty Care in the Era of Managed Care. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 2005 
  7. Klein G: Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1990 
  8. Rath T, Vonchie B: Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow. Gallup Press, New York, NY, 2008