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New Opportunities & Impacting The Healthcare Industry: Why Dentists Are Doing MBAs

As healthcare management has become ever more important, dentists are enrolling in MBAs to lead to new opportunities and have an impact on the future of the industry


Mon Aug 22 2022

If you’re a healthcare specialist looking to expand your business acumen and managerial skills, then studying an MBA could be the right choice. 

Learning key MBA skills can open doors in the industry: you could land managerial and consulting roles, or even data and technology-driven jobs that weren't available to you before. 

Take Dr Neeladri Verma and Dr Sangeeta Bhuyan, two dental specialists who, after studying the MBA program at The University of Hong Kong Business School (HKU), transitioned into healthcare consulting and project management. 

In their new roles they hope to channel their business skills and specialist expertise to have an impact on the wider healthcare industry. 

Why the HKU MBA?

After becoming a qualified dentist, Neeladri worked for three years at Clove Dental, India’s largest corporate dental chain, where she learned a  3447592b04ee5966b882c66dca59ede0ca4ab278.jpg wealth of technical and practical dentistry skills. She decided to pursue an MBA to expand her knowledge and business perspective. 

“I was keen to learn the management skills and business frameworks that could be used to tackle various systemic challenges in the healthcare industry,” she says. 

Feeling that she hadn’t had much chance to network or explore the business world, Neeladri also wanted to gain the global exposure that came with studying in a diverse business hub like Hong Kong. 

She’d get the opportunity to experience first-hand both Eastern and Western business cultures by studying specialization tracks in London, New York, and China. 

“Studying at London Business School was a great experience and introduced me to so many different people and their ways of approaching and solving problems,” says Neeladri. 

Sangeeta also started her career as a dental specialist in India. She enrolled in the HKU MBA to connect with professionals from different regions and industries—the HKU MBA welcomes 98% international students to the cohort. 

“Studying with such a diverse group of students led to a vibrant and invaluable learning experience,” she says.

Enrolling was also a chance to gain key skills that would help Sangeeta make changes she felt were necessary in the healthcare industry in the post-pandemic world. 

Leveraging skills learned during the HKU MBA 

Studying an MBA as a healthcare professional provides many transferable skills that can help you pair medical knowledge with managerial expertise and business acumen. Neeladri felt developing these skills was a highlight of the program. 

“As I got more familiar with consulting throughout the program, I realised the similarities with dentistry—seeing a client, identifying the problem and discussing solutions,” she says. 

Students on the HKU MBA program can choose electives to hone their interests. Electives include Business Tech and Innovation, Strategy and Consulting, Managing in China and Asia or Marketing and General Management. 

Faculty also take an experiential learning approach to teach real-life business cases across industries that reflect the rapidly changing business landscape. Neeladri says this helped her transition from the hierarchal structure of dentistry to collaborating within a team to find effective solutions.

For Sangeeta, her previous experience as a clinic manager meant she already had core skills in communication and team building. 

During the HKU MBA she studied courses such as Artificial Intelligence for Business Leaders and Big Data Consumer Analytics, which provided a strong foundation to launch into a new role after graduation. 

“I learned skills in quantitative analysis, forecasting and modelling that I apply in my role on a day-to-day basis,” she says.

Opening new doors and having an impact on the healthcare industry 

The healthcare industry holds a whole host of diverse sectors and avenues for career progression. Studying the HKU MBA led both Sangeeta and Neeladri to discover exciting new challenges. 

Since graduating from the program, Sangeeta now works as a project manager leading health technology research and working with leading universities to implement strategies using digital learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for dental healthcare professionals. 

“Studying the MBA gave me the confidence and courage to make change happen, both in my career and hopefully in the future of dental care too,” says Sangeeta. 

Without the HKU MBA, she says she wouldn’t have had the in-depth technological understanding to succeed in the role.

Neeladri, on the other hand, used her MBA to transition into healthcare management consulting. She now works with The Economist Impact, engaging with global healthcare companies to manage their research projects. 

“We’re essentially a think tank—we provide information-based analysis for our clients and all join in for intelligent debates around relevant topics where we really want to have impact,” she explains. 

Neeladri believes it’s important for healthcare professionals to have the managerial skills she learned on her MBA. If more people had this combination of expertise and skills, it would help bridge the gap between business and healthcare, she says. 

