Interview with Federico Lega, the new MIHMEP, Master of International Health Care Management, Economics and Policy Director.
We live in a world between highly technical specializations and big administrative structures, consolidated services and a demand for innovation, the welfare state and the market. The healthcare system is becoming more and more global and diversified, and is facing momentous demographic, social and economic challenges.
We discussed this with Federico Lega, the new Director of the Master of International Health Care Management, Economics and Policy (MIHMEP) at SDA Bocconi. A program designed specifically for the world of healthcare, answering the need for a new managerial culture.
The MIHMEP seems to be unique at an international level. Is that so? What makes it so special?
It is true. The uniqueness of MIHMEP lies in our strong international character based on three elements. First, the students in class: they come from more than 30 countries – basically from all five continents – so it is a truly international Master’s program. This distinguishes it especially from Anglo-Saxon programs, which tend to attract local students. The program is also international because it is built on the three dimensions of global health, the pharma and medical technology industry and healthcare management, which inevitably attract a wide audience: the first is global by definition, while the other two are constantly expanding and becoming more international.
The international character is also reflected by the locations of our graduates, the Master’s second unique point. Our alumni work everywhere, from Australia, Canada or Japan to Burkina Faso or Nigeria in cooperation projects.
The third element is our faculty. Besides the large number of local teaching staff – over 50 members from SDA Bocconi School of Management and from Bocconi University are full-time healthcare teachers – there are also 20 members from international universities and business schools.
What are the other strengths of the program?
As I mentioned, the Master’s program is based on the three pillars of global health, the pharma and medical technology industry and healthcare management. It goes beyond economic, policy and management issues, and gives a whole vision of the healthcare system and its mechanisms, in addition to providing the ability to build a specialization in a preferred area. The program also benefits from SDA Bocconi’s long experience in executive training, with various courses of different lengths in healthcare. Another thing to consider are the strong ties with CERGAS - Centre for Research on Health and Social Care Management, a true think tank. With a history that spans back almost 40 years, CERGAS is a point of reference at the European level and it has a huge impact on production of first-hand knowledge that is then transferred to the Master’s program.
Another strong point is the tried and tested experience of MIHMEP: since its inception 17 years ago it has understood more and more the needs of the different professional roles that had to be retrained to update their skills to continue working in healthcare.
Please explain why a healthcare professional that wants to strengthen his or her managerial skills should choose the MIHMEP as opposed to an MBA with healthcare specialization.
An MBA would surely offer the methods and tools needed to be professionally efficient within an organization. This aspect is also a core part of MIHMEP, as it is a management program and thus offers all the hard skills (building and implementation of strategies, use of programming and control tools, evaluation of performance, etc.) and soft skills (relationship building, team and conflict management, etc.). However, our program’s strength lies in its total specialization in the healthcare sector. It offers all the tools needed to move in this realm, among healthcare companies, industry, agencies and regulation institutions. It does so by covering all the specific and crucial topics in a historic scenario: population management, inveteracy, patient-focused hospitals, and market access for the pharmaceutical industry, just to mention a few.
Moreover, MIHMEP develops the “emotional intelligence” necessary to relate effectively with different professional roles within the sector – from doctors to administrative staff – and that necessary sensibility to work in a world that must navigate technical, organizational and political issues, universal values and managerial needs.
SDA Bocconi School of Management