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Student Profile: David Mandelbaum, MPH ’23, Executive MPH Program (EMPH)

June 21, 2022

Why did you choose to attend the Yale School of Public Health’s Executive MPH program?

Having been immersed in various health care roles encompassing business, finance, policy and law over the past 25 years, I am looking to deepen my understanding of the most critical public health challenges we are facing, develop new insights, and expand my skill set in value-added ways. My goal is to enhance my abilities as a health care investor and to be in a position to more directly impact much-needed change. An MPH course of study at a top institution would, I believe, fully enable me to achieve those goals.

In terms of why I chose Yale over other elite programs, the decision was an easy one. First, the rigorous curriculum and the exceptional professors that were selected to teach our cohort were a major selling point. The hybrid nature of the Executive MPH program was also very appealing to me as a working professional. It has provided sufficient flexibility without sacrificing the quality and intensity of the course of study. The several week-long on-site intensives over the course of the program have added an integral dimension, allowing us to engage with our colleagues more deeply and solidify our connection to the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). Plus, I knew the program would attract a very talented and diverse group of fellow students from around the country, and indeed the world, whose perspectives would meaningfully enrich each of our educational experiences.

What is your current occupation?

For the past two decades, I have served as a senior portfolio manager focused on the health care sector at leading hedge funds and asset management firms. Currently, I manage the Benestar Healthcare Investment Strategy at Bleakley Financial Group, a $10 billion wealth and asset management firm. Before that, I spent some time heading a corporate venture arm and several years at the beginning of my career as a health care lawyer, both within the health care services industry and at leading health law firms.

What are your favorite aspects of the Executive MPH program?

My favorite aspects of the EMPH program are the considerable breadth, depth and rigor of the program, which has strongly complemented what I studied in law school and business school, and the knowledge base I have developed over my professional career to date. While my interests reside mostly in the spheres of health care management, finance and policy, and the courses I have taken in those areas have been excellent, exposure to various concepts in the realm of the social and behavioral sciences has catalyzed my thinking in important ways. Also, I have expanded my analytical skills through our course work, which has already conferred value to my professional work.

Beyond the academic aspects of the program, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with my cohort colleagues on campus during our intensives. Many lifelong friendships have been forged among our class, and we are working to arrange more regular get-togethers.

How do you balance working full-time with the demands of the program?

The program is certainly demanding, but I fully expected it to be. The flexibility of the Executive MPH program I mentioned that accrues from the meaningful online component certainly helps in accommodating its demands with our considerable work and personal responsibilities. One just needs to be prepared to devote most evenings and much of one’s weekends to course work while in the program. As such, the understanding and support of family members is indispensable, and I am very fortunate to have that.

How do you hope to apply the training and education you receive through the EMPH program to your future endeavors?

I hope to incorporate the deep knowledge and expanded skill set I will have attained through the EMPH program with the complementary skills and experience I have developed in my career as a health care investor and lawyer to help drive necessary change at the system and population-wide level. I continue to explore how I can be most impactful in adding value to these critical efforts.

Would you recommend the Executive MPH program to others, and why?

Absolutely and without any hesitation. The content and structure of the program are designed to meet the educational needs and career interests of a wide range of working professionals. The program team has also been very responsive to us and open to ideas to improve upon the excellent foundation that’s been established. The opportunity to get involved in innovation programs, journals, student organizations and social activities available to full-time students exists for us as well. Lastly, Yale is clearly a very special and welcoming place. I couldn’t be happier to now be a member of the YSPH and broader Yale community.

Submitted by Fran Fried on June 21, 2022