“We have a lot of managers from management backgrounds and then separate healthcare professionals. To combine these skills means having a stronger voice and balance of opinion and being able to find solutions as a manager more effectively because you understand the problem."

Student Reviews

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) - MBA Programmes HKU Business School




On Campus


Very good academic, caes course amazing, ccs are all amazing, professors are excellent, the architecture and infrastructure is splendid, people here are awesome, made some really nice friends, and teachers support us




On Campus

Diversified culture

I highly recommend The University of Hong Kong to students all around the world because of their diversified culture, teaching standards, and the people which make the learning experience better every day.




A place where you best understand local and international cultures

With plenty of experiences available, HKU provides a plenty of experience for me to explore our own and other countries culture. She has excellent teaching and research staffs in the Department of Ecology and Biodiversity. Time allocate to students are considered sufficient and staffs are ready to reach anytime. Besides academic, she has various subsidised programmes that allow students to explore. This credit should be given to GenEd (general education) Office to provide different interesting programmes. These ranged from guest speaker giving talks on China-Hong Kong relationship; Contemporary art in Asia; or holding mini forum on geopolitics. Most, if not all, of which are free of charge!




Life at HKU

Pursued the SHS degree at HKU, academic and clinical staff members were very devoted and passionate. The academic program is under constant reviews, staff members are open minded and willing to modify the program with regards to students' opinions. Career prospect is good. Uni life is fruitful, many different activities for students to choose. Great facilities supporting learning.




Student Life in HKU

As an Accounting and Finance year3 undergrad student in HKU, the university provides lots of opportunities for me to learn and explore my interests. You could join a wide variety of activities, like being an committee member of societies and joining hall activities. As for me, I chose to join the winter exchange programme, be a committee member, and did volunteering servic and had latrine construction and volunteer teaching in Ghana, Africa. I also organized lots of activities for societies and had lots of meetings with company representatives. As for school work, it is okay normally but definitely u got a lot busier during November and April. You got a lot more free time compared to CUHK and HKUST. And of course, this is considered as the most ‘international’ uni in HK in a way that I could make friends coming from different countries. Just wanna add, HKU has a good location for foodie as its near Central, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui. For those who love night lifes dont miss this. I didnt speak of anything i dislike coz there isnt anything i dislike much, but if I do have to say, it is the hall life of many local students, such as having cheers at night and never sleeps that may disturb others.






I think it’s a great university that gives you a lot of opportunities in terms of academics as well as extracurricular activities. The education system is fairly westernized and the professors are good for the most part.




International, stratified and political

Adequate resources and very convenient campus with sufficient channels to expand your social and professional circle. Also politically active, and perhaps too biasedly so. Its law school is firmly established, with the longest history in Hong Kong. Practical and professional training, with a constant atmosphere of anxiety and competition that encourages a relatively focused and narrow vision of career outlook. Good range of extra curricular activities available.




Life in HKU

HKU provides students with lots of opportunities in multidisciplinary researches and experiences. This encourages students to widen their horizons and prepare for the future. The programme I attended organised both local and oversea field trips that allowed me to have the first hand experiences of relative aspects. It was very useful for my later career.





I am a graduate of the BSocSc programme several years ago. I appreciate that the programme provided a flexible choice of majors and minors. Even I was admitted into social sciences programme, I could explore various streams of studies in and out of the social sciences faculty, including global studies, human resources, politics, science and music. I did a double major in psychology and sociology. Among all learning experiences in lectures, tutorials, field trips…, I would say the internship experience was one of the most memorable part of my university life. The faculty offers a credit-bearing internship programme in which students can go to various NGOs to work on social issues, ranging from poverty, education to adjustment of ethnic minorities. Students can be placed locally or overseas, depending on placement quota, their personal preference and past experience. I went to a social service agency that serves adults who are intellectually challenged and have autism spectrum disorder. It was an eye-opening experience in observing how different professionals work together to provide training for those people and reflecting on how psychological knowledge could come into play. I was also able to gain some hands-on experience in leading an activity. There are more and more internship opportunities for university students. It is just another way to gain practical experience apart from applying for interns in government agencies or business companies, especially in organisations that would not openly recruit interns but only work with tertiary institutions. It should be noted that for some majors/courses, there are really a lot of people studying. When I was an undergraduate back then, we often expected a lecture with 100+ students and a tutorial with nearly 20 students. If you favour close student-teacher interaction in small classes, you may look into the enrolment of particular courses.