I-Banking VS Medical school

CNB90's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 540

Lately I've been imbued with idea of going to Med school. Up to this point I was dead set on I-banking, have the internships, the right major/EC's, the right networking tools being applied and hence connections. Question is, what would one be leaving really if they goto Med school? The money? - you make great money as a specialist in the long run, no? The prestige? No one I know even knows what I-banking is..... And the doctor title is not without its merits.

If you got accepted into a top med school, would you go? Why? Why not?

Comments (188)

Oct 19, 2010

Essentially, you're trading off about 10 years of earnings for a much smoother, stress free living down the road. You will come out of med school owing a ton and you will live just as stressful a life (if not more so, depending on your family's financial situation) during med school/rotations as you would during your analyst/associate, ib/pe, or ib/mba/pe tracks that most people on this board look towards.

The key question you gotta ask yourself is "what's my real motivation for med school?" Medicine is the best career on earth for people who are genuine humanists, have an interest in scientific disciplines, like treating people, etc...

It's the absolute shitiest career for those looking at it from the monetary angle, b/c you'll ultimately be comparing yourself to high finance guys who make more and high end administrators/educators who make similar dollars but don't have the potential of getting their ass sued off every five seconds.

It's very much an intrinsic value sort of situation. All bullshit aside, if you are looking for an easy life, there is no better risk/reward scenario in the working world than becoming a dermatologist.

Tons of money, no real skill needed, zero pressure and if you're like me, plenty of fresh, young meat.

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Oct 19, 2010
Midas Mulligan Magoo:

Essentially, you're trading off about 10 years of earnings for a much smoother, stress free living down the road. You will come out of med school owing a ton and you will live just as stressful a life (if not more so, depending on your family's financial situation) during med school/rotations as you would during your analyst/associate, ib/pe, or ib/mba/pe tracks that most people on this board look towards.

The key question you gotta ask yourself is "what's my real motivation for med school?" Medicine is the best career on earth for people who are genuine humanists, have an interest in scientific disciplines, like treating people, etc...

It's the absolute shitiest career for those looking at it from the monetary angle, b/c you'll ultimately be comparing yourself to high finance guys who make more and high end administrators/educators who make similar dollars but don't have the potential of getting their ass sued off every five seconds.

It's very much an intrinsic value sort of situation. All bullshit aside, if you are looking for an easy life, there is no better risk/reward scenario in the working world than becoming a dermatologist.

Tons of money, no real skill needed, zero pressure and if you're like me, plenty of fresh, young meat.

I'm just feeling like one offers me satisfaction in the sense that I'm doing good to/for others, the other I'm selling companies, merging companies, and watching those transactions end in lay offs, culture clashes, and bad financial consequences for the buyer - at least that's what various publications have claimed. Alas, I make money.

It sucks to have choices sometimes.

Oct 19, 2010
CNB90:
Midas Mulligan Magoo:

Essentially, you're trading off about 10 years of earnings for a much smoother, stress free living down the road. You will come out of med school owing a ton and you will live just as stressful a life (if not more so, depending on your family's financial situation) during med school/rotations as you would during your analyst/associate, ib/pe, or ib/mba/pe tracks that most people on this board look towards.

The key question you gotta ask yourself is "what's my real motivation for med school?" Medicine is the best career on earth for people who are genuine humanists, have an interest in scientific disciplines, like treating people, etc...

It's the absolute shitiest career for those looking at it from the monetary angle, b/c you'll ultimately be comparing yourself to high finance guys who make more and high end administrators/educators who make similar dollars but don't have the potential of getting their ass sued off every five seconds.

It's very much an intrinsic value sort of situation. All bullshit aside, if you are looking for an easy life, there is no better risk/reward scenario in the working world than becoming a dermatologist.

Tons of money, no real skill needed, zero pressure and if you're like me, plenty of fresh, young meat.

I'm just feeling like one offers me satisfaction in the sense that I'm doing good to/for others, the other I'm selling companies, merging companies, and watching those transactions end in lay offs, culture clashes, and bad financial consequences for the buyer - at least that's what various publications have claimed. Alas, I make money.

It sucks to have choices sometimes.

If helping people is your motivation, med school's a good decision. Just keep in mind if you go for a "really helpful" discipline like oncology, cardiology, any form of surgery, you will be seeing some heartbreaking scenarios. No way to escape the ugly side of humanity, unfortunately.

Sep 26, 2019

Only do it if you have a passion.

Doing medical school for the money is a death trap.

Oct 19, 2010

How are you getting in Med School with nothing to show for it on ur CV ? I got a lot of medical and pharma experience, would you like to trade ur cv for mine.

Oct 19, 2010

Can you delay your med school acceptance for a year or two? Might be worth trying out I-banking for a couple years, banking some coin and getting the experience. It seems like it'd be easier to switch to med school later, versus trying out med school and switching to I-Banking later.

Oct 19, 2010

I never said I got in. Haven t applied yet. Too early. I'm just contemplating it as an alternative, possibly taking the MCAT this coming summer. This is just a general discussion.

Oct 19, 2010

From where you're coming from, it sounds like med school would be the better option. I say go for it...money is the #1 reason most people work in finance, and if you can give up on that pretty easily it seems like an easy choice to make.

Oct 20, 2010

Even money I think it's ambiguous ---

Consider how volatile a career in finance is. And how many people are good enough to climb to the top to make 7 digits? Not many. A banker can not sustain the hours he works for the duration of his life.

Contrastingly, a doctor gets much more valuable the longer he works. Eventually, you own your own practice, be your own boss, make half a million a year doing work that is legitimately helpful (i.e potentially saving lives).

Personally, if I didn't find biology insufferable, I think medicine is a much better choice.

Oct 20, 2010
ibhopeful532:

Even money I think it's ambiguous ---

Consider how volatile a career in finance is. And how many people are good enough to climb to the top to make 7 digits? Not many. A banker can not sustain the hours he works for the duration of his life.

Contrastingly, a doctor gets much more valuable the longer he works. Eventually, you own your own practice, be your own boss, make half a million a year doing work that is legitimately helpful (i.e potentially saving lives).

Personally, if I didn't find biology insufferable, I think medicine is a much better choice.

Exactly. Just because you're an analyst for a few years doesn't really guarantee anything in terms of long-term career earnings. So many of my friends who are finished with or are finishing up their analyst stints wouldn't touch banking again with a 10-foot pole because they hated it so much.

Just do what you're interested in. You are comparing two of the highest-paid career paths in the world, and after a certain point what you earn doesn't make you any happier because you just end up having higher expenses as a result. It's kind of sad to see MDs and the like who, while clearly very wealthy, have never been married and have no kids because they've just devoted their lives to the job.

Oct 20, 2010

Not sure if this helps at all, but I've got a friend who was a trader for about 3 years and later went back to med school. The friend's logic was: 'I'm interested in medicine, sciences, etc, and there's only a certain point in my life where I can legitimately go to med school before other factors come into play (marriage, age, family, etc.)'. And finance is always an option that can be picked up again (maybe via b-school).

If you have real interest in med school (money and future easier life aside) and helping people, and are prepared for its own set of hardships (the initial burden of debt, the work, stress), then it's definitely an option to consider.

I would have gone into med school if I had the genuine interest in biology, science, etc... but I knew I would just be going into it for relatively easy life (in future yrs) and title, even if I wanted to help people.

Oct 20, 2010

go to med school and you have to be a doc forever or stuck in healthcare

and you DON'T make that much $$$

as a banker, you have tons of flexibility to do anything you want (except maybe be a doctor) long term

Oct 26, 2010

Good luck with your decision.

Oct 26, 2010

Dude, you're asking a fucking wallstreet forums with tons of kids who had the grades and academic calibre to go to med school and decided to go into banking instead.

Why would you think you'd get an unbiased opinion?

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Oct 26, 2010

I always find it interesting when I see these kind of questions posed on this board. I mean the entire crowd here is biased, so if anything people will just push you towards finance. If you're not asking people who've gone into the medical field who had a shot at finance but turned it down, then you're not going to get balanced answers. Otherwise, if you want to go into finance these posts will nonetheless support your decision

Oct 26, 2010

The aim of this thread was to find the reasons for going into finance and the reasons to goto in med school.

Finance: Money...that's about it.

Med school: A painful, uncertain, expensive, and long journey leading to possible moral clarity, and a seemingly active and interesting job.

I'm leaning back on finance, I have everything set up for the field. The grades, major, internships..Who knows though.

Oct 26, 2010
CNB90:

The aim of this thread was to find the reasons for going into finance and the reasons to goto in med school.

Finance: Money...that's about it.

Totally disagree. Just because some people think banking is evil or greedy doesn't mean it's any less noble than medicine. Health care is one service that helps people and banking is a service that helps companies grow and raise capital- ultimately improving people's lives.

I really enjoyed my internship last summer and that's why I'm pursuing it for full-time. Not just because it pays well.

