Todd Jenkins editedTodd R. Jenkins, M.D., is director of the Division of Women’s Reproductive Healthcare in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UAB School of Medicine. While some may envision the role of division director as the pinnacle of a career, Jenkins, a 1994 graduate of UASOM, saw himself somewhere around mid-career when he decided to go back to school.

“I am well along in my career and even though I have already achieved many of my career goals, if I want to go any further, I know I need to obtain a new set of skills,” said Jenkins. “As I took on more leadership roles within my department and within UAB, I found that I needed business, leadership, and human resources skills that I did not possess.”

Jenkins researched and evaluated executive leadership programs from across the country. He found the perfect program: ranked 5th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report; eligible for one of three UAB Medicine employee scholarships; and located three blocks from his office.

He enrolled in the School of Health Profession’s Executive Master of Science in Health Administration program in September 2011. The move was made in order to distinguish him even more as a leader and the dividends paid off immediately.

“Even though I have not graduated, I have already utilized skills and knowledge obtained in the MSHA program,” said Jenkins. “I have found finance, marketing, process improvement, health law, and human resources classes already extremely beneficial.”

Jenkins says the program has been a source of discovery – both personally and professionally. He finds the faculty is able to connect theory to practice; yet when the two distinctive sides conflict, they are not afraid to question both sides.

“In the Executive MSHA program, the class has such a wealth of experience in real-world situations that it truly enhances your understanding,” said Jenkins. “Professors are well versed in their fields with both academic and business world expertise; they are also challenged, and in turn challenge the students, when ‘theories and concepts’ don’t coincide with real-world experience.”

Jenkins says that while the program has been learning intensive he has been able to balance classes, assignments, work and life. He is on schedule to graduate September 2013 and has one piece of advice for anyone interested in joining the Executive MSHA program:

“Be prepared to learn from both professors and classmates,” said Jenkins.