In June, SMA coordinated an international, education conference and travel tour for 30 physicians and their families to two of the most exciting and historical cities of Europe – Denmark, Copenhagen and Berlin, Germany.  The physicians are enrolled in Auburn University’s Physician Executive MBA (PEMBA) program and this event on comparative healthcare systems is a module in their degree curriculum.  According to feedback, participants found the educational sessions and touring opportunities to be high quality and very enjoyable.

“The international trip was amazing. The speakers were high caliber and related to the issues faced by physicians in wanting to care for patients in a high quality manner, while making a living, and having to face the bureaucracy of government.  The tours were good as well, though the best was the bicycle tour in Berlin that was informative, humorous, and involved active lifestyle.” – Teki Hegwood, MD, OB/GYN, Opp, Alabama

The physician group examined the healthcare strategies and economic influences of the two European healthcare systems by interacting with physician colleagues in public and private hospitals in each city in addition to classroom discussions with national officials involved in healthcare design and management.  The custom travel itinerary featured the culture, history and natural beauty of Copenhagen and Berlin.

"I found the SMA CHS program to be one of the best single educational programs I have ever experienced!  While the schedule was jam-packed with tours, lectures, and travel, the mix seemed perfect and a good use of the time away from home and from practice.  We had some impressive heavy-hitters from within the governmental and medical ranks of each country we visited, and the lectures were eye-opening to the common problems facing health care around the world.  Although I will be done with my MBA next spring, I will welcome the opportunity to go back on another SMA CHS trip!" – Brad Bushnell, MD, Orthopaedic Surgeon, Rome, Georgia

SMA will begin plans for the 2014 Comparative Healthcare Systems conference and tour in conjunction with Auburn University in the next few months; however, you do not have to be enrolled in the Auburn University PEMBA course to attend.  Contact SMA Tours at 1-800-239-7444 for travel arrangements and registration for this event.  For more information about Auburn’s PEMBA course, contact Jana Smith at smithj3@auburn.edu.

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