Alumnus took ambitious path, became Quinnipiac’s first MD/MBA graduate

August 08, 2022

Sondheim pictured with a male and a female colleague

Samuel Sondheim MBA ’18, MD ’19, was initially drawn to Quinnipiac's Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine for its commitment to providing a well-rounded education — something he took complete advantage of. During his education at Quinnipiac, he was able to foster his interest in healthcare leadership and operations, which led him to become Quinnipiac’s first MD/MBA student.

An essential piece of the MD program in the School of Medicine at Quinnipiac is taking courses outside of the School of Medicine. Sondheim, pictured right with Catrina Cropano, MD ’18, and Kevin Kuo, MD ’17, used this opportunity to pursue his interest in healthcare leadership by taking courses within the School of Business that supported his medical concentration of Healthcare Management and Organizational Leadership.

“I am always interested in making systems more efficient and improving patient flow through the emergency department,” said Sondheim. “In addition to that, I’ve held an interest in healthcare finance and how to deliver high quality care at a more reasonable cost.”

As he was taking courses within the School of Business, he grew more interested in completing his MBA in addition to his MD. During his coursework, Sondheim had the opportunity to participate in an interdisciplinary group of students on a research project with the CEO of Bristol Hospital looking at quality improvement which was published in the Journal of Healthcare Management.

“The success of this project was the final straw that pushed me to pursue and complete the degree and identify a path to be the first MD/MBA,” said Sondheim. “The two schools worked together closely to develop a joint degree curriculum and timeline from scratch. It fostered my interests in leadership, administration and operations, and gave me the skillset to effectively lead a group of highly trained individuals.”

Sondheim is using both of his degrees in his current position at Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai West hospitals in New York City as the Disaster Preparedness and Healthcare Leadership Fellow. He spends half of his time as an attending physician in the emergency department and the other half focused on disaster preparedness, healthcare administration, operations, and research within the department of emergency medicine.

“The MD/MBA program added a wider focus and lens in relation to problem solving and focusing on the larger picture as I understand the importance of financial ramifications,” said Sondheim. “It's important to find a balance between safe and effective medical care that is also cost-effective.”

Though Sondheim’s path to graduating with two degrees was ambitious, it has set the stage for other motivated students to explore opportunities at Quinnipiac that will lead them toward achieving their career goals. Sondheim said he loves what he does every day and encourages others to follow their passion and their heart.

“I wake up every morning excited to go to work and feel so blessed to have a job that I love. Getting out of bed is never a burden. I go to work happy and leave happy. The age old saying ‘you never worked a day in your life if you love what you do’ rings true.”

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