Oct 26, 2010

As someone who has done both (IB analyst at BB bank and finishing med school at Top 10 school), I can tell you that nobody on this forum - including me - can help clarify this ambivalence you are now experiencing. What I can tell you is that this ambivalence will most likely continue - if you are in finance you will always have the "what if??" questions about medicine and vice versa. If I have any advice for you, I would choose one route as early as possible (i.e. now) and forget about the other one. If you want to do finance, forget about medicine - don't take the required classes or MCAT - and just focus and work as hard as possible to develop your skills in finance. For medicine, do the opposite. If you don't, you could very well be mediocre at what you do because you will always have ambivalence about your career. Just my two cents. Good luck - certainly not an easy decision.

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Oct 27, 2010

I'm accepted to med school, I'm trying to break into banking go figure. Being a physician you can make great money i.e. low 7 figures, combined with a low COLA you can do as well as some Directors and MDs. Medicine sucks though PTs bitch, the pay per case is poor. It's a business, not a profession. Also your whole future rides on your USMLE Step I, break 230 rads, ophtho, ortho and derm are all there, get a 185 better enjoy 125K a year and family practice. Banking doesn't have everything riding one exam. Managing directors are sweethearts compared to attendings and the hours in banking are cushy compared to residency 36 on plus post call blows, there is a nominal 80 hour limit which is observed in the breach. In gen surg expect 110 hours a week most weeks. Also residency pay blows 30-50k. Even an eh bonus is bigger. However, you can combine the two passions, an MD or DO plus a high powered MSF or MBA and you can parlay into healthcare within M&A, coverage groups, pub fin or become an entrepreneur within medicine.

Oct 27, 2010

I've seen plenty of MD / MBAs in healthcare finance. You get the opportunity to avoid the grunt work of an analyst and if healthcare truly excites you, then you also get to stay within the field and take on a lot of medical / healthcare related issues. Hedge funds, vc, banking, etc..there's no real limitation. It all depends on how much more training you think you want and if you want to delay the inevitable...getting a job.

But you also have to consider the med school you'd be attending and the finance opportunities offered to graduates..

Oct 28, 2010

I think I'm leaning towards medicine. Finance, from what I've learned and seen during my internships and in general is a evidently volatile field. As much as many here would like to deny it, your very livelihood depends on artifical economic booms and market gyrations - more so than other fields. I witnessed lay offs during my internship, the slow down during the second quarter really affected the firm I interned at, as it did most others.

But that is not a deciding factor for me, I'm a risk taker and I sure will be taking major risks when taking pre-req science classes when I have no science background - the potential damage to my GPA could make both fields that much harder to break into. I believe in helping others in a direct and most critical way, I'm not a bleeding heart but the job suits my personality. I have no problem working long hours, but I'd enjoy those hours more if my job was active and multi faceted vs stationary and relatively mundane (modeling through the night).

Money is an object to the extent that I enjoy a comftorble life style. Money can be made in the field, I don't reside in the U.S so would not have to deal with the rather complex external factors and regulations. Specializing and excelling in a critical field, such as caridology/cardiac surgery, especially in a world where obesity is on the rise, can be lucrative if one applies some business sense in his management of time, effort, and resources. I'm a finance/commerce undergrad so I would inevitably approach my career with a busines mentality to some extent.

Thanks to all of those involved in helping me achieve a sense of clarity. I still want to hear as much as possible, so please do contribute.

Oct 28, 2010

If I had to do it all over again, I might choose med school over having taken the path I chose. My wife, by the way, is a doctor.

Then again, if I had to choose all over, I might have stuck with a profession that involved regular exchanges of gunfire.

Oct 30, 2010

I was struggling with a similar dilemma. I had taken the MCATs and finished the prereqs and it was just a matter of applying to medical schools.

Here is my story, it's a bit long but hopefully it'll help a bit.

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=3...

Oct 30, 2010

i hope you're still a freshman or sophomore. becoming a doctor is a long road. i'm studying for the mcat right now and it isnt fun at all. the premed prereqs arent bad at all, even if you have no science background, but you better be good at science once you get to med school. you can always get into finance after getting an md later down the road, but the opposite is harder to do.

Aug 2, 2012

Same story OP...can we get an update on what you did and where you ended up?

Jul 28, 2015

You have to take into account a few things. First of all, in order to become a dermatologist, which is what you mentioned, you have to perform VERY well on your USMLE Step 1 test in medical school. Take into account that you're competing against other medical students who are working very hard to get into their desired residency programs as well and you can see that you can't really go into medical school banking on becoming a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Also, in order to even get into medical school you have to take at least 2 years of difficult pre-requisite chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, biology, biochem courses and perform well in them along with doing well on the MCAT which is the most difficult test I've taken in my life (just took it earlier this summer). If you do get through medical school and residency and you have a strong desire to practice medicine the income is great but probably comparable to if you had gone into finance and avoided the medical school debt.

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Jul 28, 2015

Wow! Thanks for the quick reply!!

Jul 28, 2015
Wall St:

Wow! Thanks for the quick reply!!

Super necromancer

Jul 28, 2015

if you are doing either of them solely for the money, you will burn out

Jul 28, 2015
aspiringmonkey:

if you are doing either of them solely for the money, you will burn out

or maybe, just maybe, someone is so materialistic, so superficial, so money-hungry and so deluded that they simply will not burn out.

In that case op, I don't know the answer to your question and will continue reading past post 1 to see if anyone actually answered the question or continued to offer sage advice that was neither wanted nor asked for.

Jul 28, 2015

If I could do it again, I might consider being a dentist. If you work for someone who owns the practice you top out at 400-500K. If you own a practice or two, you could make 750K-1M.

Your hours are great (9-5), you're providing a health service people need and you make people feel and look good. After a few years, you can only work Mon-Thrs; three day weekends are a norm in the industry.

This information comes from a long-time known friend who went to the University of Minn for dental school.

Of note - after dental school you can start working full-time soon thereafter and can start with about 200K.

I think in the long-run this is a good profession to be in (good hours, good/predictable pay, and it's something you can stick with for decades).

Jul 28, 2015

if you think any kind of MD can even approach banker money. A dentist, man, you must have sucked down an entire tank of nitrous before you wrote that. No way in HELL a dentist makes close to $1 million. The most successful dentists would kill to make $300k in their best year. Same with MDs - you say "not family practice but . . . who make $250k per year" but it takes 4 years of med school and another 4-7 years of residency to even be a money making doctor. Think you couldn't do better as a banker over those 11 years?
Don't be crazy, the days of doctors making real money are OVER that's why people are leaving the profession - there was an article in the New York Times (might have been Wall St. Journal) about doctors leaving practice to work on Wall St. - bottom line, if you want to save people be a doctor, if you want to make money, don't.

Jul 28, 2015
pitchmonkey:

if you think any kind of MD can even approach banker money. A dentist, man, you must have sucked down an entire tank of nitrous before you wrote that. No way in HELL a dentist makes close to $1 million. The most successful dentists would kill to make $300k in their best year. Same with MDs - you say "not family practice but . . . who make $250k per year" but it takes 4 years of med school and another 4-7 years of residency to even be a money making doctor. Think you couldn't do better as a banker over those 11 years?
Don't be crazy, the days of doctors making real money are OVER that's why people are leaving the profession - there was an article in the New York Times (might have been Wall St. Journal) about doctors leaving practice to work on Wall St. - bottom line, if you want to save people be a doctor, if you want to make money, don't.

orthodontists and oral surgeons pull in 300-500k, and a 4-day week is the norm. they have job security that doesn't depend on market windfall; and supply of dentists is more constrained than it was 10 years ago with forced closure of dental schools, dk exact numbers on that, this is quoted from a buddy who's going to dental school.

bankers CAN make more, but there's a lot of variability wrt whether they get into PE or make VP, etc...just as there is between normal dentists and those who make the cut to specialize. i think the point is to choose an industry that you'll be satisfied with & able to add value in, preferably without making vague and arrogant posts about 'banker money'.

Aug 9, 2019

Wrong

Jul 28, 2015

If you want to be a dentist, orthodontry is where its at

Jul 28, 2015

Well, just a note, residency is just 3-4 years for the specialities I named.

Jul 28, 2015
aruubato:

This may not be the right place to post this, but whatever. So I am currently a junior at UCLA, 3.98 GPA, majoring in business economics, with a minor in accounting and a minor in math (also took premed classes though).

Since we are all in it for the money, how would being a doctor compare? I'm not talking about your family doctor, I'm talking about your dermatologists, radiologists, and anesthiologists that net 250k a year after malpractice and stuff.

In the long run, will being an associate beat a career in dermatology? Obviously, a lifelong career in IB will overshadow medicine easily, but most people burn out after associate or analyst and search for other jobs. Are these guys well-compensated to the tune of 250k or is it tough to beat this salary even with experience in IB?

If you are in it for the money, do I-Banking. But if you want to still make good money and MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY, if you want to have that great feeling inside of you that you truly are helping people everyday, maybe even saving people's lives depending on what you do, become a doctor. Well then how come I am not going to med school then you might ask? B/c I have already seen too many successful ppl in finance, too many good things in life for me to not go down this path

Jul 28, 2015

those specialties have: one year as an intern, minimum of 4 more years as a resident, and then minimum of 2 years of fellowship. Let me break out my HP 12c . . . yep, that's 7 years before making anywhere CLOSE to even $100k.

