MBA work experience for med student

jbanks89's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 16

I'm a medical student at a lower tier US MD medical school. I'm looking into top MBA programs as a way into the upper levels of hospital administration or more likely as a way to switch careers to consulting or lower-tier investment banking, depending on how healthcare reform plays out. I plan on completing medical school and residency training before I get an MBA. I have a 3.8 GPA in STEM from a super non-target undergrad with no white collar/professional work experience. Will residency and perhaps a few years of clinical practice look good to a top business school admissions committee, or am I pretty much fucked?

Comments (16)

May 22, 2014

Based on my friend's experiences, doctors don't seem to really need the traditional work experience to get into a Top MBA programs since they are highly employable, since lots of different companies love them (e.g. healthcare consulting/biotech) and worst case scenario, you can go be a highly paid doctor, which looks fine on their employment report. .

May 22, 2014

honestly, as much as I love finance, the only reason I'm not in med school is BC I don't have the math/science chops to be a doctor. If I were you, I'd continue with medicine because you'll never be jobless even in another 2008 (ie you'll never have to worry IF you'll be able to send your kids to private colleges, IF you'll default eventually on your mortgage). Yea being a multi-millionaire is awesome but the prestige of a doctor makes women more available so you'll get your tail anyway. Esp. if you're an opthomalogist, ENT, oncologist, etc. If I were you, I'd just use your finance knowledge to invest with a top hedge fund like Greenlight, Third Point, Pershing Square, etc. or trade your own stocks, and practice medicine.

May 22, 2014

I've heard about consulting and biotech startups but I figured that was more for people with top pedigree e.g. Stanford, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, etc. and/or previous business experience. You think clinical practice (hospital or private) should be enough to meet the work experience requirements of top MBA programs?

I plan on continuing with medicine but the future doesn't look great because physicians are seeing decreased reimbursements across the board. It's true that certain specialties make decent money, $300-400k/year, but it's nothing like the money one can make in finance or consulting. Hospital administration offers better money but frankly administration is dreadfully boring I'd still be a slave to the government. I'd like to have an interesting and well-compensated exit opportunity like consulting or banking, if it's at all feasible.

May 22, 2014
jbanks89:

I've heard about consulting and biotech startups but I figured that was more for people with top pedigree e.g. Stanford, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, etc. and/or previous business experience. You think clinical practice (hospital or private) should be enough to meet the work experience requirements of top MBA programs?

I plan on continuing with medicine but the future doesn't look great because physicians are seeing decreased reimbursements across the board. It's true that certain specialties make decent money, $300-400k/year, but it's nothing like the money one can make in finance or consulting. Hospital administration offers better money but frankly administration is dreadfully boring I'd still be a slave to the government. I'd like to have an interesting and well-compensated exit opportunity like consulting or banking, if it's at all feasible.

keep in mind, even from top 5 schools - the median total comp after 10 years post-mba is onlybetween 200k-300k. ~10% of students will make a run of it and make partner at a top consulting or $$$ in banking, but a majority will burn out/want a better work-life balance. So it's very possible with a MBA, you'll be making less money as a doctor, with less job security.

May 22, 2014

Physicians make good money but compensation is dependent on government spending. Medicare/Medicaid are a large source of revenue and private insurance reimbursement generally follows trends in government insurance cuts. Cardiology has, depending on who you ask, faced a 5-10% cut in overall compensation by Medicare cuts to several lucrative, bread and butter procedures. Pathology has been saturated by residency program directors who choose to ignore employment trends and megalabs like Quest have bought out thousands of independent labs and driven down salaries for those lucky enough to find a job. Radiology is facing similar prospects with a surplus of labor and a poor job market, combined with insurance trends that act to drive down imaging reimbursements to the point where independent imaging center ownership is no longer economically feasible in non-hospital environments. Anesthesiology is at risk from large corporate anesthesia management companies which buy up smaller practices and secure large hospital contracts by virtue of economies of scale, thus driving competitors out of the market and placing downward pressure on anesthesiologist salaries. Gastroenterology, like cardiology, will soon be on the cutting block, with CMS targeting lucrative bread and butter procedures.

Like I said, it's not pretty, although I do plan on riding it out until I finish residency. I would enjoy practicing medicine if the situation improves, but I absolutely want out if it gets any worse.

It seems that associate compensation can approach the range of what a physician can expect to earn, and VP compensation can far exceed it. There is decreased job stability but physicians, contrary to popular belief, are not immune to layoffs. Lifestyles are largely a draw -- attending physicians still put in their 50-60 hour work weeks on top of call, administrative or academic responsibilities, continuing medical education or professional development requirements, and so on.

I understand that boutique/middle market investment banking and consulting may be reasonable opportunities for someone with my background, provided that I have a top MBA. Would a non-targetBS, a lower tier MD, and work experience limited to, let's say, 3-5 years of clinical practice be sufficient to gain admittance to a top MBA program?

May 25, 2014

One last bump.

May 25, 2014

I think you'd have a solid shot at M7

May 25, 2014

Great shot.

May 25, 2014

If you can explain why an MBA will help- some doctors may try to get one to move into consulting, but if you've successfully made the move, what will an MBA do for you? Explain that well (in other words- why MBA) and have a solid all-round application (GMAT, recs, etc) and you'll have a great shot.

May 25, 2014

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May 25, 2014

This would put you in a good position to manage a healthcare business of some sort. The head of the hospital that my dad used to work at had gotten his MBA at Wharton after going to medical school and being a doctor for a bit of time. After Wharton, he then moved into hospital management. The end of the story is that he ended up effectively bankrupting the hospital and being kicked out, however I heard he landed on his feet managing some HMO related company afterwards.

May 25, 2014

There is no such thing like good or bad chances it depends where you want to do it from, Doctors switching to MBA would be a career shift completely though it would add a degree in your name but it wouldn't help you much until you are ready to shift completely from Medical field to Management field.

May 25, 2014

If non-URM, 168+ gives you an outside shot at top 10 assuming you have great essays with clear explanations and a solid progression of work history. If URM (under represented minority), then 160+ could suffice. Check out GMATClub - basically the go-to site for b-school questions.

May 25, 2014
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