A Doctor With a Heart for Business
Jeffrey S. Riesmeyer, MD MBA ’04, MS ’06 Finance
Senior Clinical Research Physician, Eli Lilly and Company
You might say that Jeffrey S. Riesmeyer is a doctor with a heart for business.
Board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases, and interventional cardiology, Riesmeyer spent 11 years in private practice specializing in interventional cardiology in Indianapolis. In 2000, he joined Eli Lilly and Company and is now a senior clinical research physician working in the company's cardiovascular drug development unit.
He had always been interested in the business side of medicine, but never more so than when he started working at pharmaceutical giant Lilly. “Developing a successful medicine requires an understanding of both the science of the disease you want to treat and the properties of the drug, but also the business aspects of doing the research and how to provide the best value to patients,” he says. “I quickly realized a business degree (or two!) would help me to contribute more fully to drug development.”
Time constraints made a traditional MBA degree impossible, so Riesmeyer looked to Kelley's online MBA. “Kelley Direct was perfect for me. I thought I would have more time at Lilly to go back to school, but I was wrong. I didn't have to be on call like when I was in practice, but I traveled more and often on short notice,” he says. “When I looked into business schools, Kelley's reputation was what attracted me. I figured that with the Kelley pedigree behind it, the online program had a pretty good chance of being first rate.”
Armed with two business degrees, Riesmeyer believes he now brings more to the table at Lilly. “Understanding the business and financial sides as well as the science has made me a more credible participant in discussions that involve both the research and commercial side of projects," he says. “The most valuable thing about the MBA is not any specific fact, but learning how business happens. The foundation of science is in laws of nature. Business is based more on assumptions, which is foreign to a scientist. Learning how business works, for instance through case studies, provides valuable insights that make the workplace less befuddling.”
And as a scientist working at a pharmaceutical company, Riesmeyer enjoys his sense of purpose. “When I was in practice, I often had the opportunity to have a profound effect on patients, but it was limited to one patient at a time. Developing medications here at Lilly, what I do has the potential to affect so many patients, in maybe even more profound ways than before.”
- Best thing about Kelley Direct:
“The faculty is really where Kelley shines. Some of the school's best professors teach in the online MBA program. In all my years in college and medical school, I have never seen a faculty as consistently high quality.”
- The future of learning:
“Online learning offers a wealth of possibilities to people wanting to better themselves. While we won't all accumulate a lengthy string of letters behind our names, we will have the opportunity to advance our careers, explore unfamiliar fields of knowledge, and make life-long learning the rule, not the exception.”