Trust me, if you find an anesthesiologist (or, you know, an "anesthiologist") who only did 3-4 years of residency after med school and then began practice, you're better off being put under by a vet.

Jul 28, 2015

I think what the OP is getting at is:

a steady 300k-400k job for the next 30 years after going through med school / residency

vs.

the career track of a typical analysts/associate (associate for a few years, maybe vp or analyst for two years, possibly pe/hf, business school then who knows?)

Sure as an associate you might be bringing in 300-400k (during good times), but what will most continue making after that? I don't know what the typical corp dev job pays or what the chances are of advancing to partner status at a pe/vc firm...but taking that into account might make the question somewhat more interesting.

Just from what I've seen...As a dermatologist / radiologist you're usually working a very comfortable 40 hours a week and I've definitely seen radiologist job postings with up to 8 weeks of vacation. Plus, you're probably in a better position to make supplemental income as a "consultant" type.

It would be great if anyone who knows anything about post-banking long-term career prospects could shed some light on this.

Jul 28, 2015
getfar:

I think what the OP is getting at is:

a steady 300k-400k job for the next 30 years after going through med school / residency

vs.

the career track of a typical analysts/associate (associate for a few years, maybe vp or analyst for two years, possibly pe/hf, business school then who knows?)

Sure as an associate you might be bringing in 300-400k (during good times), but what will most continue making after that? I don't know what the typical corp dev job pays or what the chances are of advancing to partner status at a pe/vc firm...but taking that into account might make the question somewhat more interesting.

Just from what I've seen...As a dermatologist / radiologist you're usually working a very comfortable 40 hours a week and I've definitely seen radiologist job postings with up to 8 weeks of vacation. Plus, you're probably in a better position to make supplemental income as a "consultant" type.

It would be great if anyone who knows anything about post-banking long-term career prospects could shed some light on this.

This chimp basically sums up what I am wondering. Doctors are reasonably paid throughout their careers, and its not like I do not have the slightest inkling of what compassion is although I might make an exception for StoneImmaculate if I ever become a doctor.

So anyways, what post-banking long-term opportunities for there for banking (because not everyone can survive a lifetime of 100 hour work weeks)? Anyone have the time to shed some light on this?

Jul 28, 2015

Find your passion. Its where you will be more successful.

Jul 28, 2015

Well just give me, wikipedia, the ucsf, ucla, and ucsd med school websites the benefit of doubt when I say residency is only 3 years (4 with internship) and that these specialists do earn 250k median if not a bit more.

So realistically, could the typical MBA grad that did IB compare with this down the road? Not that I doubt myself, but I have to admit, I am probably not the top I-banker material even though I may be able to choke down the work hours.

Jul 28, 2015

any one that becomes a doctor for the money is an idiot...your looking at about 10 years of med school/residency before your making any money. you come out hundreds of thousands in debt and have to work your ass off.

Jul 28, 2015

I am a part of a family of doctors, and I can tell you right now that the medicine career has gone down hill to the point that doctors have been forced to turn their "helping other people" career into a business.

Unless you really want to become one, its better that you don't or you will be miserable.

...

Jul 28, 2015

i am also part of a family of doctors and all of my parents friends are doctors also. they have all told me that i was really smart going into ibanking instead of medicine because doctors are getting screwed financially now. if you are in it for the money ibankers can retire at 40 a lot wealthier than doctors who retire at 65.

Jul 28, 2015

wow I cant believe people still contemplate being a doctor just for the money. That is possibly one of the worst decisions you could possibly make, the pay isnt even that high and over a third of your life will pass by before you even finish school+residency and start earning a single dollar.

Personally for me I find the environment would be pretty depressing as well. Everyones either sick, dying,or in pain and since no one looks forward to visiting the doctor/dentist that makes the job even more difficult. Thats also why they have the highest suicide rates.

Jul 28, 2015

To become an oral surgeon you have to be IN SCHOOL until you're 30-32 years old. I don't know how long it is after that before you're actually pulling wisdom teeth and making that money, but from a financial standpoint alone you'd be better off in banking. Not sure if you need another degree besides dental school for orthodontics though.

Overall though, it's stupid to do anything that requires a huge sacrifice just for money.

Jul 28, 2015

Has anyone mentioned the downside to dentistry? Looking in nasty diseased mouths all day for the rest of your life?

Sure bankers work crazy hours for 6-7 years as analyst/associate, slightly less crazy for 3 as a VP, but then you are in much better control of your hours and the work becomes conversation focused rather than creating work product.

Compare that to 4 grueling years in dental (or med) school, plus some period of residency and then the initial work to build a practice/reputation. Add to that that as a dentist you will be looking in mouths through the end of your practice, just like when you started.

Jul 28, 2015

Well, I actually did the pre-med route for a year, and have a lot of doctors of various specialties in my family. First of all, dentists probably do make 300k in most cases. They can make much more if they own a practice.

The thing to consider is that most doctors probably make around 350k- 500k, but they also have much better hours and more flexibility at work. One anesthesiologist I know works from 6am to 11am most days, and is on call every 5th day and weekend. Also, girls find medical school much more impressive than banking.

But yes, it is definitely true that times are not going to get any better for doctors. It is a shame, because they deserve more compensation for delaying their career until they are 30 for training. Furthermore, their risk is astronomical. Dont vote for hillary.

As you all were saying, if money is the only issue, dont be a doctor.

Jul 28, 2015

If you're getting an MD for the money you're a complete fool and have no idea what a being a doctor is really about.

Being in finance for the money is fine, but the fact that you will be taking up a spot at a med. school that is extremely hard to come by over someone who might actually be a good doctor and not a greedy asshole is quite sad.

Also if you think that you can get into a good med school and fool the adcoms into thinking your not all about the money your in for a surprise. It happens, but knowing why you want to be a physician and those being the right reasons is much more important than in almost any other field.

Kids routinely get rejected from Ivy League schools with high GPA's Mcat scores etc. because they are not in it for the right reasons, I hope your one of them.

Jul 28, 2015

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned malpractice insurance yet...Sure you can probably pull in 300 or 400k as an anesthesiologist, but a LARGE chunk of that is gonna go towards insurance...take taxes into consideration and I'm sure you can live comfortably, but definitely nowhere near as well as you can if you choose banking.

Jul 28, 2015

True, the take-home pay is only around 250k before taxes and after malpractice, but what does banking eventually lead to moneywise and careerwise because to be honest, I doubt I will be the lifelong banker type.

Jul 28, 2015

I originally went into ibanking for the money, but now I actually enjoy a lot of the stuff I do. I'm loving the company research and so on, even if it means spending a lot of time over petty little things like the font or how the table should look. But the research and the exposure I get, and all the free broker reports I get to read, are great!

Jul 28, 2015

i know doctors who are just general practitioners who own their practice and pull in 1MM/yr... obv thats pretax/insurance, but still a huge amount... the thing is, though, as everyone has said, youre looking at a huge investment of both time and money for med school, interning, residency, etc., not to mention that those periods of training also generally involve really long hours. and if you do set up your own family practice somewhere, it may take a few years to really get started, and of course there's no guarantee of a big income in private practice, or even success at it.

disclaimer: im not pre-med or anything like that, but this is the reality as i understand it from my friends and family who are doctors and have gone through it.

anyway, medicine may not be the best route if youre just looking for a steady source of income, unless youre willing to delay that stream for a while and put in the years of training... one alternative you might wanna consider is pharmacy, although it still requires a significant input of time (i think 6 years of pharmacy school), but i think they have one of the highest starting salaries at this point and there's definitely a demand for them

Jul 28, 2015

Maybe if they owned a practice with a huge amount of associates and no other partners, but general practice does not pay well at all. Maybe they would make what a first year analyst does in his or her first year with a big bonus. Plus, with HMOs today, general practices operate like car washes, and one never really forms relationships with patients. Do not get into medicine for the pay. It is a really bad idea. Plus, the skill-set for the two fields are not exactly the same.

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Jul 28, 2015

specialists do make a nice income, however you really only start to make the big $$$ when you reach your 30s. The entire 10 year period before hand is study/residency etc. Hours are fairly similar.

Jul 28, 2015

Remember to put some 'context' to the OP's post. Most dentists and doctors can live in more desirable (and potentially cheaper...the South, West Coast, Florida) places.

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Jul 28, 2015

No one should do banking or medicine SOLELY for the money, as one will quickly relize in either industry.

The idea of someone practicing medicine just for monetary reasons completely blows my mind. The OP really shouldn't be asking such a rediculous question.

Jul 28, 2015

Ideally, no one should be doing either for the money. Realistically, these are two of the highest paying careers out there. Being a physician is generally regarded by the masses as one of the top paying careers. So I think you'll see that a significant portion of people in either industry see money as the motivating factor (especially in banking).

I think the question should be to frame this from a monetary standpoint and then roughly see what the opportunity cost of becoming a physician as compared to going into finance. Then the OP or anyone else can see how much of a premium doing something "to help people" would be needed to overcome that cost. This obviously would vary for each individual and other people may have other factors to throw in as well.

