Physician Leadership Development Program

PLDP Overview



Welcome to the Boonshoft School of Medicine Physician Leadership Development Program (PLDP).  At our school, we believe that physician leaders of the future will be required to have a broad perspective on health and health care that is innovative, proactive and integrates knowledge from a variety of disparate fields.  We know that health disparities, inequities, economic sustainability and concerns about quality and patient safety challenge the effective delivery of health care in the United States and abroad. 

The PLDP trains physician leaders of the future by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to face these challenges head-on. Our five-year program facilitates the completion of either an M.P.H. or M.B.A. degree while completing medical school. We also provide a unique opportunity for students to participate in a longitudinal clinical experience of their choice during their graduate year that integrates medical and graduate experiences and provides opportunities for community-based research and projects.  This dual-degree training has had a significant impact on graduates’ acceptance into residencies of their choice at many prestigious programs around the United States.

Medical students apply and are accepted into the PLDP during the fall of their first year. No previous public health or business experience or education is required.

Physician Leadership Development Program


PLDP Mission

To develop advocates for leadership in medicine, health systems and population health through education, communication, collaboration and experience.

PLDP Vision

As students in the Physician Leadership Development Program pursuing integrated degrees in medicine, public health and business administration, we envision an educational community of global citizens devoted to leadership development, community building, advocacy and innovation.

Physician Leaders

Become a Physician Leader

Kate Conway, M.D., M.P.H.
Kate Conway, M.D., M.P.H.

“Having a dual-degree has shaped my career thoroughly. As a family medicine physician M.D./M.P.H., I feel better equipped to approach my patients not only with the individual band aid they may need at the moment, but also to actively work on healing and problem-solving with the community they know and need. My clinical skills and practical research methods allow me to partner with both local and global populations working on critical issues. I am grateful and excited for the work I am invited to participate in and appreciate the variety of professional activities available to me because of my dual degree.”

—Kate Conway, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of family medicine and Family Medicine Clerkship director

Are you interested in the health of populations in addition to individual patients? Are you interested in understanding how health systems can work better? Do you want to take an active role in improving the quality of health care in the United States and abroad? If so, YOU should consider the PLDP.

What is the PLDP?

The Physician Leadership Development Program coordinates the completion of either an M.D./M.B.A. or M.D./M.P.H. dual degree while providing leadership training and experiences.

“The PLDP has the potential to create positive change in the health care profession, and community as a whole, through the people it produces. By gathering together a group of ambitious people who generally share a common interest in improving the current state of health care as physician leaders, and exposing them to areas of knowledge most medical students go without, the program creates physicians who not only know how to medically treat patients, but who also have a respect for the business and financial side of health care.”

—Evan Sommer, M.D. Candidate, M.B.A. Candidate, PLDP Class of 2020

Why would I need a second degree in addition to the medical degree?

The rapidly changing environment of health care requires individuals who can see the big picture, integrate knowledge from disparate fields, lead others and be proactive. A master’s degree in business or public health widens the physician’s perspective when interacting with patients, and offers opportunities beyond clinical medicine in such fields as administration, education, and policy.

How is it done?

M.B.A. students may begin foundational graduate coursework online during their first and second years of medical school. M.P.H. students begin graduate coursework following completion of the USLME Step 1 board exam. Master’s degree requirements are completed during a graduate year, which also includes a longitudinal clinical clerkship that integrates students’ medical and graduate experiences. The PLDP director and program coordinator are available to support and assist students.

The M.B.A. degree is offered by the Wright State University Raj Soin College of Business Master of Business Administration Program. The M.P.H. degree is offered by the Wright State University Master of Public Health Program. Coursework is completed in either a traditional classroom format or online. Longitudinal clinical experiences as well as M.P.H. practicums are community-based in clinics, organizational offices or other health facilities.

When do I need to apply?

Each PLDP cohort is selected during the fall of the first year of medical school. 


M.D./M.B.A. Degree Program

M.D./M.B.A students learn not only the science of medicine, but the business of health care. This will be essential for future physician leaders interested in health care provision, health care finance and quality improvement in health systems and patient outcomes.

