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Medicine with a dash of business

As chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at the Temple University medical school in the 1990s, Dr. E. Albert Reece said he had more than just babies on his mind.

When he found himself juggling personnel issues, facilities management and other administrative concerns on top of his research and patient care duties, Reece — now dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine — had an epiphany of sorts.

“I realized I was being a businessman,” said the physician. “It occurred to me, this was a real business.”

Reece began to dabble in business classes at Temple’s Fox School of Business and Management. Gradually, the dean recalled, his interest snowballed.

“I take a couple of business courses, and start enjoying it,” Reece said. “Before you know it, I decide to enroll and be fully matriculated.”

In 2001, Reece earned his MBA and joined a handful of medical school deans to hold advanced business degrees. That same year, he ended his tenure at Temple and moved on to become vice chancellor and dean of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

A highlight of his business school studies, he said, was being the only student in class to run an entire department of obstetricians and gynecologists in his spare time.

“I was using my real life experiences for homework,” he remembered with a grin.