What is the Master of Medical Management degree (MMM)?
The MMM — essentially an MBA for physicians — is targeted towards physicians with leadership potential, who are already in administrative positions, or plan on taking on an administrative role. The degree confers not only credentials for leadership roles, it also makes it possible for physician executives to command higher salaries. According to the 2013 Physician Executive Compensation Survey, physician executives with an MMM earned $23,000 more than those without a master's degree.
MMM Degree vs. Other Health/Business Administration Degrees
MMM programs consist of courses (e.g. health policy, organizational management, health economics, operations management, health finance, quality management, health care law) that are very similar to those offered in other health/business administration masters programs (e.g. MHA, MBA). The key difference between the MMM and other relevant master's degrees is that the MMM is exclusively targeted to physicians, whereas the other degrees are open to a much wider range of suitably qualified healthcare professionals (including physicians). As such, would-be physician executives have the choice of pursuing the physician-oriented MMM degree or one of the above-mentioned options.
MMM Programs/ Physician-Oriented Master's Programs
MMM Programs are currently offered at two universities — the University of Southern California and Carnegie Mellon University. Both degree programs consist of a combination of traditional and online courses. A particular advantage to working physicians is that this type of degree can be completed in as little as 12 months, a shorter time than similar master's programs such as the MHA and MBA.
The University of Southern California (USC) (Los Angeles)
The 12-month University of Southern California (USC) MMM program consists of four, seven-day on-site sessions. Off-campus modules, projects and assignments are covered between the residential sessions. The overarching theme underpinning the USC MMM program is leadership.
Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
The 18-month MMM degree program at Carnegie Mellon University includes four 4.5 day on-site sessions and nine distance-learning courses. The focus of the Carnegie Mellon program is leadership, strategy development, and information technology.
University of Tennessee (Knoxville)
A third master's program worthy of mention, and comparable to the MMM is the 12-month Physician Executive MBA at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville). This program consists of four one-week on-site periods, and approximately 24 hours a week of distance learning. As with the other degree programs, the focus of the University of Tennessee program is leadership.
While the MMM (or similar) is the ideal degree for the would-be physician executive, it is currently offered at a limited number of universities. If you can't attend these institutions, good alternatives are the MHA and MBA, offered at numerous universities, and discussed at length in other articles on this site.
- The MMM degree — a MBA for physicians — is a specialized master's degree targeted specifically to physicians who want to be physician executives /healthcare leaders.
- Two additional advantages of these physician-oriented master's programs is that they offer a combination of traditional and online courses. Moreover, they can be completed in between 12 and 18 months, a shorter period of time than equivalent master's degrees.
- Since the MMM/ physician-oriented master's degree is currently offered in just a few US universities, geographical constraints may make other relevant master's programs a more viable option.
Clare Xanthos is a writer, editor and researcher residing in Marietta, GA. She holds a PhD in Social Policy from the London School of Economics, and is the author of numerous articles in the field of public health. She recently served as an editor for a groundbreaking book relating to social determinants of health.