​​“The M.B.A. or the M.P.H. is a way to distinguish yourself in a competitive field. I was asked quite a bit about it while on the interview trail. I do think the M.B.A. helps any physician have a better understanding of business of medicine and also provides the framework for strategic decision making.  You have to understand the accounting, finance, and business strategy to help any healthcare enterprise make well-informed financial decision.  Day to day I think I learned a lot about managing teams and office management that has been helpful for me. Someday I hope to maybe transition into the hospital leadership and I think it will be important to have.” – Thomas Hagele, M.D., M.B.A., PLDP Class of 2012, Dermatology

Program Curriculum

The M.B.A. curriculum is 33-48 semester hours. Medical students without previous business education may need to take one to five foundation courses in addition to core courses.


Students in good academic standing who have not taken undergraduate business courses should apply to the M.D./M.B.A. program during their first year of medical school. Please contact the PLDP Coordinator for more information.

Request Information about the M.D./M.B.A. Degree

Have questions or need more information? Just fill out the form and we will respond! (Items with asterisks are required.)


M.D./M.P.H. Degree Program

M.D./M.P.H. students learn to think about medicine from a broader perspective than just a single patient. They focus on how the health of a population affects the health of individuals, and vice versa. They learn about reducing health disparities and increasing health equity through prevention, education and policy.

“My M.P.H. has greatly benefited me as a professional. This degree has given me a broader outlook on the healthcare field and a better understanding of how public health and medicine are intertwined. I think more critically about my patients' backgrounds and how that affects their health status and I want to know more about the behaviors and environment. Healthcare is expensive, and as a student learner in an academic teaching hospital, where tests and labs are ordered often without pause, I have noticed that I question these decisions more frequently and attempt to learn more of the ‘why’ and ‘how’ this will change our management before ordering a test.” – Neil Knight, M.D., M.P.H., PLDP Class of 2018, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

Program Curriculum

The M.P.H. curriculum is 42 semester hours of in-class coursework, an applied practice experience and an applied project/problem paper.


Students in good academic standing may apply to the M.D./M.P.H. degree program during their first two years of medical school.

Request Information about the M.D./M.P.H. Program

Have questions or need more information? Just fill out the form and we will respond! (Items with asterisks are required.)


Clinical Investigation Concentration

The Pharmacology and Toxicology department’s Clinical Investigation MD/MS program is designed for BSOM medical students who want to gain experience with patient-centered clinical research through hands-on training with the clinical physicians and staff at the Pharmacology Translational Unit, a state-of-the-art clinical trials facility located in the Wright State Physicians building on the WSU campus. This program also provides advanced pharmacology training.  The program is competitive, with a limited number of students accepted into this program each year.

The M.D./M.S. program in Pharmacology/Toxicology is a training program that perfectly complements medical school education by equipping future physicians with essential leadership and research skills. Through classes such as laboratory management, the program reinforces crucial professional skills such as team management and professional communication. The research arm of the program gave me hands-on experience in all facets of pharmacology research: basic science, translational research, and clinical research. These opportunities allowed me to take multiple research projects from conception to publication and make a meaningful contribution to my future field of dermatology.

In addition to academics, the leadership of the M.S. program has been essential to my success throughout medical school. I firmly believe that the MS program has directly helped me become the health care professional I am today, and I am thankful for all of the opportunities the program has afforded me over the years.” – Jaree R. Naqvi, M.D./M.S. Graduate 2020 

Program Curriculum

The M.S. curriculum for the Clinical Investigation Concentration is 26 semester hours of PTX coursework with students receiving 4 credit hours from acceptable BSOM coursework taken over two semesters, between year one and year two, and year two and year three, of medical school. Completion of the required curriculum will earn students a Master of Science in Pharmacology and Toxicology.


Medical students in good academic standing may apply to the M.D./M.S. program in their first year of medical school.


Have questions or need additional information? Just fill out the form and we will respond! (Items with asterisk are required.) 


Admission to the Physician Leadership Development Program

Students accepted into the Boonshoft School of Medicine are eligible to apply to the PLDP. Medical students apply and are accepted into the PLDP during the fall of their first year. No previous public health or business experience or education is required. PLDP applicants are not required to take standardized admissions tests (GRE or GMAT). 

To begin your application to the PLDP: 


To begin your application to the M.B.A. or M.P.H. programs:

Last edited on 06/01/2020.