This may never be accomplished by looking at the lack of information this thread has garnered thus far.

Jul 28, 2015

I dont know about dentistry, but I know plenty of M.D.'s and by comparison:
M.D.: years of effort, low risk, great reward
Ibanking: years of effort, high risk, excellent reward

Jul 28, 2015
yury:

I dont know about dentistry, but I know plenty of M.D.'s and by comparison:
M.D.: years of effort, low risk, great reward
Ibanking: years of effort, high risk, excellent reward

Is I-banking even high risk? HOw many cats you know been fired unless they're a complete Dr. Mcsuckbag?

Jul 28, 2015

what's the difference between great and excellent

Jul 28, 2015

Tools of the Trade (from NYPOST and leveragedsellout)

THE INVESTMENT BANKER

Andrew, 24

Salary estimate: $190,000, including projected bonus

Job: We help companies raise capital and grow their business.

CLOTHES

Suit: Hickey Freeman suit, $2,749. "I have about 10 suits and usually buy them at Hickey Freeman and Paul Stuart. I have two really heavy pin-stripe suits that I'd classify as 'power suits.' Bankers never wear double-breasted suits, it's a fashion faux pas. I get all of my suits tailored in Rochester, N.Y. There is a Romanian couple that have been doing my father's suits for years. They are trusted in the family, and 10 times better than any of the tailors I've used in the city."

White shirt: "There's a saying in the banking world that you can never have too many blue suits or white shirts. I get mine from Hickey Freeman [$149-$249] as my standby, but I also shop at Charles Tyrwhitt [$99-$200], Thomas Pink [$149-$249] and Turnbull and Asser [over $250]. I get my white shirts heavy-starched."

Collar: "I always buy cutaway collars and French cuffs from the British stores (Tyrwhitt, Pink, Turnbull & Asser), and Barrel (button) cuffs from Hickey Freeman."

Watch: Breitling Navitimer, $5,299. "Bankers have a complex with having a watch. Far and beyond the most popular watch is a Rolex Submariner - black or white face, half bezel is blue. The Navitimer comes in a few different sizes and shapes."

Shoes: Ferragamo loafers, $395 at Saks Fifth Avenue. "The standard banker shoe is a fashion loafer or a tie cap toe."

Tie: Hickey Freeman tie, $125. "The two tie brands that embody the investment banker are Hermes and Salvatore Ferragamo. I don't wear a lot of Ferragamo because they tie small knots and are usually pastel - I like thicker knots and cutaway collars. Every now and then I'll pick up some pastels from Brooks Brothers. I've bought one or two Ferragamo ties from the outlet. But I buy most of my ties from Hickey Freeman. They retail anywhere from $98-$130."

TOOLS

PDA: A BlackBerry 8700c, it's gray with black trim. "I bought mine at the Cingular store in Midtown. At first, people are apprehensive and they think it's a virtual leash. Now I can't imagine life without it."

Red pen: "I keep a pen behind my ear at all times. I never used red pens before, now I always do - it stands out."

GROOMING

Shoe-shining: "I like to shine my own shoes. You can get a shine kit at any shoe retailer with brush, polish and cloth. But in an emergency, there are shoe-shiners walking around on our floor offering to shine our shoes [$5]."

TASTES

Cigars: "My favorite cigar is a CAO Brazilia, with Partagas Black Label coming in close behind. I buy most of my cigars at JR Cigar on 46th and Fifth. Sometimes I will buy from Barclay Rex on Lexington Avenue, and sometimes I order them by the box on Thompson Cigar online. I've been smoking cigars for four years now, it's even on my rA(c)sumA(c). Liking cigars is a good talking point."

Red Bull: "Every two weeks I buy a 12-pack of sugar-free Red Bull. I have one before I get in the shower, and then I drink one on the way to work. I don't really drink coffee because it's a slow process. Redbull is portable and it gets you ready to embrace the day."

Blanton's: "The only alcohol I drink is Blanton's whiskey, Woodford Reserve (a small-batch bourbon) and Glenlivet 15-year (a single-malt scotch). There's a good liquor place on 86th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam that I go to every now and then."

Bar: "The bad side of the long hours. After six months, I noticed people started calling me less and less. Some of my friends and I go to Milk & Honey. It's really small and there are rules. Men can't approach women, you have to make reservations and they chip the ice into your drink. At the other end of the spectrum is Yogi's. They have $7 pitchers of Bud Ice. 'nuff said."

THE RESIDENT PHYSICIAN

Feras, 27

Salary estimate: $50,000

Job: "We see patients that walk in or come in by ambulance, assess their condition and either discharge them with treatment or admit them into the hospital."

CLOTHES

Scrubs: "I don't usually buy my scrubs, I steal them from hospitals - everybody does it. When I buy my scrubs, I get them online at Allheart.com for $10.99. I wear different colors depending on which is clean and what kind of mood I'm in. The different colors are green, blue and black. The scrubs are supposed to be cleaned by the hospital and never leave the hospital, but they do. No one follows those rules. You are too busy to be spending too much time dressing up."

Undershirts: "I usually wear solid-colored T-shirts under my scrubs. They are usually shirts I've had forever, but if I need a new one I'll go to the Gap and get a cheap T-shirt, $12. Some surgeons go bare-chested - it's a surgeon thing."

Sneakers: He's wearing Saucony sneakers from Foot Locker, $80. "You can pretty much wear whatever shoes you want to wear as long as it has covered toes. I find Sauconys really comfortable. I'm on my feet all day, plus I have flat feet. I need to wear sneakers or my feet hurt at night. I'm sure running doesn't help the situation, either. Other people wear Dansko clogs from Zappos [$114]."

BAG

"I have a Brooklyn Industries messenger bag that I got online [$64]."

What's in it: "I always have a book to read for the subway. Right now I'm reading 'Better,' by Atul Gawande [$16.32 from Amazon.com]. I have a Black Nano [$200 at Best Buy] and my favorite song is Radiohead, '2 + 2 = 5.' "

TOOLS

PDA: "I have my Verizon Wireless Palm Pilot [$300] attached to my belt at all times. It has a drug dictionary and medical diagnoses on it. It's like a BlackBerry without a phone."

ER necessities: "I always have a stethoscope around my neck, trauma shears, a stamp with my name on it and a pen light - to look in people's throats and eyes. You can get usually get all the medical equipment you need at the Barnes & Nobles on Fifth Avenue."

Medical reference book: "I always have my 'Tarascon Adult Emergency Pocketbook' [$10.17] with me to use as a reference in the Emergency room."

GROOMING

Hair: "My hair was once too long and a colleague told me to cut it so now I cut it, about every three months at Supercuts in Brooklyn [$15]. I think patients like it better if their doctors are clean-cut. Patients say they like my hair."

TASTES

Nightlife: "Socializing is hard because of the long hours. You don't have time to go out as much as you would like, and you are typically working when other people you know are off. I typically work Friday and Saturday nights when people are off. I usually go out in the middle of the week. I like low-key lounge places with live music in either Brooklyn or Manhattan, like Brownstone Billiards on Flatbush Avenue."

Coffee: "Iworked 72 hours this past week, including night shifts from 7 p.m.-7 a.m. Coffee is essential. About everyone at the hospital drinks it because they are tired and need something to keep going. Most people get it from local guys in carts because it's the cheapest at 50 cents for a small cup."

Jul 28, 2015

Wow that last post was horrible. Of course the lifestyle of a doctor and a banker, or for that matter anybody in the business field, is not going to be anywhere close. Im pre-med right now and am getting my degree in Finance. I could see people going into both for money but with medicine, if somebody is going into the field JUST for money they will NEVER make it. They'll get through undergrad and get into a medical school but once they start going through med school and residency, they will run out.

I know if I really didn't want to pursue a career in medicine I wouldn't be able to go through the necessary steps to become a doctor. I dont know who could take residency hours while being paid shitty money for 6-7 years (high paid specialties) and do horrible grueling work just to eventually get paid good money. Doctors live comfortable for the most part, not extravagant.

Im sure there are outliers who made it all the way through but I guarantee they would choose to do it over. There are some lifestyle specialties such as anesthesiology, dermatology, etc. but it's still a very hard path to follow! Medicine's future is very vague, finance/banking is not. Business/Investing will always be the ticket to the millions. That said, it's fine having money as a determining factor for a career but don't let it be the only factor. I've been there and it drove me crazy!!

Jul 28, 2015

a doctor is more prestigious than being a banker. Granted, it requires much more schooling and intellect as well. Bottom line, like everyone else, dont go to med school just for the money. You'll hate it, be miserable, and regret it. Be a lawyer or a monkey (banker).

Jul 28, 2015

Charge idiots 500 dollars an hour to read a contract.

Jul 28, 2015

It's a little bit sad really, but there are any number of PE Associates at age 24 that have quite a bit more take home pay than Doctors ever make on an annual basis in their careers.

Jul 28, 2015

I tend to think there's more upside in financial services if your first job is going to be in ib. But depends if you could survive it. You probably won't burn out as easily in medicine.

