Comments (24)

Oct 8, 2015

contact RA Capital and work for them...great fund.

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Oct 8, 2015

I thought RA capital like places were network driven, that they don't just hire someone from a job application. Any ideas?

Oct 8, 2015

You've spent over a decade training to be a physician and you're going to throw that away on a whim? Damn.

Oct 8, 2015

No, 5 years, and its not throwing away since my medical knowledge and cancer pharma research could be put to a better use.

It's easier to play safe, but sometimes we need to take a risk for greater gain

Oct 8, 2015

I count undergrad in that. Either way that's a long time to have a singular focus and then be willing to toss it.

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Oct 8, 2015

If I may ask some questions, what made you choose to switch? Was this your plan from the beginning? I'm honestly curious. How do you see your skill set being better used at a hedge fund versus research in topics that could potentially be lifesaving? Why don't you invest on the side if you feel knowledgeable enough and continue towards what you've worked hard for?

Best Response
Oct 8, 2015

I always had interest in biotech and innovation. Of course, you get gratification from helping patients. You make connections with them. But medicine is becoming more and more specialized and doctor's work is becoming more and more narrow in scope. There's very little decision making capacity as a physician. You follow the guideline, and the work becomes mechanical. There's very little room for creativity. You are trained to second guess your decision all the time, regurgitate what a guideline, authority figure or textbook tells you. Physicians(and scientists) are trained to be afraid of giving predictions, or definitive statements. Doing valuations or revenue model can be very uncomfortable to a medically trained person. Deference to authority, hierarchy and always playing it safe, it's not a suitable profession for a risk taker.

Economic situation is another aspect. Physician job market is getting worse every year. Over are the days when high level professional degree equated to success. We are trained four to five years of residency followed by a year or two of fellowship, yet that still doesn't guarantee you a job. You will get a job somewhere, but likely in an undesirable location. Science PhDs have it even worse. You spend four to five years getting paid stipend (peanuts) followed by two years of post-doc to find out that your training doesn't get you anywhere. Google "goodbye academia" to get a snapshot of what being a scientist trainee is like.

Shortage of NIH funding is a real issue and many PhDs spend years training to find out that there's no room for them in academia. Shortage of funding puts more pressure on these scientists to publish more and produce data. Tweaking and fabrication of data is common if not rampant. It's easy to impress non-science person with few charts and figures. Million dollar investments are made on data that are potentially fabricated or tweaked. You look at the success rate of these drugs on clinical trial (phase I 50%, phase II about 30%, phase III 40%) and how much money are being wasted on R&D. These preclinical data come from PhD trainees or postdocs who are pressured to publish while getting paid peanuts. Even if you do have a solid science understanding, how much do you know about clinical setting and the entity you are targeting? Say you produce a chemo drug on kidney cancer. How many different types of kidney cancers are there, how do they behave clinically, what are possible molecular targets, how are these different cancers managed clinically, what is our target patient population? Your typical science PhD will have trouble answering these questions, how do you expect your traditional MBA investors to navigate through these issues? These are difficult questions even for MDs who do not have oncology background.

I have been studying small to mid-biotech companies' pipelines, learn how to read 10k reports, generate my own revenue models, identify competitions. I know the learning curve is going to be steep, but I am willing to try it out.

    • 2
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Oct 9, 2015

You seem to have put sufficient thought into your decision. The issue is, I don't think your chances of getting straight into a hedge fund are realistic.

For people with your background, I would suggest trying to get an ER role as a healthcare analyst. You'd start at the bottom and learn from experienced analysts. After you complete some years in ER, then you can think about searching for investment management roles. I think this is the most viable path.

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Oct 9, 2015

Reach out to any and every HF that has a healthcare focus, and there are some funds that concentrate in that but nearly all of the big funds will have a sub that concentrates in HC (pretty sure DE Shaw is hiring for that team right now). Along the way do some self learning on finance and maybe look into the CFA, although I forget the rules about needing to work in the industry to get the full designation but even if you're only studying for it or get the Level 1 it will show you're effort and knowledge. Another route is to recruit for the MBB consultants and get into their HC group, get to know the lay of the land and gain the business experience to add to your medical knowledge and transition over after a few years. You may be able to do that with IB as well, but I know more MD's and advanced degree science folks that have gone the consulting route. The consulting route can also open more doors if you decide to not go the HF route but want to work with a pharma/biotech in an executive role.

