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KNOXVILLE –- For four consecutive years, UT’s Physician Executive MBA (PEMBA) program has been ranked the No. 1 MBA program exclusively for physicians by Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician magazines.

Rankings, announced in the May 7 issues, were based on five criteria: length of program, tuition cost, days on campus, number of years since program inception and number of graduates.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, PEMBA’s 246 physician leaders have attended from 39 U.S. states; five other countries (Saudi Arabia, Germany, Turkey, Korea, and Canada); and Puerto Rico. The program has the most diverse student population at the university.

“Healthcare came late to the quality conversation,” Program Director Mike Stahl said. “But when it did arrive, it jumped in with both feet. Physicians are thirsting for knowledge about how to run patient-centered practices that improve patient outcomes, eliminate redundancies, shorten patient wait times, put an end to reworks, simplify paperwork and save space.

“UT has pioneered a unique way to deliver a top-notch business education for globally based physician executives by using a combination of on-campus residences with Internet-based distance learning,” he said. “Our consistency in the rankings confirms that we have designed a program that has responded to our students’ needs. We are honored again to have been named to this prestigious list.”

Modern Physician magazine is a premier journal for physicians. Complete rankings information is available at (registration is required to access rankings information).

The PEMBA program, offered within the College of Business Administration’s Center for Executive Education, blends four, one-week residences with online interactive learning. It is the only MBA program of its kind, organized so that doctors can stay fully engaged in their careers while earning their degrees.

Along with a curriculum of planning, entrepreneurship, ethics, finance, information design and leadership, PEMBA physicians also get a healthy dose of lean management principles that they can apply immediately to their own workplace initiatives.

PEMBA has a roster of graduates who have made their schooling pay off by improving the quality of patient care.

One graduate has helped an emergency room in a large urban hospital in Michigan reduce admit time from 23 hours to 90 minutes. Another has helped an endoscopy center in Ohio reduce wait time for cancer screening results from seven days to 48 hours. Yet another has helped a breast diagnostic center in Palo Alto, Calif., reduce diagnostic time between lump discovery and lab results from four weeks to two days.

Cindy Raines, (865) 974-4359,
Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,