Jul 28, 2015

if you even have to ask a question about money, you should NOT become a doctor.

you have to love MEDICINE to be a doctor, if you don't you are going to hate your life.

beyond this, med school adcoms are very scrutinizing (i.e. they try to weed out people like you (no offense)) . .. if you are not totally dripping liquid altruism when you interview you won't get a spot.

if you care about money, study money.

Jul 28, 2015
putneyswope:

if you care about money, study money.

couldn't have said it better myself

Jul 28, 2015

They should have compared a Family Doc to the Finance guy...post-residency incomes are not nearly as bad.

Jul 28, 2015

Definitely not the best place to ask dude.

Jul 28, 2015

Banking. Then again, I'm biased.

    • 1
Jul 28, 2015

do both

MD/MBA

Jul 28, 2015
oldmansacks:

do both

MD/MBA

throw a JD in too while you are at it

Jul 28, 2015

A career in medicine will be much more fulfilling than banking, in my opinionm and I do this shit everyday

Jul 28, 2015

If you honestly love both, then I'd go with medicine. You can always do this type of work on the side in managing your own money as well. I work in ER for an independent shop, and I really like my job, as a caveat. But, medicine is a great field, and much less dependent on networking and/or doing things of little utility to break in.

Jul 28, 2015

MD/MBA's are pretty common at good schools (harvard, columbia, etc...)

Jul 28, 2015

Lots of MDs become entrepreneurs or businesspeople later in their lives. Not a lot of finance hacks becoming surgeons.

Jul 28, 2015
Kenny_Powers_CFA:

Lots of MDs become entrepreneurs or businesspeople later in their lives. Not a lot of finance hacks becoming surgeons.

touche

Sep 26, 2019

deleted

Jul 28, 2015

I file tax returns for bankers and doctors. Bankers make more, doctors do well, usually supplement their income with a rental building or two. Hedge fund guys MURRRRDERRRRRR ITTTTT. I'm not even talking about David Tepper and the likes, just some 30 year old guy who never works Saturdays, doesn't have to tell some young couple that their child "has the aids" no all nighters, etc. etc.

Dude must be smart, he must work hard, but he sure as fuck didn't do 100 hour weeks for 3 years then business school for 200k - nor did he do 100000 years of medical school.

More autonomy as a doctor, can run your own practice - but the future of medicine is uncertain.

You can always be a doctor and invest on the side.

Random anonymous statistics I've seen on returns.

Doctors average between 150-200k in agi. Did a few banking MD returns, pulled in around 500k (was shocked when I saw that). Any guy who works for a hedge fund ---- cool mill - easy.

Jul 28, 2015

You know it's a finance website when someone conflicted with passion for a career choice is presented with a post based strictly on salary ^^

Jul 28, 2015

If uncertainty is even a thought having never worked in the field full-time, then the answer is clear. I was just giving him some numbers regarding his future lifestyle for him to play around with.

Jul 28, 2015

^lmao...

I work in healthcare banking. I know one too many MDs who eventually got their MBAs then started at a pharma PE/VC or worked for start ups making it up to the partner level. But then again...they are more on running a business than doing finance related work.

Jul 28, 2015

Honestly do medicine. Do you know how sacred a doctor fucking is?! C'mon man you have the power to save lives. When someone suffers a heartattack on a plane who do they ask for? Not a fucking fagbag who can crunch numbers.

If you're looking just at the pay then yeah, finance will blow medicine away, but not all people who a have a "passion" for finance make it big. You have to have the balls to make it far.....

You're probably a bright kid with big dreams, don't get sucked into banking. Do medicine. You can do the whole doctors without borders thing and save lives in Africa or whatnot. Or you can become a titty surgeon and open up a fake titties clinic in Cali or something. Either way, medicine seems to be the right choice.

    • 1
Jul 28, 2015

most worthwhile girls like doctors more, dont they?

Jul 28, 2015
09grad:

most worthwhile girls like doctors more, dont they?

Outside of the northeast and a select few other cities, they definitely do.

Keep in mind that doctors have more freedom as far as where they can live, so if you don't want to go to NYC, medicine's a far better choice.

Jul 28, 2015

if youre dumb enough to ask..then you should be a banker.

Jul 28, 2015

doctor: we need more doctors. we don't need more bankers.

Jul 28, 2015

You can always go from medicine into finance, but you can (almost) never go from finance into medicine...

Many MDs end up going to work for healthcare VCs, healthcare PE, or just plain old working in the finance division of a healthcare company. This requires you to get an MBA, but it can be done, and is an easy out if you get the MD, but then find out you want to do something else. Again, it's a one way street, if you pick finance, it will be extremely, extremely difficult to switch into medicine...whereas with medicine, it's a much easier switch...

Jul 28, 2015

For what its worth, a lot of very smart doctors i've talked to (think guys who have started companies worth hundreds of millions) think many doctors and especially surgeons are nothing more than auto-mechanics. They would tell you to have a large focus on the research (and then maybe business) side of things if you want to be intellectually challenged.

Jul 28, 2015

if you're seriously asking this question on a banking forum, then i would hope to god you won't be my doctor someday

Jul 28, 2015

The fact that you're concerned with money says something. I was pre-med, skipped the MCAT and went into healthcare banking with a bio degree.

I really just decided to stop lying to myself. I hated labs and spent most of my time outside of class making money through one of my quasi-illegal businesses (importing replica watches from China, curbstoning, manufacturing beer and liquor merchandising products without licensing, etc.) and reading the business section of the NY Times.

If you have the patience to get through med school, then be my guest, but if you have a fucking blood itch to take risks and make as much money as you can, then your choice is simple.

    • 1
Jul 28, 2015

Talking as someone not in banking but in a health related field (biomedical research)...

I assume you're early on in your college career. The prestige of being a doctor wears out quickly once you shadow or work in a hospital. You realize it's a blue collar job that has a high barrier to entry. I think the reason a lot of people are passionate about medicine is because they just want to say they got into med school which is a difficult feat.

I think you should work in a lab and then shadow/scribe a little just to get it out of your system or decide that you actually enjoy what you do. For me, I found research very intellectually stimulating, but then when you start doing the job itself it becomes routine like any other job.

To put it frankly, you're not Dr. House. Your patients will never be that interesting and you'll never have that interesting of a diagnostic team. If you do research, the interesting discussions only come after months of slaving away in front of a qPCR machine developing carpal tunnel from a matrix pipette on a 384 well plate performing the same 100 hour days you would in banking (except that instead of being rewarded with money, you're rewarded with someone not guilting you into working more).

And on the other hand, if your passion is with helping people, keep in mind that you'll be helping people individually and the best way to truly make a difference is to invent some new treatment / diagnostic to affect a broader range.

Also, in response to those saying it's a one way street if you go into finance - I just think there isn't a big enough sample size of people who even wanted to make that decision to say they're incapable of getting into school. I'm not praising finance, I just want you to be aware that medicine isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Jul 28, 2015

Wasabi couldn't have gotten it more right...

Jul 28, 2015

Instead of just considering raw salary numbers, you also need to consider the following:
1. the percentage of people who get educated in Finance / Medicine and then get decent jobs in Finance / Medicine. You will find that it is far more difficult to break into Finance even after you have your degree. Medicine is a guaranteed career.
2. Retirement age of Finance professionals vs. Doctors. Finance professionals are made redundant relatively early. Doctors can basically make their $200 K salary until they die. Once you have your medical license, that is guaranteed employment until you die or voluntarily retire.

Jul 28, 2015

Bob, I faced sort of a similar situation- after I graduated in '08 (no degree related to either med or finance), I decided to go back to school and do the pre-med classes. This past fall, 1 semester away from completing the prereqs, I suddenly decided I wanted to get into banking with 0 coursework or experience. I networked, tried hard, spent countless hours prepping using WSO, got a couple of interviews and totally screwed up my superday at a BB for a SA S&T position.

If i reallyy wanted to do it, a couple of rejections wouldnt have stopped me which was a pretty good wake up call that banking wasnt for me. if you're still in undergrad, you have way more options than I did- study both. 100% get an internship at a bank so you can see 1sthand if you like it, but finish the med classes too, you'll be able to make a more informed decision than I did. good luck!

Jul 28, 2015

Just recently, was accepted to an Ivy League for a masters in Globalization and I have been looking at Banking. I know it's very difficult to break into. Apart of me has been considering doing the post-bac for the pre-reqs for med or dental school.

Also, to say being a doctor is blue collar work is a bit cruel. Because, even the obscenely rich & wealthy call on for doctors to aide them for their health. Few professions guaranty comfortable middle and upper class lifestyles. Being an MD is one of those things. The poor admire doctors not only because they help people and save lives but because, the promise of a stable lifestyle is promised regardless of the economical situation. Even those on Wall Street would rather their children be Doctors than just about any other profession. It's a conservative career choice that doesn't require you to kiss ass, headache cold calling of clients, and the illusion of authority to save a life. I can def see how being a doctor isn't fun though.

Doctors have to learn all of the EMR systems required by the government now. They are going to end up taking pay cuts and abiding by more rules and regulatory bodies. So, that kind of sucks major ass. For those that are blessed enough to match into a great specialty might avoid having to take major pay cuts.

