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Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant

 
#1 Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
09/02/2014 20:47

sugam

Hey

I've been looking for some good advice for a while now and would be grateful if somebody could please guide me.

I'm a 28 year old medical doctor. Graduated from a Non US Non EU average medical school with average grades more than 5 years back (Nov '08) and thereafter went to the same school for my post graduate residency in Radiodiagnosis (Supposed to be a much sought after speciality). I'll be completing my residency this year in July.

Though I am pretty good with my work, yet I haven't been entirely satisfied with my choice of profession and feel I can excel much more in something like management consultancy.

(This is not one of those random thoughts where I thought "If I'm not liking medicine, maybe i'll like consultancy). I have read in detail about the work that Management consultants do and about the stress they have to deal with. All in all, it seems to be a very challenging field of work and I feel I can do real justice to my caliber if I take it up as a career.

I believe certain firms such as McKinsey hire Advanced degree holders. Honestly, going in without getting an MBA at this point of time seems enticing. I have some personal and financial reasons because of which I cannot think of getting an MBA right now.

So my question is, what should I do to get a break into the industry without getting an MBA. Especially since I went to an ordinary medical school (outside of my home country) and graduated with average grades (I never slept / ate / drank / dreamt of medicine, which is essential to top your class in any field). I have decent extracurriculars. I was my class representative for nearly 3 years. Helped in organizing the college fest for a couple of years, won a few intra college awards, did some social work on and off, helped my local government in formulating a healthcare policy, etc.

Is there a way to make the recruiters take notice of my CV and atleast offer me an interview? Would writing the GMAT and scoring well enhance my chances to get through?

I really want to make the switch but am lost.

Would be really greatful for any insight.

Thanks guys!

Doc Stan

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#2 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
10/02/2014 09:21

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to sugam (#1)

OK we know you've thought this through already BUT.... are you for real???!! Consultancy is full of charlatans. Medicine is a profession!

Also, with regard to your comment: "I never slept / ate / drank / dreamt of medicine, which is essential to top your class in any field" - I think you'll find that consultancy is just as bad as medicine in that regard. Some of those MBA guys are robots.

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#3 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
10/02/2014 10:53

Mr Cool to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#2)

BEP - I suggest we ALL do what we can to get this guy into consultancy....or would you prefer that he one day is responsible for your diagnosis and treatment?

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#4 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
10/02/2014 11:15

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Mr Cool (#3)

Yikes!!!!

Mr Cool is right, consultancy is a GOLDMINE!!! Come and join consultancy as fast as you can!! The hours are short, the work is fascinating, and you are uniquely suited to it!!! Hurry!!!

:)

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#5 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
10/02/2014 11:50

marsday to sugam (#1)

So my question is, what should I do to get a break into the industry without getting an MBA. Especially since I went to an ordinary medical school (outside of my home country) and graduated with average grades (I never slept / ate / drank / dreamt of medicine, which is essential to top your class in any field).

That's a follow on sentence needing a semi-colon. Being able to string sentences together correctly while telling us about your averageness and desire to bring that averageness into consultancy is essential. Needless to say, this will be an opportunity to kill off entire businesses not just individuals.

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#6 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
10/02/2014 12:16

sugam to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#4)

Yikes!!!!

Mr Cool is right, consultancy is a GOLDMINE!!! Come and join consultancy as fast as you can!! The hours are short, the work is fascinating, and you are uniquely suited to it!!! Hurry!!!

:)

Lol.. Guys, come on, help me out here. As I said before, it's not that I'm a disaster waiting to happen at the hospital. I understand that I might not be a proper professional as a consultant, but then from what I've read, the opportunities to grow seem abundant.

I find my profession very disenchanting, especially when I know that I will be stuck in the same place and will be doing the same job forever! I probably need newer challenges to keep me going.

Any advice here?

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#7 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
10/02/2014 13:39

I to sugam (#1)

So my question is, what should I do to get a break into the industry without getting an MBA.

You can definitely get into a consultancy that focuses on public health.

Especially since I went to an ordinary medical school (outside of my home country) and graduated with average grades (I never slept / ate / drank / dreamt of medicine, which is essential to top your class in any field). I have decent extracurriculars. I was my class representative for nearly 3 years. Helped in organizing the college fest for a couple of years, won a few intra college awards, did some social work on and off, helped my local government in formulating a healthcare policy, etc.

Very difficult to get into a top consultancy with mediocre grades/ school.

What you can do:

1) You may think about doing an MPH, which is cheaper and easier to get into compared with an MBA.

2) Work in NHS in a performance improvement role.

3) Talk to recruiters about your background.

