Eric Cornidez '19 Executive MBA
Eller Executive MBA student Eric Cornidez ’19 has a slightly different resume than some of his peers—he’s a medical doctor specializing in interventional pain management and anesthesiology.
Born and raised in Tucson, Cornidez attended Northern Arizona University as an undergraduate, majoring in business management and minoring in biology and chemistry with an emphasis in pre-medicine.
His interest in business and medicine was sparked by challenges his family met when he was younger: “My dad had a back injury and lost his job, and we had to figure out ways we could put food on the table,” says Cornidez. “My mother started selling Mary Kay cosmetics and my dad started selling jewelry and grew a business.”
As a result, Cornidez embraced entrepreneurial practices: “I was the kid sitting next to his mother in front of Walgreens selling tamales and tortillas to try to keep up with my family’s responsibilities,” he says.
The onset of his dad’s back injury had a powerful impact on Cornidez; it inspired him to help people and motivated his choice to become a physician. Specializing in interventional pain management and anesthesiology required Cornidez to have a foundation in general medicine, surgery or multi-specialty practices, so he completed a yearlong surgical internship at the University of Arizona.
Now Cornidez works at one of the four Pain Institutes of Southern Arizona in Tucson, where he is president and one of the owners of the practice.“I do more of the interventional side of things like cortisone injections to relieve pain,” says Cornidez. “For instance, if someone falls and breaks a bone, I am able to go into that fracture and fix it with cement with no surgery at all.”
For Cornidez, it’s a great feeling to help others and get thank-you cards from his patients: “To be able to have that kind of impact on people is a big responsibility, but a huge blessing too.”
Although Cornidez memorizes complexities of the human body with ease, he finds the hardest part about being a doctor is understanding how to sustain a practice. “I think a lot of doctors are struggling in that sense; unfortunately, they don’t teach doctors how to be good business people,” he says. “Sometimes we forget how to run a successful practice in order to be able to help patients.”
This led Cornidez to the Eller College of Management to pursue his MBA. “In the MBA program, I am leveraging my business IQ and learning how to grow the practice to make it smarter, more efficient and more successful so we can build a center of excellence,” he says. “The way the program is set up is feasible for my schedule. The quality of education and of my classmates is really impressive. I feel like I learn more from them than just a textbook.”
The MBA program has helped Cornidez apply what he’s learning to his medical practice: “During an accounting lecture, I’ll pull up our own business financial statements. I normally rely on my business administrator, who’s also my mentor, to look at the financials, but now I am able to have a conversation about the information. It’s empowering.”
Cornidez has also found time to serve his community and help others with their businesses through the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. For this and other community involvement, he was honored as one of Tucson’s 40 under 40 in 2017.
One thing that Cornidez takes away while pursuing his MBA and being a doctor is understanding his support system. In the future, Cornidez plans on continuing to use the skills he acquires in the Eller Executive MBA program to improve his practice as well as empower other doctors to leverage their business skills to run a successful practice.