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Michael White, MD

Expanding Expertise to Become a Healthcare Leader


To be an outstanding clinician leader, interventional cardiologist Michael White knew he needed to expand his understanding of key areas of healthcare. Here’s how and why he chose to round out his education with the Executive Healthcare MBA.

Michael White, MD, knows a little about Creighton. Not only is he a Bluejay three times over, but he has also served as associate dean for education and innovation at Creighton’s School of Medicine and chief academic officer at CHI Health, a Creighton partner in Omaha’s healthcare landscape.

Now, as a graduate of the first Executive Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Management (EMBA) cohort at Creighton’s Heider College of Business he’s applying all that he has learned in his two decades at the University in a new position.

After graduation White said goodbye to Omaha – but not Creighton – when he became the new executive vice president and chief medical officer of Valleywise Health, one of Creighton’s education partners within the Creighton University Arizona Health Education Alliance.

As chief medical officer, he works with the team to continue to provide high quality, contemporary care to patients and facilitates a learning environment that assists with the formation of Creighton healthcare professionals.

Academic medicine has been central to White’s career at Creighton. He believes it “is at the forefront of new thoughts and ideas for how to help our patients.” Thus, he has also continued as a member of the Creighton School of Medicine’s faculty, helping to educate the next generation of Creighton health science learners at the Phoenix campus.

White majored in biology as a Creighton undergraduate before entering its School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine and his first fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Creighton and a second fellowship in interventional cardiology at Duke University. Board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology, he is a practicing interventional cardiologist.

So, with all these degrees and specializations under his belt, why pursue an MBA? To be a successful healthcare leader, he needed to round out his knowledge.

Because “healthcare delivery continues to be under a period of intense transformation and successful clinician leaders need a robust set of skills to cover the many areas required for care delivery, including finance, IT security, marketing and team building,” says White. “Obtaining further foundation, through completion of the MBA, allowed me to be able to enhance my knowledge in these areas.”

White welcomed the flexibility the program offered, taking a combination of online and on-campus courses. He says it was challenging at times to balance his studies with work and family obligations. However, he was buoyed by the intellectual exchange that took place with his fellow MBA students.

“One of the biggest benefits of the program is the rich interactions that occur between the students within each cohort,” White says. “I was able to learn a great deal through these conversations and problem-solving sessions with my peers.

 “I would encourage anyone who is serious about helping the transformation of healthcare delivery to consider obtaining the skills an MBA provides and drive change forward,” he continues. “Creighton can reach students throughout any stage of their careers and help them continue their paths of lifelong learning.”