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#8 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
10/02/2014 13:45

I to sugam (#6)

I find my profession very disenchanting, especially when I know that I will be stuck in the same place and will be doing the same job forever! I probably need newer challenges to keep me going.

Any advice here?

With this attitude you gonna go no where, buddy. Make the best of what you have!

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#9 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
10/02/2014 13:45

Mr Cool to sugam (#6)

Simple answer is to apply directly to your target firms. A medicine degree will be viewed as academically impressive, but suspicious. However, the "allure" of medicine will be less if you academics are only average. Excuses such as " my heart was not in it" are hardly unique and will not impress!

You'll need a very succinct and credible explanation if why you've effectively wasted that time when you could have been studying a relevant degree.

MBA would not help at this stage, even if you could afford to do one. Neither would GMAT.

There is a lot of advice on this forum about how to finesse a CV and certain things not to do in an interview, etc, but there is no magic answer. If there was everyone would do it.

Only other option is to network your way in through contacts.

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#10 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
11/02/2014 00:17

Anon MCs to Mr Cool (#9)

Sugar,

Are you f&@£#ing kidding me!?! You are going to give up being a doctor to become a Management Consultant!?! Do you believe for one second that it will give you anywhere near the same amount of overall satisfaction!?!

Lets look at what you could do;

- you are a Doctor prepared to change areas / career. Think! Rather than becoming an MC, why not look at an area of medicine that you may enjoy and study towards it. Think big, think different. You have so many choices.

- Travel. As a new Management Consultant, you will be a pawn used at whichever location you are needed, no ifs or buts. BUT you are a Doctor Sugam. You are master of your own destiny. Choose a different hospital and location. Do some charity work. live. You save lives for a living for Christs sake and get paid well for it, better than the average MC. My advice is, you need to look at what else in your sphere you may prefer.

- Finally, stop your whining and stop doing average work. The world is your Oyster as a Doctor. You are doing average work because you are not putting the effort in. Get back into it, you are a doctor Sugam, one of the most amazing jobs a human being can have.

I wish you best of luck and hopefully you won't give up a potentially fulfilling and rewarding life saving career for PowerPoint presentations.

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#11 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
11/02/2014 09:02

Happy to Anon MCs (#10)

A bit long, but a few thoughts:

1. You need to step it up a notch or two (maybe 10) in your thinking and your writing. Like many doctors, you are totally underselling yourself and your experience and it just makes you come across as being totally clueless. Why point out that you went to an average school? What does that even mean? Who cares about grades at medical school – it’s not like you studied geography or something. And what does “Supposed to be a much sought after specialty” mean? It either is sought after, in which case sell it, or it isn’t, in which case don’t write it.

2. You need to think about and clearly convey your reason for wanting to switch. At the moment you don’t appear to have a reason, so you need to identify what you want to do and why. Saying that you’ve thought about it a lot is totally useless if you can’t explain the appeal to you – in writing, and then in an interview if you get to that stage. This is why you are getting the answers above telling you not to bother – you won’t be taken seriously unless you can communicate some serious intent. There are plenty of ex-doctors in consulting, but I bet none of them would dream of writing something as fluffy as your original post

3. Yes, some firms hire physicians direct – probably easier if not into the London office so your experience in non-US/EU markets (and presumably relevant languages) may actually help. But you will need to demonstrate excellence at every step of the way. As per point 1, you need to think about how to do that, and get some professional help if needed

4. An MBA certainly would help, as long as you went to a top school – LBS, INSEAD, a top US school. The reason it would help is twofold: Firstly, it will put you directly in the sights of the recruiters at these firms, and secondly it will deliver a strong signal of your ability (in terms of getting into a top MBA) and in terms of your ambition & willingness to make sacrifices to get to where you want to go. Your personal/financial excuse is frankly weak – just makes me think that you want the upside but are not prepared to take any personal risk to get there. I’ll take any day the person with lesser qualifications that has sacrificed the time and money and effort to get into the top school just to maximize their chances of getting an interview.

In terms of what you can/should do now

1. Network – find doctors that have joined these firms and talk to them. If you can’t find any by using your initiative then you’re not cut out for the consulting world.

2. Prepare a cover letter and CV and then spend an hour or two every day for the next few months improving something about each of them – make sure they sell your achievements and the impact they had - what you delivered, not just what you did. Consider getting some professional help with this, or at least some advice from people you trust that are in consulting/industry etc

3. Identify the firms that you are interested in and apply to them. Ideally using networks you have established

4. Think about Plan B – is that staying in medicine or is it another path, e.g. to pharma. If you are serious about changing career you need to have a strategic approach with clear steps and fallback options for the next year or two – as it may take that long. If not, you’ll just flounder and mess up your medical career along the way as well

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#12 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
11/02/2014 09:33

rc to sugam (#1)

This would be a ridiculous move. You have done the graft to get into a profession - look at options within that if your speciality is unsatisfying. Consultancy is not a profession, simply a labour pool with a smoke and mirrors superstructure sitting on top to disguise that fact. Most of the work is dull and routine, and hardly any of it has a visible, let alone beneficial impact on real world lives. If you think however that you will get more of a buzz from shaving half a percent off some finance department's cost base than from your current activities then by all means carry on..

