Should a PT Get an MBA? Is Physical Therapy and MBA a Good Mix?

Physical Therapy MBAIt’s becoming more common to hear this question: should a Physical Therapist get an MBA?  

Full disclosure: I should start by saying that I am a PT with an MBA – or more like an MBA who became a PT. I started working in finance in 2009 and completed my MBA – the I went back to PT school in 2013.  

Despite my unorthodox path, I hope to answer the question: should a Physical Therapist get an MBA?

The short answer: No

Ok, I know you’re interested in advancing your career and getting an MBA seems like a great way to do that. It’s a great accomplishment, sure. It looks nice on your resume. But what is it that you want to do with an MBA that you can’t do right now?  The answer is likely NOTHING.

If you are interested in becoming an entrepreneur, then start creating valuable content today.

Do you want to start a business, then start learning about small business.

Do you want to build your business knowledge and develop professionally, great! Start devouring books, podcasts and blogs, and start producing!

You’ll gain 10x more by doing than you will by sitting in a classroom. I guarantee this.

Why A PT Thinks They Should Get an MBA?

1. You want to change careers.

First off, I’d still advise you to pump the breaks on signing up to get an MBA. If you are burnt out on being a Physical Therapist and want to get out of the field, then just change careers. Don’t use anther graduate degree as a way out.

Sure, an MBA may be useful in another career, but you don’t need it to enter into the field of business.

2. You want to Get an MBA for Hospital Leadership Positions?

For the PT who is interested in moving up in a hospital system or another larger organization: An MBA will set you apart, but will not guarantee you the position or promotion you are looking for.

The hospital or organization is looking for someone with leadership experience. An MBA does not equal leadership, management, or supervisory experience. You can get all these skills without an MBA.

Is An MBA Worth It?

Too many PTs are graduating with $150,000+ in student loans. Adding $25,000+ to your debt to get an MBA shouldn’t be a priority.  Focus on paying off your debt and developing actual skills that will transform your career.

  • Have you started building your personal brand?
  • What business books have you read recently?
  • Are you actively working on a side hustle?

I get that not every PT wants to be an entrepreneur. You might be thinking, “But I really just want to work my way up in a hospital and an MBA seems like the best way to get there.”

I get it. I enjoy learning too and getting an MBA was a goal I wanted to achieve soon after I finished undergrad.

But you have to be honest with yourself here. Are you doing it because you just don’t know what else to do? Are you doing it for the prestige of having “an MBA”.  Do you really want to be successful in the business side of things but feel like an imposter?

I want to emphasize that you are on the right path by wanting to invest in yourself.  Just be careful not to take the easy route of enrolling in an MBA program. You’ll accomplish so much more by taking action than you will in checking off another degree.

I’d love to hear your actual goals that are leading you to feel like you need an MBA.

Tim Fraticelli DPT, MBA, CFP®

Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of PTProgress.com. He loves to teach PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your financial health.

3 thoughts on “Should a PT Get an MBA? Is Physical Therapy and MBA a Good Mix?”

  1. @Skyler, I know this is late, but I have an MPH and worked at my university before applying for early decision. I was accepted to the only school I applied to the first time I applied. I will certainly say having a graduate degree does not hurt your chances of getting in—and most likely significantly helps them. However, I wouldn’t recommend getting a graduate degree before you go for a DPT if you know that is the route you want to go.

    Reply
  2. Do you feel that it would be a good start if a person wanted to get a MBA and a DPT concurrently, there are a few programs that offer the ability to get both at the same time so you would be learning about Buisness and PT at the same time, getting a feel for both before starting to build your brand or gain experience.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.