Carey Health Care Management Degree Differentiates Alumnus with Hospital CEO Aspirations
Spencer Twigg has big career plans: The 23-year-old wants to become the CEO of a hospital. It’s a goal he’s been working toward for years. And while he knows many peers with the same ambition, he’s got something he believes separates him from the pack: a Master of Science degree in Health Care Management from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
“I wanted something different, something that would set me apart,” Twigg said. “I found that at Carey.”
Twigg said several factors separate Carey from other health care graduate programs; the most prominent being the school’s ability to leverage its connection to a world-class medical institution, Johns Hopkins Hospital.
“The hospital speaks for itself as one of the best in the entire world,” Twigg said. “During my time at Carey, I was able to work at the hospital on two separate projects. On a daily basis, I got face time with the hospital administration and exposure to some of the best radiologists and oncologists in the world. You can’t find those opportunities anywhere else.”
He concedes that other schools offer access to hospital administration and top doctors, but it’s not on par with the experience Johns Hopkins can deliver.
“The biggest value I see with Carey is that they are able to harvest a lot of the resources Johns Hopkins has to offer,” he said.
Twigg said those advantages permeate the Carey experience. For example, he valued how members of his cohort took classes with students in the part-time health care management program and the MBA program.
“Many of those people are either medical doctors or have experience working in health care,” he said. “It was incredible exposure to have a group with such diverse backgrounds. I really think there is a lot of value in sitting next to a cardiovascular surgeon and being able to hear about their experiences.”
About halfway through his year in the MS Health Care Management program, Twigg landed a fellowship at Community Health Systems, the second-largest health system and number one employer of physicians in the country. The exclusive fellowship is a performance-based CEO training program that features a series of rotations and promotions, eventually leading to a CEO posting.
After graduating in August 2016, Twigg began a fellowship at Carolinas Hospital System, a hospital in Florence, South Carolina. He credits Carey with helping him land the residency, saying, “They were really impressed with the classes I was taking and really interested in the topics we were discussing at Carey.”
Now that he’s been on the job for a few months, Twigg said his Carey education has continued to pay dividends.
“Carey has prepared me by giving me a lot of confidence,” he said.
He added that his technical business acumen has impressed his colleagues. He specifically recalls an interaction with the CFO following one of the hospital’s financial calls.
“I think our CFO was really surprised when he realized how much I understood about our financial picture,” he said.
Additionally, Twigg was able to apply a Carey class project to his work. The project developed a formalized cancer survivorship plan and was presented to leaders at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He said that he delivered the same presentation to the administrators at Carolinas Hospital System, and that they were impressed with the work. Twigg thinks they may implement some of the plan.
“That’s a part of the Carey experience: that you have exposure to all these different resources and you are creating actionable outcomes from working on these projects,” he said. “You don’t feel like a graduate student who is just observing and putting together a PowerPoint. You know you are producing real recommendations with real significance.”