I have twice reached partner in major consultancies, so have been able to play the game, but I bitterly, bitterly regret joining this industry rather than a profession. Looking back at what I have done in financial services, it was profitable, so 'successful' in consultancy terms, but ultimately a complete and utter waste of time. I suggest you stand in front of a mirror and slap yourself a few times until you come to your senses!

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#13 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
11/02/2014 09:42

Happy to rc (#12)

The guy is not asking "Should I do it?", he is asking "How do I do it?"

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#14 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
11/02/2014 10:39

Anon MCs to Happy (#13)

Happy,

You are right - he is simply asking "how".

Nonetheless, unfortunately that is not going to stop a few of us to try and remind him that he may be making the wrong move due to a naivety on what being an MC actually is.

I agree with RC comments, Sugam should be focusing on being a doctor in a different or alternative roles that get him move excited, rather than leaving his profession.

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#15 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
11/02/2014 10:40

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Happy (#13)

Hehe true, typical consultants hey!!

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#16 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
11/02/2014 10:42

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Anon MCs (#14)

I have a picture in my mind's eye of some accomplished Doogie Howser type reporting into a 26 yr old PMO manager who is running a 100M IT transformation but who doesn't know his hard drive from his floppy disk lol

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#17 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
11/02/2014 11:09

Happy to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#16)

I agree that in this case the OP does not appear to have throught through the whole thing properly, or at least has not explained clearly his thought process for leaving, but I wouldn't discourage him based on that. I have a reasonably good understanding of life as a doctor and it is nothing like the ER/House type shows portray. Little of it is coming up with left-field diagnoses or miraculously saving the lives of young children. Much of it is paperwork, admin, dealing with the 'system', tasks that are equally as thankless as much of consulting.

I know a few doctors that have moved to consulting, and the key for all of them was that they did it properly - went to the best firms, did top MBAs, worked on projects for which their backgrounds were relevant, and I think for the most part didn't view consulting as a career but as a training ground to make the steps to better places. All of them have since left consulting and moved on to very nice and lucrative roles in industry, finance etc, where their medical background remains a big plus. None of them would (be able to afford to) go back to clinical medicine.

If that is the path that the OP is looking to take, then I would encourage him, as long as he can get his act together and actually make it happen

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#18 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
11/02/2014 21:06

MikeTC to rc (#12)

This would be a ridiculous move. You have done the graft to get into a profession - look at options within that if your speciality is unsatisfying. Consultancy is not a profession, simply a labour pool with a smoke and mirrors superstructure sitting on top to disguise that fact. Most of the work is dull and routine, and hardly any of it has a visible, let alone beneficial impact on real world lives. If you think however that you will get more of a buzz from shaving half a percent off some finance department's cost base than from your current activities then by all means carry on..

I have twice reached partner in major consultancies, so have been able to play the game, but I bitterly, bitterly regret joining this industry rather than a profession. Looking back at what I have done in financial services, it was profitable, so 'successful' in consultancy terms, but ultimately a complete and utter waste of time. I suggest you stand in front of a mirror and slap yourself a few times until you come to your senses!

Insightful post. Out of interest, what professions do you regret not considering?

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#19 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
12/02/2014 12:02

detoilet Consultant to MikeTC (#18)

Sugam

Ok here’s what I’d do whilst making a few assumptions along the way. I’m thinking you are a Dr in a hospital in UK but same goes across the board. Hospitals and Healthcare communities are complex beasts. Your hospital is probably either, reconfiguring services, cutting costs, putting in some big IT programme like EPR or PACS or merging with org next door. These programmes will have MC companies or IT integrators like Accenture, PWC, MCC, PA, KPMG etc the list goes on running the programmes or advising your org.

I’ll guarantee these companies are blaming no / lack clinical buy-in for their failures or slow adoption. Here lies an opportunity. Get involved go to informatics, finance etc. and offer to be the clinical lead on your new EPR or Cost cutting initiative. Here you will meet above companies and get a flavour what they are doing. These companies also hire clinicians to talk the talk with clinicians on these programmes. Think how you would react if an MC or IT bod came in to see you today and tell you how to reorganise your clinic or patient flow etc – such messages are better delivered by clinicians to clinicians. This would be easy route I have seen well-trodden by clinicians to get into MC – once in you can always move away from Healthcare if you want.

