Quitting IBD to do an MD (and potentially backing off)

Spent 4 years in banking (non-healthcare) and have been thinking about doing an MD (outside the US but I guess contextually it should be quite similar) especially after going through the recent layoff waves which made me rethink if I should devote my career to such a volatile job.

I know doctors went through difficult times during residencies so I will likely do some more lifestyle residencies like family medicine / psychiatry. Both are less intense and potentially offer telemedicine opportunities in a solo practice (so technically I can spent time at the beach side in Bali / Brisbane / Lisbon and just see 10-15 patients a day online).

I know it sounds a bit too good to be true and the path may also be tough. Without experiencing it myself I guess it would be hard to draw a conclusion. But I am just curious if my career is doomed if I decided this is not for me. I guess MBA is not keen to take an MD who didn't become a doctor (especially someone in his 30s).

How about healthcare VC or LO? With my 3-5 banking years in non-HC and a medical degree, would I be able to pivot to healthcare finance?


My parents and brothers are doctors and they all strongly encouraged me not to follow suit.

Insurance costs, insurance risk mitigation procedures, an influx of foreign doctors, and a disruption of traditional care architecture (robotics, AI, corporate owned urgent care, lack of cost controls, unchecked litigation, etc) have stripped most joy and margins out of the profession and most general practitioners were struggling to make any meaningful money.

My parents make less now, by a considerable margin than they did 20 years ago, my brother went into plastic surgery (about a 12 year track, and is making decent money doing mostly Botox and nose jobs), my other brother became a professor, and said he will never go back to practicing medicine.


IB has changed dramatically in the last 15-20 years.

Technology has gotten much better, and I suspect AI will drastically accelerate this, and less and less people are required for more deal throughput. There are more boutiques than ever nipping at margins, and there are less exit opportunities than ever before.

I got into Med school and chose finance, my rational was (NPV) make more now, instead of investing 8 years, hopefully rise up the ranks or exit and continue to outpace what I would have made in medicine, then retire well before most medical specialists (they usually hit their high earning power much later, and thus tend to work well past standard retirement age).

I think the opportunities in IB will be fewer and further between going forward, with exits to asset management shops and corp fin becoming more common.

Medicine will take at least 10 years (med school, residency, specialization, etc) to start seeing meaningful money. There is a risk AI and robotics will drastically change medicine and the insurance and expenses will continue to rise.

IB / Finance will continued to be volatile, but still presents better near/short term income potential.

I like the idea of medicine, because no one can ever take that away, it is a useful applicable skill, you can practice your entire life, and if you choose the right track you can do really well.

I like IB/Fin because of the near term income, the potential for exits, and the energy and intellectual stimulation of the "space".

If I had 15 years back, I think I would have probably still done finance.

I would add that I do know a lot of MBA/JDs in the VC and PE space, and they do very well and are happy, but it is minimum a 5-6 year road.

Side note:

My parents think being a PA (Physicians Assistant) is the best job in medicine now $175-250k in large markets. Low/no liability, all the knowledge, all the respect, great hours, strong, tremendous demand.

Most Helpful

There are a bunch of opportunities for doctors in finance, especially if you've already done an IB stint. Anything touching bio-pharma investing, so think sell side research roles, HFs (I think P72 specifically has a program for this), some LO funds, some VCs that focus on that. You could definitely pivot back if it doesn't work out. I'm not sure I'ver ever heard of an MD doing IB, but could see the value proposition. Especially if you've already done a stint there. Also know that Mckinsey hires doctors for what it's worth.

That said you'd have to start as a relatively junior guy. And it can be risky from a career perspective if you haven't done residency. And if you have, that's a long road, and depending on where you'd practice the opportunity cost could be really high. So it's not a sure bet.


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