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Dr. Diana Desai Paves Way for Future Management Position With Online MBA

Fitchburg State online MBA graduate Dr. Diana Desai

After becoming a successful physician, Dr. Diana Desai got down to business.

Dr. Desai, MD, associate director of Blood Bank and Transfusion Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital - Northwell Health in New York, graduated from the Master of Business Administration in Management online program at Fitchburg State University in 2019. She completed the program in under 12 months.

"Right now, I'm a full-time attending physician in pathology," Dr. Desai said. "I wanted to acquire management experience. Hopefully, the MBA will help me transition into a leadership role in the future."

Becoming a medical doctor was natural for Dr. Desai because both of her parents are physicians. Her mother, Charu, worked at UMass Memorial Healthcare in Radiology, while her father, Shirish, worked at Tewksbury Hospital as an Internal Medicine Physician.

"My mom encouraged me to go back to school to get an MBA," Dr. Desai said. "Both of my brothers have their MBAs. Because we have an MBA background in our family, she thought that it would enhance my career and soar to new heights."

Dr. Desai, 33, graduated with a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2011. She also completed residency training at the George Washington University and the University of Utah before earning fellowships at Yale New Haven Hospital, in Connecticut, and William Beaumont Hospital, in Royal Oak, Michigan. Dr. Desai is triply board certified in clinical pathology, transfusion medicine, and chemical pathology.

"I serve on the College of American Pathologists Clinical Pathology Education Committee, and I write the equivalent of a book chapter every year," she said. "I like to keep myself busy. Several people have told me, 'I've never seen anybody take on as many endeavors as you do simultaneously.'"

No Time to Spare

Dr. Desai was born in Massachusetts, but her parents are from India. After high school, she was accepted into a seven-year medical program at Rensselaer Polytechnic University that fed into Albany Medical College.

She transferred to the University of Massachusetts Medical School to complete her MD degree and worked at Northwell Health while enrolled at Fitchburg State. Although she was doing an online MBA program, she opted to stay close to home.

"I wanted to do an MBA program in the state where I was born," she said. "Plus, if I needed to visit the campus for any reason, it wouldn't be difficult to get there."

The online format was also important to Dr. Desai, who lives in Worcester and commutes to the Big Apple. However, the skills she gained in the online MBA program made all of the effort and sacrifice worthwhile.

"I present at national meetings and I give lectures in my field, so the flexibility was big," she said. "I also specialize in laboratory medicine, so understanding how to manage the laboratory and all of those who work as part of a healthcare team is extremely important."

MGMT 9450: Selected Topics in Management was Dr. Desai's favorite course because of its video project, but she found the entire curriculum in the online MBA program valuable.

"I used the information in leading the division, having good management skills and trying to motivate employees to reach their potential," she said. "Everybody coming together for the same effort is important. I learned a lot in the MBA program about the rules and regulations of employment and how to motivate employees to perform."

Soaring High

Although Dr. Desai has a vast amount of higher education, she never plans to stop learning — or teaching. She wants to continue teaching after gaining experience as an Assistant Professor of Pathology in Hofstra University's Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine.

"My ultimate career goal is to advance into department leadership or become a chairperson or dean of a medical school," she said. "I also want to teach at Fitchburg State University in the MBA program."

First things first. Dr. Desai is planning to walk the graduation stage in the May 2019 commencement ceremony at Fitchburg State while squeezing in some rest and relaxation, now that she has at least a little less on her plate.

"I like to spend a lot of time with my family and play with my niece," she said. "I'm from the Indian culture, so I am very family-oriented and attend many Indian events. I spend most of my time with my family."

Dr. Desai believes earning an MBA will set her apart as she moves ahead in her career. She also loves the fact that she is carrying on family traditions in medicine and business.

"The online MBA program is exciting, as long as you can stay disciplined and have exceptional time management skills," Dr. Desai said. "It's also logistically easy to do and very affordable. Everybody thought it was impressive that while working as a physician full time, that I was able to complete the MBA program in such a short time span. I liked exercising a different part of the brain during the MBA courses."

Learn more about the Fitchburg State online MBA in Management program.


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