Career Pathways: From Physician to Instructor with Dr. Milad Modabber

Posted on July 28, 2023
Career Pathways: From Physician to Instructor with Dr. Milad Modabber

Career Pathways is a Schulich ExecEd ongoing series showcasing some of our talented alumni. Everyone has something interesting and insightful to share, from independent business owners to corporate managers. We want to bring their stories to life.  

In today’s healthcare industry, physicians face numerous challenges beyond patient care. The business and management aspects of medicine are becoming increasingly important, yet these topics are often overlooked in traditional medical education. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach to healthcare, Dr. Milad Modabber embarked on a transformative journey that took him from being a graduate of the All About SMART (Successful Management After Residency Training) program and the Schulich Mini-MBA: Physician Business Leadership Program, to becoming an instructor for the Schulich Mini-MBA: Clinical Professional Entrepreneurship Program.

The Starting Point

Dr. Milad Modabber, a physician and ophthalmologist specializing in eye surgery at the Herzig Eye Institute, found himself drawn to the intersection of medicine and business. He realized that while physicians receive extensive training in patient care, they often lack the necessary knowledge and skills in the realms of management and business, which are integral to the success of their practices. Driven by a desire to bridge this gap and a recommendation from his business mentor Robert Lynn, Dr. Modabber enrolled in Schulich ExedEd’s custom All About SMART (Successful Management After Residency Training) program in partnership with Bausch + Lomb during his fellowship in December of 2019. 

The Program

For Dr. Modabber, the All About SMART program was his first glimpse of something beyond just practicing medicine. “I realized that to be successful in medicine, there’s more to it than just medical knowledge. The program taught me essential aspects of being a leader, manager, and business owner within the realm of medical practice,” he explains. 

As Dr. Modabber’s passion for merging medicine with business grew following his successful completion of the All About SMART program, he furthered his professional development through the Schulich Mini-MBA: Physician Business Leadership Program and became part of its inaugural graduating class in June of 2021. This specialized program served as a catalyst for his professional growth and further supported his growing belief that there was much more to practicing medicine than solely focusing on patient care. Describing his takeaways, Dr. Modabber expressed, “It was a combination of feeding and leaning into each other, and ultimately weaving a synergy between learning the day-to-day practice of medicine and the art of medical care itself.”

One of the distinguishing features of Schulich ExecEd’s programming, as highlighted by Dr. Modabber, is the presence of world-class faculty who understand the Canadian healthcare system. The programs are tailored to the Canadian context, ensuring that physicians receive an education that aligns with their professional realities. This contextualized approach empowers physicians to become healthcare leaders equipped with the knowledge and expertise to navigate the intricacies of the Canadian healthcare landscape.

The Value of Business Skills for Physicians

Dr. Modabber stressed the importance of business skills for physicians in an increasingly complex healthcare environment. “Regardless of your perspective or goals, it’s not about chasing more money or titles as a physician. It’s about caring deeply about why you do what you do and striving to improve your practice and daily life on both personal and professional levels.” 

The traditional training physicians receive often overlooks healthcare’s business and management aspects. However, understanding these elements is crucial for physicians to advocate for their patients effectively and provide the best possible care. By integrating business skills with medical expertise, physicians can assume leadership roles in managing and shaping the healthcare system, ultimately benefiting both patients and society.

Embracing Opportunities for Growth

The impact of Schulich ExecEd’s programs on Dr. Modabber’s career led him to embrace a new role as a facilitator for the Schulich Mini-MBA: Clinical Professional Entrepreneurship Program. Shortly after graduating, program mentors approached Dr. Modabber about the possibility of becoming a facilitator, and he enthusiastically agreed. 

With a focus on teaching social innovation and global health, Dr. Modabber found a platform to share his knowledge and experiences with colleagues nationwide. By combining business principles with non-profit care, he aspired to positively impact society and offer a fresh perspective on healthcare management.

Dr. Modabber encouraged fellow physicians to seize opportunities for growth and education in business and management. He acknowledged that not every physician needs to become an expert in these areas but emphasized the need to have a basic understanding of the systems and a broader impact on patient care and the healthcare system as a whole.

To facilitate this growth and education, Dr. Modabber recommended that healthcare institutions and medical schools incorporate business and management training into their curriculum. By doing so, future physicians can be better prepared to tackle the complex challenges of modern healthcare, enabling them to provide high-quality care while also understanding the financial and operational aspects of healthcare organizations.

A New Path Forward

Dr. Milad Modabber’s journey showcases the transformative power of embracing opportunities for growth in business and management for physicians. By equipping themselves with the necessary knowledge and skills, physicians can become effective leaders, advocates, and agents of change within the healthcare system. As the landscape continues to evolve, integrating business principles with medical expertise will be essential for physicians to thrive and deliver optimal patient care. It is a path that promises not only personal and professional growth but also a brighter future for healthcare as a whole.

“Thank you for creating an opportunity and avenue for physicians to take charge of their own lives, their practices, and the communities around them. There are no better advocates for physicians and patients than physicians,” Dr. Modabber remarks.

We would like to thank Dr. Milad Modabber again for taking the time to chat with us about the Career Pathways series. If you’re interested in learning more about the Schulich Mini-MBA: Physician Business Leadership Program, you can read about it here. You can also learn more about the Schulich Mini-MBA: Clinical Professional Entrepreneurship Program, which Dr. Modabber facilitates here

Not sure what program is right for you? Our expert advisors can help. Talk to a Schulich ExecEd advisor today.