Dr. Richard Rosenfeld, Distinguished Professor and chair of otolaryngology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn and now a graduate student in SUNY Oswego's online MBA program in health services administration, recently gave talks at the college sharing his expertise in health care.

These opportunities to share expertise, organized by SUNY Oswego's Division of Graduate Studies, point up Rosenfeld's and other nontraditional students' passion to keep growing and learning and making a significant impact on others.

Rosenfeld, who already has a master's degree in public health along with his MD, said he has thought for years about adding an MBA to support the next step in his career, toward executive leadership of a health care organization in the higher education or nonprofit sectors. For that, he felt he needed to turn to other experts, to "codify my, sort of, street knowledge over 25 years."

"There are people who spend their lives studying how to best understand organizational behavior, how to deal with human resource issues, how to understand the economics of health care, how to speak to your CFO in a hospital in term's they'll understand," he said. "I wanted to take advantage of that."

Why choose the program delivered by SUNY Oswego's School of Business? Rosenfeld cited his wish/needs list -- Oswego's MBA in health services administration (HSA) checked them all off: Completely online. At his own off-hours pace. Highly ranked, particularly by U.S. News & World Report. Accredited by the AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). A health care-focused curriculum. Approachable, helpful people to deal with, such as Irene Scruton, director of MBA programs. Uncomplicated transfers of some credits. Approximately a two-year timeline, part time. An MBA education at a public college price.

'Make an impact'

Rosenfeld's  accomplished background -- he is, for example, renowned and much published in the study and treatment of childhood middle-ear infections -- made him a prime candidate to share health care expertise.

"Our graduate programs are committed to bringing people, practices and perspectives together to make an impact in the changing landscape of health care," said Graduate Studies Dean Kristen Eichhorn. "Dr. Rosenfeld's talk confirmed our focus on developing leaders that understand the importance of effective communication and the appropriate delivery of health-related information."

The MBA programs' Scruton welcomed Rosenfeld's interest in sharing his expertise. "This is a great example of cross-campus collaboration -- the School of Business, Graduate studies, psychology professor Dr. Karen Wolford -- to provide this opportunity to hear from a Distinguished Professor who has chosen to become a graduate student again," she said.

Rosenfeld said one of his favorite online MBA courses through SUNY Oswego so far has been "Organizational Management."

"It focused a lot on group processes, group dynamics, organizational culture and behavior, even assessments of different personality traits, what motivates people to work -- things I would encounter as a department chair, head of a clinical practice and dealing with residents," he said. "It was good to encounter the science and the thinking behind it."

Rosenfeld delivered his presentation, titled "Common Sense Medicine: Timeless Principles for Better Health," Oct. 3 in Penfield Library's Speaker's Corner. He spoke in plain terms about how important it is to question doctors about such issues as antibiotic and other prescriptions, evidence supporting treatment options, and the doctor's own office hygiene protocol. A strong advocate for a healthy lifestyle, Rosenfeld said he lost 35 pounds over three years with a plant-based, whole foods diet and running 25 miles a week.

He summed up the need to adopt a healthy skepticism and questioning attitude as patients or patient advocates: "Caveat consumer -- consumer beware."

Earlier, Rosenfeld made a presentation to the "Introduction to Trauma Studies" class of Wolford, director of SUNY Oswego's graduate certificate program in trauma studies. He spoke on a topic titled "How to Read, Interpret, and Perform a Systematic Review."

Going back to college as a nontraditional undergraduate or graduate student "is not as hard as you think," said Rosenfeld. "You can do it part time, you can do it while you're working full time. It takes some effort, but you can do it. I don't think people should be scared of the process."

SUNY Oswego Division of Graduate Studies, through the School of Business, offers MBA options in business administration and public accounting, as well as in health services administration. There also are several five-year programs leading to bachelor's degrees and an MBA.

Graduate Studies also offers a wide range of degree and certificate programs in Oswego's three other schools, the School of Education, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and School of Communication, Media and the Arts.

Visit oswego.edu/gradstudies or call 315-312-3152 for more information.