Medical doctors in finance

real_Skankhunt42's picture
Rank: The Pro | 31,010

I used the search function and got some interesting information, but I had a specific question. My buddy is I think 28 going on 29 this year and is starting medical school in August. He's attending a carribean medical school that is accredited in approximately 45 states--the school is actually quite good, but its focus is older students and career switchers. We have several mutual friends who have attended and successfully passed their boards and have good jobs.

He and I were discussing recently what he wanted to do--surgery, dermatology, general practice, etc.--and I suggested to him that MDs have been known to switch over to finance and work at PE funds and IBs that focus in the biomedical field. He is adamant, however, that he wants to actually practice medicine and not just use an MD to go into finance.

His concern is that he wants to do surgery but that surgeons have relatively short careers because it requires dexterity that is lost with age. He'll be starting a surgery career at 40. He and I are wondering if after 10-15 years he might be able to make the switch over into finance. I'm sure he could if he went to, say, UVa's medical school, but how about the "alternative" medical schools? Any thoughts on this?

United States - South

Comments (12)

May 16, 2011

The MDs and DOs that do go to PE usually come from top residencies i.e. Bascom Palmer for ophtho, MGH for IM, I assume your friend is at Ross, AUC, Saba or SGU, it's an uphill battle many physicians don't like Foreign Medical grads, FMGs, he won't get derm that is competitive enough for top US grads, 2 or 3 FMGs got a spot even surg is tough and in no way guaranteed. PM me for me details. Also look at or

May 16, 2011

they dont always do residencies, but they do come from good medical schools (many go into PE/VC directly from MD-MBA programs). I think it would be very hard for him to switch to finance, where pedigree is a big selling point

May 16, 2011

Most do do a residency and potentially a fellowship, heme-onc, ortho, rheumatology, ophthalmology, cardiology are all common ways to get in. Many people start by consulting to PE funds and then make the switch or go to medical device/pharma companies corp dev to PE/VC.

May 16, 2011

^with respect, i disagree about the residencies. at hbs I know a ton of MD's who will be going into these fields, as I'm interested in healthcare myself, and residencies in my experience are not the norm.

That said, i think it probably helps, however its the time commitment that leads them away from pursuing a residency.

May 16, 2011

Doing an internship is smart just so you can be licensed.

May 16, 2011

That seems like the strangest route. Your friend should expect to be a full-fledged surgeon by the age of 37, thats if he is a top student and aces the USMLE. Switching to finance seems ridiculous.

I am not cocky, I am confident, and when you tell me I am the best it is a compliment.
-Styles P

May 16, 2011

I think the most important thing is to figure out what you want to do. Do you want to practice medicine or go finance/PE? If you are really into finance, think long and hard about what you want to do with a medical degree.

I finished med school, went back to get an MBA, and now am working PE, and the MD might have opened doors for interviews, but really unless I'm looking at a pharm upstart or a med device company I don't use much clinical knowledge.

To get your foot in the door... be ready to answer the typical questions about your interest in finance. Know "your story" to explain why finance and why now. Have a clear understanding of what the firm you are meeting with actually does. Nobody will hit you over the head too hard with technical questions, but have solid questions to ask people that you meet with wo that you can show them you know what you're talking about (macro, markets, large deals, etc).

Read the Journal. Every day.

May 16, 2011

Agreed, you want to craft a great narrative to explain what led you to pursue both degrees. You might be able to get some more specific info at the MD/MBA forums

May 16, 2011

Firstly, I would recommend you stop using "y'all" like it's common parlance in the business world. I'm originally from the Deep South, and while I don't mind it, I also don't use it.

Secondly, focus on healthcare PE/VC firms. With your background, you should try to sell yourself to biotech/pharma funds. You might also look into those sectors in the equity research divisions at major banks. I have a friend who is a qualified MD doing equity research in the pharma sector, so there's some precedent there.

If you're focused on VC, you might look to get some experience at a biotech start-up this summer. Seeing as you're starting medical school, and have a science background, you shouldn't have too hard a time selling yourself to start-ups, especially if money isn't an issue.

In which city do you live? I am guessing Atlanta or Houston (Emory or Rice undergrad?). If you're in either, you shouldn't have too hard a time finding some finance/equity research/VC/PE/start-up job.

Good luck!

May 16, 2011