    • 1
Oct 9, 2015

it's hard (but not impossible) to go directly to a hedge fund without any finance experience. My best advice would try to network and find a position in either ER, Consulting (MBB very open to hiring MD) or even IBD. While the finance options will most likely have you start at the bottom, your medical training has the potential to allow you make the switch much faster and you can then "catch up" to a level that would normally require much more work experience. I have done a fair bit of HC investing / advisory so worked with quite a few MD and this was generally the path they all took.

Oct 8, 2015

Thank you for the feedback. Do you happen to know any MDs with this path who's open to questions?

Oct 10, 2015

In my opinion, successful investing is more of a game of numbers and statistics. Medical knowledge is nice but unless you put the odds in your favor by reducing cost basis, statistically it is approximately a 50/50% bet because all these companies have brillant people making products they believe in. They wouldn't be a publicly traded company otherwise. Many factors go into a company's success much more than really shear brilliance and best in class product. Additionally, you've probably heard the adages that bull markets make everyone look like geniuses and in bear markets everything gets thrown out (rising tide analogy). Since you are a smart guy, pursue medicine for a while and learn the mechanics of the market first. Your MD will carry you and add weight. My partner is an MD, even though I am more knowledgeable about the operations and mechanics of our business, you would be surprised how quickly people are to discount me to which I will reply, "Yes, he is pretty smart, but let me tell you some of the things I've done." It's an inside joke because people associate certain things with instant success and that's why he does our marketing and sales. Wall Street is not about degrees, but finding an edge. Obviously smarter people have a tendency to figure it out, but genius fails all the time.

Oct 8, 2015

Thank you for the input. I agree that it's a game of numbers and statistics. My friend in finance also tells me that at the end of the day, especially for companies with diverse portfolio, it's all about odds more than details or science behind the product. I agree with the importance of learning the mechanics of the market, but does it matter that I finish my residency training to get a medical license which will take extra 4 to 5 years (and not being able to spend enough time on the market), versus getting into equity research, consulting or pharmaceutical company from which I can start building experience in market analysis, business and finance? I already have an MD. I am debating whether to get into finance/industry now or wait 4 or 5 more years for it.

Personally, I would rather jump into finance now if I could. It's risky, but the reward may be substantially greater since this is what I ultimately want to end up doing. What kind of avenues are available if I want to pursue this path?

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Oct 13, 2015

You could make the same argument saying that investment shops are approximately a 50/50% bet because they're all run by brilliant people touting investment opportunities that they believe in, unless you can put the odds in your favor by having a better idea of their chance of success.

Oct 12, 2015

'So Mike Burry, who gets his haircut at super cuts and doesn't wear shoes knows more than Alan Greenspan?'

"Dr. Mike Burry, yes he does. "

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

Oct 13, 2015

I've never seen this before unless it was a MD/MBA dual degree from a top 5 school and the guy had some kind of relevant experience (at least sellside banking, consulting, ER, etc.). You won't find your answers on here, pound LinkedIn and see what you find.

I think chances are slim, 99% of what you know is too specific and useless to healthcare specific funds. Easier to take a non-industry analyst and have him spend a few weeks / months getting smart on the space than to try to cram 2 years of 100+ hour finance experience into a middle aged doctor.

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Oct 8, 2015

So you recommend equity research or consulting as a step before considering hedge fund? Where are good places to network with people with such experience?

Oct 9, 2015
respublica174:

So you recommend equity research or consulting as a step before considering hedge fund? Where are good places to network with people with such experience?

Yes. Forget investment management roles for the foreseeable future - you are not qualified.

Scour LinkedIn and focus on networking with people in healthcare equity research. They may want you to finish residency before considering taking you on but you should start networking and getting information ASAP.

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Oct 16, 2015

I personally know one of the previous #1 rated (II ratings) healthcare analysts on the street... guy is PHD in biology. Your background will most certainly give you an edge. Pharma/healthcare investing is the arguably the most technical of any industry.

    • 1
Oct 8, 2015

Thank you for the feedback. Would you mind connecting me to him if possible? I would like to hear his experience.

Oct 16, 2015

Not sure that a MBA is going to help you. If you are really focused on health care investing, I would focus on being a doctor, while pursuing some classes on the side.

You may also want to network with some other MDs that have made the jump to hedge fund, this should help:

Healthcare & Biotech Hedge Funds Reach New Heights
http://www.hedgetracker.com/article/Healthcare-Bio...

Oct 16, 2015
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