After all of the research of banking, hedge funds and all of that wall street clearly is attractive because it's one of the few career paths you can become a multi-millionaire in ten years or less. But, it's not as stable or certain as being a doctor

ivy league bound.

Jul 28, 2015
charmingsun:

Also, to say being a doctor is blue collar work is a bit cruel. Because, even the obscenely rich & wealthy call on for doctors to aide them for their health. Few professions guaranty comfortable middle and upper class lifestyles. Being an MD is one of those things. The poor admire doctors not only because they help people and save lives but because, the promise of a stable lifestyle is promised regardless of the economical situation. Even those on Wall Street would rather their children be Doctors than just about any other profession. It's a conservative career choice that doesn't require you to kiss ass, headache cold calling of clients, and the illusion of authority to save a life. I can def see how being a doctor isn't fun though.

From wikipedia: Blue-collar work may be skilled or unskilled, and may involve manufacturing, mining, building and construction trades, mechanical work, maintenance, repair and operations maintenance or technical installations. The white-collar worker, by contrast, performs non-manual labor often in an office; and the service industry worker performs labor involving customer interaction, entertainment, retail and outside sales, and the like.

It has nothing to do with respect. Just the fact that it's manual labor and not something you do from behind a desk all day.

Jul 28, 2015

considering the whole of "medicine" as a single profession isn't really helpful.

there's a huge difference between the heart surgeon in praivate practice making 650k a year with job security and good hours and your run of the primary care guy at the local hospital.

Jul 28, 2015

OP, imagine yourself in 30 years, what do you see yourself doing?

That said, jumping to finance from med is easier while finance to med is almost impossible.

People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis, you can't trust people Jeremy

Jul 28, 2015

lol bobthesun just disappeared

Jul 28, 2015

Think about where you see yourself in the future.

If you see a man with a family, stable lifestyle and above average pay, medicine is right for you.

If you see a man who has a dynamic lifestyle, no family, no work-life balance, pretty much glued to his desk but has a chance to make a lot of money, banking is right for you.

Both of these choices are great depending on the type of lifestyle the person wants to live.

Jul 28, 2015

I'd stick to medicine if I were you. You have alot going for you in that field.

Jul 28, 2015

No internships but you know you'd like banking? This seems like a classic "grass is always greener" + "I talked to some friends who are bankers so I know"

Jul 28, 2015

Sounds like you should stick with Medicine.

Jul 28, 2015

.

Johnny Rocket

Jul 28, 2015

What do you like about banking? If you like business in general one low-key option for doctors is to get into the biotech industry later on.

Jul 28, 2015

Well, I know that in SF at Lazard there is a Healthcare IBD VP who is a Med school graduate. I believe. Anyhow I think it'll still be good to have the med school experience. As an undergrad still trying to break in. I would say that once you finish that program and want to get in, people would ask you to join them. We undergrads have to beg/impress to break in.

Jul 28, 2015

Interesting, Ivey places well at CS SF, they have a solid HC banking division. I want to pursue HC banking, too (I live in Canada). Good luck. I have to ask, though, not that it matters, what do your parents' (who I presume are funding your education), feel about your indecisiveness?

The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

Jul 28, 2015

I mean if you really LOVE finance, then I guess it makes sense to do an MBA/MFE and switch... But this sounds like a grass is always greener on the other side scenario.

Just fyi, breaking into finance in Canada is EXTREMELY hard - the community is very small, and they really want people to follow "the path" from the beginning.

I was actually speaking with a retired fund manager about this 2 weeks ago. He recommended avoiding finance at all costs unless you're already in the game. His reasons? Financial services is contracting, salaries are decreasing, and government regulation is becoming more onerous each passing day.

And as a matter of fact, he suggested I look to health care for the greatest opportunities. Why? Baby Boomers are retiring with lots of money, the industry is growing faster than ever, and government will have to look to the private sector for solutions.

My .02.

Jul 28, 2015

Finance industry is dying, shrinking or at the least structurally changing. From what I have seen, the only growth opportunities are in emerging markets and on the buy-side. My younger brother is in pre-med track as well so I am telling you exactly what I have told him. Go finish your med school. Try it for a few years. You can always come back into banking as a doctor on the investing side: healthcare related VC or PE shops.

Personally to me, banking is like trying to make it big in Hollywood. It is really risky and there are many people who are trying to make it. The barrier of entry is pretty low. And the higher you move up, the more you will realize that banking has nothing to do with what you learn at school, like financial modelings, risk management, (I am talking about IBD and ER). Schools don't even teach you stuffs that you do at work.

It is all about building relationship and selling whatever financial products you have. This require a lot of soft skills and most importantly being at the right time, at the right place with the right partners. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. From breaking in to moving up, it is 110% about networking, like super thick skinned shameless networking with everyone at everywhere all the time. It is definitely not the right cup of tea for everyone.

Jul 28, 2015

There are a ton of biotech VCs and bankers that are joint MD/MBA.

By the way, doctors are earning less every year so it's not just a banking issue. There isn't a concern that medicine will completely go away, but it's not the guarantee to a great life like it once was.

Jul 28, 2015

I think that actuaries at health insurance companies will be more highly compensated than doctors going forward. It would seem as though doctor salaries have been stagnant for years. I expect doctors to start to earn what docs in Canada/Europe earn in the coming decade.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Jul 28, 2015
wadtk:

I think that actuaries at health insurance companies will be more highly compensated than doctors going forward. It would seem as though doctor salaries have been stagnant for years. I expect doctors to start to earn what docs in Canada/Europe earn in the coming decade.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?

You are definitely correct. The day of the private practice is over. They are all being gobbled up by healthcare systems that are Kaiser clones. Doctors are becoming just another big corporate employee. There is a reason why there is a doctor shortage in the UK and Canada. It's simply not worth the time to get the MD, if you aren't going to get paid.

P.S. In case anyone cares/wonders, I had one of the posts about getting out of banking this spring. I left to pursue a startup aimed at disintermediating these exact trends.

Jul 28, 2015

If you go into the interning route and into finance over medical school, you'd be taking a considerable risk and making a big mistake. I'm interning at a Canadian bank in IB and can tell you that this is not a stable life, most full timers speculate about lay offs all the time and interns dont even know whether they'll be asked back. It's a tight time. You're finding all this interesting only because it's new and different. Given time, you'll be bored because in reality it's not all that interesting and banking/S&T is not meant to be fun or interesting, it's meant to be a grueling and stressful. Otherwise you wouldn't be as well compensated. Plus, interns are treated like rubbish and are all 20 year olds, being older than analysts and going up to them and asking them for work is not a fun experience.

Having said that, finance is an interesting area and investing is a skill that most poeple managing their own finances should develop. As a doctor I'm sure you'll be making sufficient money to invest on your own and you can make this an enjoyable thing to do on the side rather than a stressful anchor. That's my view, good luck.

    • 1
Jul 28, 2015

My dad is a specialist in Hamilton, Ontario. He earns a great salary working for a public health care system that politicians won't dare touch. Sure he doesn't make the millions that some guys on Bay Street make but recessions are a non event. My Dad has never been laid off, never had to worry about his paycheck and both my mom and dad bought new cars (mom bought a new C class) during the credit crunch. A lot of my Dad's friends who are also MD's do a lot of personal investing and with the hours of a senior specialist you can have time to pursue your finance interest.

I went down the finance route, and although I'm just starting out all I can say is that very few guys are rolling in it like you see with Bud Fox on Wall Street. Sure, there is a killing to be made if you're the next Ichan, but with the way the industry is going bonuses are down, stress levels are up, jobs are scarce and the hours are long. Only benefit is that finance is globally transferable and I'm now working in London, something my Dad wouldn't be able to do with the regulatory restrictions of medicine.

Jul 28, 2015
mhurricane:

Interesting, Ivey places well at CS SF, they have a solid HC banking division. I want to pursue HC banking, too (I live in Canada). Good luck. I have to ask, though, not that it matters, what do your parents' (who I presume are funding your education), feel about your indecisiveness?

I had a number of private scholarships and I have only invested one year in medicine, so that isn't the main cost. It really is opportunity cost of leaving medicine and heading into finance...the rub being they can't be compared directly.

Human:

Finance industry is dying, shrinking or at the least structurally changing. From what I have seen, the only growth opportunities are in emerging markets and on the buy-side. My younger brother is in pre-med track as well so I am telling you exactly what I have told him. Go finish your med school. Try it for a few years. You can always come back into banking as a doctor on the investing side: healthcare related VC or PE shops.

Personally to me, banking is like trying to make it big in Hollywood. It is really risky and there are many people who are trying to make it. The barrier of entry is pretty low. And the higher you move up, the more you will realize that banking has nothing to do with what you learn at school, like financial modelings, risk management, (I am talking about IBD and ER). Schools don't even teach you stuffs that you do at work.

It is all about building relationship and selling whatever financial products you have. This require a lot of soft skills and most importantly being at the right time, at the right place with the right partners. It is definitely not for the faint of heart. From breaking in to moving up, it is 110% about networking, like super thick skinned shameless networking with everyone at everywhere all the time. It is definitely not the right cup of tea for everyone.

