The students selected for the Health Care Major have many things in common beyond being accomplished academically: they are innovative, creative, risk-takers, curious about the world, concerned about other people, and very interesting in their own right. Some of them have already made commitments to professions such as medicine, engineering, and nursing. Many already have or are working on other graduate degrees, from a masters to a PhD. All have had interesting work experiences – in the health care world certainly, but also in many other fields. Many have backgrounds in the sciences or engineering, but the liberal arts, economics, and business are well represented. In short – while there is no one profile that clearly defines the Health Care student, they share a desire to have a significant impact on the delivery of products, technology, and services to patients. Their differences, as well as their similarities, are what makes them an unusually interesting, productive, and committed group, as reading through the short bios below will demonstrate.
Program Enrichment Opportunities
Health Care Club
The Health Care Club is one of more than 35 professional development clubs affiliated with the Wharton Graduate Association. The Club serves as the major organizing vehicle for HCM student-sponsored activities and represents student interests to the Health Care Department faculty. Key events organized by the Club include a health care speaker series, career advice panels, and social events throughout the year, culminating in an end- of-year party complete with skits, roasts, and sentimental toasts. Students take leadership roles in the Club through chairing committees and initiating new activities. Club officers are elected each year by the student body. In addition to the Health Care Club, HCM students have more than 100 professional and special interest clubs to choose from at Wharton. The Consulting, Finance, Private Equity, Marketing, Penn Biotech, and Entrepreneurs Clubs are popular selections for HCM students who wish to link their health care focus to broader interest groups. For more information on the Health Care Club, please visit http://www.whartonhealthcareclub.org
The Mentor Program
The Mentor Program matches HCM students with senior executives in the health care industry who have specifically agreed to meet with and advise students. Students are able to rely on their mentors for a wide range of needs including providing access to professional networks, advice on career paths and specific job offers, and substantive knowledge about the health care field. Mentors provide the HCM Program with biographical information and a summary of areas of expertise. HCM students then select a mentor who can best advise on areas of interest.
Wharton Health Care Business Conference
The Wharton Health Care Business Conference (WHCBC) was established by the students of the HCM Program in 1995. Entirely organized by students, the Conference takes place every year and has grown to become an important forum for the exchange of ideas between executives from all parts of the health care industry and academia. With more than 600 attendees, the Conference allows students from Wharton and other MBA programs to meet and network with health care leaders from throughout the US and beyond. The Conference has attracted generous sponsorship and an impressive Advisory Board. The majority of students in the Program are involved in its organization, chairing panels or raising funds or managing logistics. Of the many student-run conferences at Wharton, WHCBC is considered one of the most consistently successful. For information on conference speakers and registration, please visit http://www.whcbc.org
Health Care Board Fellows
The Health Care Board Fellows Program was established by the students of the Program in 2006. First-year HCM students have the opportunity to serve as “Board Observers/Visitors” on a health care non-profit board for a term of at least twelve months. This program is intended to meet the needs of HCM students who are both personally and/or professionally interested in health care social sector leadership. Program participants will gain firsthand experience as observers/visitors on the boards of socially responsible non-profit organizations dedicated to health care pursuits. 2010-2011 sponsors include The American Heart Association, BreastCancer.org, CADE, Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Community Volunteers in Medicine, Engage with Grace, Go4theGoal Foundation, HealthRight International (formerly Doctors of World), Hospital of University of Pennsylvania, Mercy Hospital System, PennLIFE (Living Independently For Elders), Philadelphia Assisted Living Association, Philadelphia Association of Nonprofit Senior Services, and Power Up Gambia.
Penn Biotech Group
Penn Biotech Group is a student-run, cross-disciplinary club based at the University of Pennsylvania with the mission of promoting education and awareness regarding the many facets of biotechnology, including science, business, law, and medicine. The club draws members and expertise from the larger life sciences community of Southeastern Pennsylvania, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs at Penn, including the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, The Wharton School of Business, the Law School and Medical School. HCM students with an interest in life sciences are active members of PBG, serving as leaders and committee chairs of key programs sponsored by the group. Visit the website for the Penn Biotech Group here.
Wharton Global Health Volunteers
The Wharton Global Health Volunteers was established by the students of the HCM Program in 1998. The Program is designed to give students of the HCM Program an opportunity to apply their skills and expertise to discrete service projects in public health systems with severely limited resources. Projects are scoped to fit a 2 to 3 week in-country experience plus the requisite preparation time. WHIVP has developed an ongoing partnership with Doctors of the World and Aravind Eye Hospital. New partner organizations are actively sought by the program leadership. 2006-2007 Projects were completed in Kitale Kenya, Gaborone Botswana, Dar-Es-Salaam Tanzania, Capetown South Africa, India and Uganda. Participation in these projects provide students with life-changing experiences and first-hand involvement with the practicalities of improving the management of health care services in countries where there are overwhelming needs and scant resources.
Each year the HCM faculty presents the Kaiser Family Foundation Award, The Robert Eilers Award and The Academic Excellence Award to graduating HCM students who were exceptional in the classroom and who have made outstanding contributions to the life of the HCM Program. Students play an important role in the selection process by writing letters of nomination for classmates who they believe deserve recognition for the quality of their colleagueship and their impact on the community. The Awards are presented at the annual HCM Wharton Graduation Day Brunch attended by all HCM graduating students and their families. This presentation and the celebration brunch embody the spirit of community and comradeship that exists among the HCM students.