Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf: Leadership and Business Education for Healthcare

The Canadian health sector is an intersection of economic and political priorities. This industry is on the verge of significant change due to pressure for a more sustainable, cost-effective, and integrated system across all provinces and territories. As the industry changes and adapts, our health leaders need to change and adapt as well.

Physicians like Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf, who specializes in internal medicine, are already ahead of the curve. Amir is on the verge of completing Rotman’s One-Year Executive MBA while maintaining his practice.

Thinking across silos

Photo of Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf

Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf

“If I look at my training as a physician, there are a lot of aspects of teamwork, personal and organizational leadership that I would have wanted to gain,” says Amir. “The Executive MBA has taught me to think outside of the box. Where perhaps I might have always used the lens of a physician or the way that I understood healthcare I can now appreciate it in a deeper manner, looking at the financial aspect of it, to even how we manage the people within the system.”

One of the major challenges of our current healthcare system is a lack of communication and collaboration across organizations, regions, and other boundaries. Each province has its own approach to care, often duplicating the work put into other provincial systems. By learning how to step back and look at the full value chain, physicians like Amir can position themselves as innovative leaders, ready to ensure our system evolves to become more effective and cohesive.

But it’s not just key business knowledge or new ways of thinking that Amir is getting out of his MBA. “One aspect of the program that I found very useful was the 360̊. It comprises of selecting peers — our managers, subordinates, and anyone else we think would be relevant — to give us an appropriate evaluation. That feedback was very useful in how I could perhaps change the way I work.”

An MBA that fits

Each professional MBA program offered at Rotman is designed to fit around the busy schedules of our students, and finding the right one often requires a combination of planning and research. The schedule of Amir’s One-Year Executive MBA was one of many key factors in his decision to attend Rotman. “Being a physician, doing an MBA program that would fit within my timetable was essential,” he says. “I had to make sure that I had applied a year in advance so that I could arrange my schedule to cater for it.”

The Rotman School focuses on helping leaders and future leaders succeed. Participants receive a personal leadership plan, one-on-one coaching, and experiential learning about a variety of topics, including personal leadership. “At the end of the day, when I compared programs across other universities, there wasn’t one that gave the reputation of U of T and Rotman, and neither was there one that I found that catered for my needs as a potential health care leader. The leadership component was what really drew me to the program.”

Amir said he applies what he has learned about management in his practice, especially the personal skills and leadership skills. “Now that people know I’m doing an MBA, they actually approach me to help them with projects. Most recently it was a staffing project within our Intensive Care Unit, which I helped the nurse manager with. So my skills certainly help, but there’s also the recognition that Amir is potentially someone who can help or a potential leader.”

At the end of his MBA, Amir will have developed the robust business and transformational leadership skills he needs to take his career, and our health systems, to the next level. “Taking your vision of yourself and the world to a different level I think is very useful.”
Rotman’s Global Executive MBA for Healthcare & the Life Sciences is designed to accelerate your career in a world of unprecedented health sector business and leadership opportunities. Applications are currently open for the inaugural 2018 class.

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