Very true, but here in Canada the average compensations for GPs are fairly high in the near $200,000 range [its on the Associations website]. There is still a shortage of Physicians, especially where I live (a city of 500000) only six GPs are accepting new patients and they are not the most capable ones. Specialists and particularly surgeons face a lot of uncertainty and most likely cuts in the future. Cutting people up will not be the primary care regimen. Preventative medicine and non-invasive interventions will come to dominate medicine as a direct result of burdensome healthcare costs. It is already happening here...top surgeons losing hours at the hospitals at the peak of their careers. Those fields focusing on diagnostic, preventative and non-invasive medicine will continue to see stable and perhaps even rising incomes.

CNB90:

If you go into the interning route and into finance over medical school, you'd be taking a considerable risk and making a big mistake. I'm interning at a Canadian bank in IB and can tell you that this is not a stable life, most full timers speculate about lay offs all the time and interns dont even know whether they'll be asked back. It's a tight time. You're finding all this interesting only because it's new and different. Given time, you'll be bored because in reality it's not all that interesting and banking/S&T is not meant to be fun or interesting, it's meant to be a grueling and stressful. Otherwise you wouldn't be as well compensated. Plus, interns are treated like rubbish and are all 20 year olds, being older than analysts and going up to them and asking them for work is not a fun experience.

Having said that, finance is an interesting area and investing is a skill that most poeple managing their own finances should develop. As a doctor I'm sure you'll be making sufficient money to invest on your own and you can make this an enjoyable thing to do on the side rather than a stressful anchor. That's my view, good luck.

I think I remember reading an old thread by you where you were facing the same or somewhat of a similar choice? If you went back which field would you have preferred? I understand that novelty has a lot to with why I find this stuff interesting, but as I stated I am much stronger in the quantitative fields and my second year calculus prof tried to convince me to switch to math. Just didn't happen...So I think part of the appeal comes from that. I understand that kind of math wizardry is mostly involved in the risk management type part of an institution. But, I also find commerce, business and economics interesting as well. The things I read and my conversations with people tend to center on these topics. I am not so worried about the long hours or people treating me like crap...it is all a part of medical training as well and I think even worse in medicine than Finance if you are talking about residents in surgical specialties. My choice rests on what you describe as anchoring myself to medicine and then doing whatever investment or something riskier like Finance.

Part of the reason why I am drawn to Finance is because of the type of personalities it attracts. Ambitious and A-types, working alongside such people (plenty in pre-med, but not so much in medicine) is a great motivator. Those traits are dominant in my personality and do come into conflict with the field I have already chosen.

Jul 28, 2015

Thanks for the input guys and Human for the links as I make my gruelling decision.

I also should have mentioned that my GPA already is quite strong in UG and meds. My goal is to eventually end up in NY or London. Though I would not exactly be crushed if I could land something in Canada lol! I just mentioned the Finance courses I took to demonstrate that I do have a general interest in the field as much as life sciences and can probably get good grades at Ivey in business courses as well (My hypothesis). I suppose an option for me would be to complete my MD and then enter Fin through an MBA route. But, I have to consider the age factor. Although, I guess at that point I would be lobbying for an Associate level position and not an analyst right?

Jul 28, 2015

Pursue both until the end of you undergrad.

Jul 28, 2015

I would suggest Medicine for job security and prestige. If you don't think you "like" finance" now, wait until you ACTUALLY work in finance. You can make a BIGGER difference in the field of medicine than in finance. For instance, you could work for Doctors with Borders. Why not double major in pre-med and econ? You can still work at Goldman upon graduation if you're not ready to apply to med school.

Jul 28, 2015

Haha, good thing is you wouldn't get pricked, you would do the pricking.

But interviewing is not leaving your chance up to fate. It is the interviewer's decision and you have an immediate opportunity to affect what he thinks about you. Change your mindset about the interview and think of it as your only chance to have an impact whether or not you get the job. Its more like fate, if they have five resumes with no faces or personalities and just pick one.

Jul 28, 2015

honestly if you go into a surgical specialty, the amount of money you'd make in finance isnt meaningfully more than that you'd make in private practice. private practice surgeons can pull 600k a yr, with job security and reasonable hours. you can live anywhere you want and control your life and "play god". as an MD, sure you might make 1.5M a year, but when it comes to lifestyle, is the added benefit of that extra money really worht it to you?

Jul 28, 2015

I just realized your question was what should you do, and I didn't even address that. Don't let others tell you what you should do, you'll have to figure that out yourself. I can give you advice on how to figure out what you wan't to do. Keep your economics major and start the pre-med track. I considered medicine at one point and the pre-med track weeded me out, I realized I hate science. Just by taking both courses you could get to point where you just don't want to keep going in one area. I recommend finding finance internships for the summers. You might realize you hate working in finance or that you love it. If you're like most people you will develop a better idea of what you want to do throughout college. If you get to be a senior and you still have no idea what to do apply to both med schools and banks. You' might be limited by your opportunities. I don't think most people go straight to med school, you could do a two year analyst stint before matriculating.

There are so many different ways that your life can go. You have a couple of basic ideas right now, so work hard and keep both options open until you're more certain. On an old thread someone suggested writing your two options on slips of paper and pulling one from a hat. If you're relieved or disappointed when you read the paper, you know what you should pick.

Jul 28, 2015

Great advice and I can only ask that you keep it coming! I would totally do medicine, but again I worry about the blood and fainting thing. I could not do surgery. I also am afraid of science classes bringing down my gpa. U need a very good one for both, but higher for the top banks. And then u still have to get/do interviews. Any suggestion on practicing so I don't sound like a nervous wreck?

Jul 28, 2015

Are you nervous because you're not prepared for the interview content or are you nervous about interacting with your interviewer?

Jul 28, 2015

I am nervous for interacting I guess. On the job, I'm fine. But talking about myself is hard for me. I can practice the conent, but I don't want to be just an egg head when in reality on the job I am not..

Jul 28, 2015

what year in school are you?

Jul 28, 2015

Just going into sophomore year. I have an internship this year, and I'm doing well so
I don't care that it's through connections.

Jul 28, 2015

Not every type of doctor just stabs people with needles all day long, there are plenty of different sub fields in the medical profession that you can still make a killing off of without the surgery, excessive first-hand blood, etc.

I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

Jul 28, 2015
tlynch5:

Not every type of doctor just stabs people with needles all day long, there are plenty of different sub fields in the medical profession that you can still make a killing off of without the surgery, excessive first-hand blood, etc.

^ Yes, medicine is HUGE and there are ton of niches: administration is also an option. I spent some time talking with a very senior banker and he said that given a chance to do the last 20 years over, he would have been a doctor - more emotionally satisfying. If I were in your situation, I'd do a couple of years in finance, and then if you don't like it apply to medical school.

Jul 28, 2015

You're asking for advice from a lot of equally clueless college kids in your shoes. Good luck with that.

Jul 28, 2015

I've blown my fair share of interviews, and I've practiced and gotten better. Here are some ways to practice:
- Do mock interviews with career services.(duh) If you do multiple mock interviews, choose a different interviewer each time.
-Email people to set up informational interviews. You don't have to ask them for jobs. You would be surprised how many people are willing to meet at Starbucks for 30 minutes talk to college students about their careers.
-Go to Information sessions at your school for various employers and graduate schools. They don't have to be investment banks

Bottom line is you have to be comfortable talking to people you don't know very well. Even if the above options aren't directly related landing an ib gig they are great practice. How often do you meet new people? Certainly focus your networking efforts on bankers, but don't exclude people you meet who don't work in finance. Practice will make you more comfortable talking to people and that will translate into being more comfortable with interviews.

That said, you have an internship going into your sophomore year. You're already in good shape with plenty of time left in college. There is no reason to be frantic.

Jul 28, 2015

The way I see it there are bad and f*cked up people in all professions, but it seems like finance has a greater proportion. I would do medicine if I were you. In finance you'll make more money but you will leave work less satisfied than say helping a patient get through cancer or something. But then again, you'd be in school till you're in your 30's....that reallllyyyy sucks. In finance at 26 or 27 you can potentially be ballin' like Stalin driving a benzo with a nice condo....so the choice should really be based on what you truly want to do.

Good luck.

Jul 28, 2015

Man, I would love to end college and be like "Well I guess I feel like doing banking now, thanks Goldman for the wonderful opportunity." I don't want to make a ton of money, just enough to keep my current lifestyle. I worry that finance you either get the job and make a shit ton and roll around with rolls of cash while rejecting freshman for informational interviews....or you end up in a dead end job in Burbank Alaska filing papers. Btws, if it helps, I go to a very heavily pre med school, like 4th best med school in the nation if not better. Finance recruiting is scare, but getting better I have heard.

Jul 28, 2015

Where do you see yourself in the future. Obviously in both fields you will be making money during your career so I think you should choose the field that you think will make you the happiest. --I know, not as easy as it sounds.

