3 reasons this Birmingham physician is pursuing an MBA from Auburn


Harbert College of Business
Dr. Keneshia M. Kirksey (right) is pursuing a Physicians Executive MBA from Auburn University. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Typically, doctors are not known for having an overabundance of free time. Just ask Dr. Keneshia M. Kirksey, a local physician who splits her time between three important medical roles in Birmingham. And yet, she’s taking time to pursue a Physicians Executive MBA (PEMBA) from Auburn University.

We spoke with Dr. Kirksey to see why she’s investing her time in a graduate degree program.

Meet Dr. Keneshia M. Kirksey

Harbert College of Business
Dr. Kirksey, a current candidate in the Harbert College of Business PEMBA program. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

The 10th of 11 children, Dr. Kirksey grew up in the rural town of Aliceville, Alabama. Since her mother and father valued hard work and the importance of education, they encouraged her to pursue medicine at a young age. After graduating from high school at the top of her class, Dr. Kirksey spent four years at Alabama A&M before getting into med school at the University of South Alabama.

After finishing her residency at Carolina’s Rehabilitation in Charlotte, North Carolina, Dr. Kirksey moved to Birmingham and joined the University of Alabama at Birmingham faculty, where she earned full professor status last year. Currently, Dr. Kirksey spends the majority of her time in a private practice, but still enjoys her outpatient clinic as well as teaching and mentoring at UAB.

Dr. Kirksey lives in Hoover with her husband LeDerrick and two sons, Alexander and William.

Click here to learn more about Auburn’s Physicians Executive MBA program.

3 Reasons Dr. Kirksey is Pursuing a Graduate Degree

Harbert College of Business
Dr. Kirksey at her desk at her private practice in Shelby County. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Graduate degrees like Auburn’s Physicians Executive MBA (PEMBA) program are designed to teach its students the skills necessary to excel in a leadership position in their field—in this case, healthcare. As one of Auburn’s executive MBA programs, the format is a mix of short on-campus residencies and online learning, catered towards working professionals—like Dr. Kirksey—who are working around a busy schedule.

1. The PEMBA program is designed for Physicians who want to know more about the business side of healthcare.

Dr. Kirksey: “I’ve always wanted to pursue more of the business side of healthcare. I focus so much on how the body works and what treatments will work best for a particular case. But what about hospital finance and operations? A year and a half ago, I decided to take that step and pursue a degree. I’m over halfway done, and I’ll be finished in May 2022. Two more semesters to go!”

2. Auburn’s PEMBA program caters towards medical professionals like Dr. Kirksey.

Dr. Kirksey: “As you can imagine, working in medicine is very time-consuming. Trying to find extra time is tough. Luckily, Auburn’s PEMBA program is very flexible. We have five short in-person ‘residencies’ where we can visit Auburn’s campus, which allows us the opportunity to build relationships and network with classmates and professors. After each residency, we return to our home institutions where we can complete our coursework online at our own pace.”

Click here to learn more about Auburn’s Physicians Executive MBA program.

Harbert College of Business
With the Auburn PEMBA program, Dr. Kirksey is able to pursue a graduate degree in 21 months. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

3. Students are able to meet & learn from other physicians around the country.

Dr. Kirksey: “My biggest takeaway from the program is being amongst high-performing individuals and forming close relationships with other physicians from all over the states. It’s a very diverse experience, and my cohort is very close!

This summer, our cohort went to Washington D.C. During our trip, we met with various agencies, lobbyists and politicians to learn more about healthcare policy and healthcare law. The experience has given me greater insight on the power of advocacy and getting involved with policy development, whether it be on the community, state or national level.”

What would you say to other physicians thinking about the Auburn PEMBA program?

Dr. Kirksey: “The PEMBA at Auburn is an amazing program that helps to cultivate growth as an executive leader. If you’re looking for a program that values your time, caters towards working professionals and employs professors that truly invest in their students’ success, you want Auburn.”

Click here to learn more about Auburn’s Physicians Executive MBA program.

Want to Learn More About Auburn’s Graduate Programs?

Harbert College of Business
Dr. Kirksey outside one of her practices in the Birmingham area. Photo via Nathan Watson for Bham Now

Planning to pursue a Physicians Executive MBA or another graduate program at Auburn? You’re in good hands.

To learn more about the Physicians Executive MBA Program or other online graduate programs at Auburn, visit their website or click here to schedule an online meeting with Program Admissions. 

“Auburn’s PEMBA has been the most gratifying and empowering personal experience I’ve had. I’ve been able to learn about the business side of healthcare, grow as a physician and gain confidence as a leader.”

Dr. Keneshia M. Kirksey

Have you thought about pursuing one of the graduate degrees at Auburn? Be sure to follow them on FacebookInstagramTwitterYouTube and LinkedIn!

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Nathan Watson
Nathan Watson

Senior Content Producer with Bham Now | Originally from Tennessee, Nathan moved to The Magic City after graduating from Birmingham-Southern College. Nathan is passionate about recognizing Birmingham's history and is thrilled to learn more about the big things planned for The Magic City's future.

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