Even if you go into IBD now, you will most likely have to go to b-school at some point so you will be taking out loans with either path

Jul 28, 2015

I would probably take IBD if you can handle it. You'll make just as much and potential for more later on and you don't need to spend so much money for med school. As a 30 year old banker (private equity) you should be pulling in more than your postmed career and you'll probably enjoy your work and hours more.

Jul 28, 2015

Obviously people on this forum will be biased. The same if you ask Med students which route to take. Ultimately, you need to find where your interests lay, and what suits you best. What will give you satisfaction, not just financially (you will be set either way) but career happiness long term. Think of all components that go into it. Best of luck and congrats!

Jul 28, 2015

lol definitely agree with moneyrunner. Im only a student right now, but I feel this is a question you can only answer yourself. Look at the long term, what do you see yourself doing in 10-15 years and where do you see yourself happier. You will make good money regardless of your decision so it really comes down to where you see yourself down the road. Congrats

Jul 28, 2015

You could always do some healthcare-related in the finance field. I think a unique education and in-depth knowledge of what goes on behind the research within healthcare/biotech could make you a valuable commodity.

I'd have to agree with other people here that if money is what you're after, you will make ample in both, but keep in mind Med School is definitely a much larger investment than any other graduate program - it's not like it's 3 years and out.

Jul 28, 2015

You can always go into healthcare banking from med school (esp. at a target school like Dartmouth, where firms recruit from their MBA and undergrad programs)

I've also heard that if you get into med school and turn it down, it's harder to get into med school in the future.

Will Dartmouth let you defer the offer?

Jul 28, 2015

I know a friend of mine who got his admit to Weill deferred by a year because he wanted to serve in WHO program. If you can get your admit deferred by even a year, it should give you enough time to sample banking. If you don't like it, then you can goto med school knowing you made the right choice.

Jul 28, 2015

I think it is easier to get into med school after working for a few years, as opposed to transitioning over into IB after going through med school. The opportunity cost of going med school is also much higher. So if I were in this position, I would take the IB job right now, and then in a couple years decide if I still want to stay in IB. Med schools love the non-traditional students, so you should have no problem getting in somewhere. You could also save up some money and not have to take out as much in loans later on if you do decide to go the med school route.

Jul 28, 2015

tough decision... my sister just finished med school and is in a top 5 residency for her specialty and is working 80 hours/week and making ~$50k / yr ! on top of that she has a ton of student loans. She says she 'loves' what she does, but i know that the debt has been a burden as of recent. It's a tough decision esp. if you truly want to go to med school, but if finance does interest you, i think that may be the better route (my sister does not understand nor give a crap about finance).

Jul 28, 2015

It sounds like you should go into banking. If you're just looking at the money aspect, the choice is fairly obvious. Going through medical school and residency requires a tremendous amount of dedication and passion. Go to medical school if your dream is to become a doctor and treat patients. Ask yourself if you are truly passionate about a career in medicine.

Jul 28, 2015

If you want to actually contribute to the world, be a doctor. I've had numerous colleagues who got into med school after college but went into banking and have regretted it. It's great to make money but if I were in the position to be a doctor, and I could actually be good at it (and could handle it), I would definitely do it.

Jul 28, 2015

Most doctors I know told me to avoid it unless I was REALLY passionate about it, I wasn't, so went to IBD.

Jul 28, 2015

If it's possible to defer for a year, you can do banking for a year and then go off to medical school.

Jul 28, 2015

we need more doctors, go doctor

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Jul 28, 2015

Yeah, I second pchung. If you must choose, be a doctor. Girls (except lowly ones) and their parents will like you more, trust me.

Jul 28, 2015
touchme:

Yeah, I second pchung. If you must choose, be a doctor. Girls (except lowly ones) and their parents will like you more, trust me.

wow

Jul 28, 2015

Obama ain't taxing doctors, not even plastic surgeons. That said these are very different paths in life, going to be a tough decision. Either way you will win.

Jul 28, 2015

Sorry, I shouldn't have said that.
Girls (except gold diggers) will like you more.

Jul 28, 2015

Deferrals from medical schools are far from the norm, and usually require a more altruistic reason that banking (TFA, Fulbright, misssion, etc.). I know of one guy who got a two-year deferral to work for McKinsey, but he was going to a lower-ranked medical school and pretty much lied to them about what his job was going to be in his deferral application.

This decision though really comes down to what you want to do long-term. Without knowing some rough idea of your career goals, the only criteria to answer this question is based on prestige and earning potential:

The prestige difference really depends on what boutique it is. If it's truly a top-tier (Evercore, Moellis, etc.) then the IBD job really is more prestigious than Dartmouth Med. It's a tier-two school, and places accordingly in the match. Of course, doing well at Dartmouth will get you into some anesthesiology program (which, by the way, are not that hard to get into - bottom third boards score average). Overall, I think it's clear that a top tier boutique has greater prestige down the line, assuming you do well in both places.

As for salary, IBD absolutely wins. From what I've heard, Dartmouth has relatively poor financial aid so you'll likely end up out $150K+. Add onto that a 4-year residency (standard for gas) making $60K a year (high estimate) and you come out having earned a net of 90K (ignoring interest).

For IBD, if we assume an extremely conservative salary and bonus, you will have 90K the first year and 110K the second. From there, let's say you go to PE earning (conservatively) 130K and 150K for the next two years. Next comes business school (-110K). After, let's say you get a decent-paying finance job of some sort and make 150K again (way too low). All told, you're $520K to the good (ignoring interest again).

Even though these numbers might be off, you're still way ahead pursuing finance.

Jul 28, 2015

Really though, this is all about what you want to do. Want to save the world? be a doctor. Want to make a lot of money? do finance.

If you're still having trouble deciding, PM me. I'm in a pretty similar boat to you (doing consulting though) and would be happy to talk.

Jul 28, 2015

I would do banking. I've always found medicine intriguing but I've always loved finance.

Jul 28, 2015

I know a couple of doctors at BB Healthcare teams. I'd say go to medical school.

Jul 28, 2015

You are screwed either way, with healthcare being ran by goverment your pay will drop.
In IBD your pay is at risk of getting taxed out the wazzoooo.
Do IBD a favor, be an anesthesiologist and put every socialist/communist, wallstreet hater, idiot, dumb ignorant off the street idiot that lives on goverment cheese @$$hole and voted for B. obami to sleep for good.
Your work will be greatly appreciated for years to come.....

Jul 28, 2015

just out of curiosity what is your major and your relevant work experience

dont you have to do research/volunteer things to get into medicine

and for ibd,
isnt it better to have past finance experience to show your "interest" in this field

is it easy to transition from ibd to medicine assuming you have taken all the basic science classes in college

Jul 28, 2015

just out of curiosity what is your major and your relevant work experience

dont you have to do research/volunteer things to get into medicine

and for ibd,
isnt it better to have past finance experience to show your "interest" in this field

is it easy to transition from ibd to medicine assuming you have taken all the basic science classes in college

Jul 28, 2015

.

Jul 28, 2015

Doctors are not taxed 50% (yet)

Jul 28, 2015

Anything related to the medical field is probably the obvious choice at this point. Banking is great, but the taxes are about to be ridiculous. The medical field is also the fastest growing field right now because of the general population getting older and needing more care. Being a doctor is also pretty much recession proof.

Jul 28, 2015

.

Jul 28, 2015

assuming boutique has L/T prestiege, then try to defer the med school offer (i'm assuming med school ranking/competition is comparable); if so while appears that med school defers are hard you could still try.

ultimately, rests on your true passion and mind (skills to succeed); obviously your inexperienced so your still finding the former. while both may be harder to break into in the future, they also are breakable in the future, should you chose one versus the other in the present.

knew an analyst, in the last few years, that worked at GS IBD for 1 year and took columbia med school offer (hard to defer).

Jul 28, 2015

Do they let you defer for 1 year or longer?

Jul 28, 2015

Both of my parents are doctors and I can tell you from experience that the satisfaction that you get from being a doctor will probably outweigh the money that you earn in banking. At the end of a shitty day (14 hours in the office or the hospital) you will either say: 'Banking is endless hours. This work sucks. I feel overworked and underpaid' or 'Wow I learned so much today when shadowing the chief anesthesiologist. I can't wait for tomorrow'

The fact is that banking is about putting up with shit and medicine is about learning shit.

My mom did her residency and fellowship at around 35 (we're immigrants) and she was able to finally start making money 6 years later. I have to say that we lived fine the entire time, and now, at 50, she is finally about to breakeven on her net worth. Even so, I went to a good school and had a very happy childhood. An extra $100k / yr in my mom's coffers would have probably only distracted me from taking school seriously and I am sure I wouldn't have the ambition and drive that I do now.

There's a good article on the WSO forums about how bankers don't do it for the money, but for other reasons
http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/goals-for-2010
Also, if you think that the decision will be a life changer, think again. Research shows that the decisions that you make have little impact on the happiness that you experience in life
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/dan_gilbert_asks...
You can't quantify these types of decisions. Do some soul searching. Think about your values and what your life goals are. And remember, you can't make the wrong choice

Jul 28, 2015
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speed boost blaze

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