Bizarrely, I am in such an organisation at the moment doing some MC work where you’ve guessed it – there is currently very little clinical buy-in.

DC

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#20 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
12/02/2014 13:08

Happy to detoilet Consultant (#19)

This would be easy route I have seen well-trodden by clinicians to get into MC – once in you can always move away from Healthcare if you want.

Maybe easy, but how are they all finding it, and what have they subsequently moved on to do?

Personally, this is the one path that I would think is almost guaranteed to lead to the soulless consulting experience/existence alluded to in some earlier posts, and would be the absolute back against the wall / no other option choice for me if I was the OP.

Doctors are typically well educated, cynical re the NHS and its management, and arrogant when it comes to the status of their professions versus others. Most will never believe that anyone from KPMG or wherever can tell them anything about the NHS that they don't already know. They are also in general well aware that the NHS has enough problems already, cannot continue in its current form and that all this tinkering round the edges is largely political maneouvring as part of stealth privatization, with likely ultimate detrimental effects on their careers.

As a result, there will never be clinical buy-in, with the exception of a small subset, and so I really couldn't imagine a more miserable existence in consulting than being an ex-doctor in a smart suit trying to implement this stuff to a bunch of real doctors.

The one thing that the average physician in the NHS dislikes more than hospital management is hospital management consultants...

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#21 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
12/02/2014 15:13

rc to MikeTC (#18)

This ...our senses!

Insightful post. Out of interest, what professions do you regret not considering?

Law - simply did not know enough about the variety of careers it could lead to. I was also steered towards the FO / diplomatic corps by my tutor at university but was dissuaded by others saying that you needed a 'blue blood' pedigree to succeed.

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#22 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
12/02/2014 15:26

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to rc (#21)

Law's not all it's made out to be. Yes the earnings are good, but the hours (for the most lucrative type of legal work, which is basically banking anyway) will kill you. Trainees at city law firms get clobbered. If you're going to do those sorts of hours, you might as well work for a bank and earn some proper money. Ah yes, banks... now those guys know how to make money.

Best of all however is to be a GP based in rural Norfolk or somewhere. £120K/year just for dishing out paracetamol to old grannies between the hours of 9am-4pm every day from your converted farmhouse practice. Lots of respect, loads of pay, no HR bureaucracy or appraisals to worry about, a guaranteed job for life, and you can truly "switch off" when you go home at 5.00pm every day (no reports or deadlines to worry about). Now that's the life.

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#23 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
12/02/2014 16:25

rc to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#22)

Agreed - though the nice thing about law is that like medics (and vets, and dentists) you can also ride out your pre-retirement decade or two in the provinces. Nice little partnership in a small town solicitors; not very stimulating maybe but a very comfortable life.. Another nice 'proper' career, though never an option for me - architecture.

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#24 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
12/02/2014 16:51

Happy to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#22)

Best of all however is to be a GP based in rural Norfolk or somewhere. £120K/year just for dishing out paracetamol to old grannies between the hours of 9am-4pm every day from your converted farmhouse practice. Lots of respect, loads of pay, no HR bureaucracy or appraisals to worry about, a guaranteed job for life, and you can truly "switch off" when you go home at 5.00pm every day (no reports or deadlines to worry about). Now that's the life.

I don't even know where to begin with this - did you just copy and paste it from the Daily Mail?

I presume you have never had the oportunity to spend a week shadowing a GP - might be enlightening...

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#25 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
12/02/2014 17:04

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Happy (#24)

Well, I guess I might be wrong, but from what I observe whenever I go to the docs, they seem to have a very easy time indeed, given what they're paid. Pretty much they just perform one of two roles:

1. they act as a "gatekeeper" to prescription drugs, so you have to visit them if you want/need those medicines

2. they act as a "gatekeeper" to getting a hospital referral, so you have to visit them if you want/need to go to a hospital for a non-emergency procedure

Both points 1 and 2 are what enable them to have their power and their easy lifestyle. Take those away and a lot of people would never bother visiting the GP. Furthermore, take those two points away AND make people pay the full cost of the 'service ' provided (rather than funding it out of taxation so that it's free at the point of use) and I'd be surprised if almost anyone would ever visit a GP.

As a source of information, frankly I find them useless. I'd rather have a look at the Merck manual on the Internet and do my own diagnosis, then visit the doc when I: 1) need some medicine, or 2) need to be referred to a hospital.

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#26 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
12/02/2014 18:30

Mr Cool to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#25)

At the risk of being overly philisophical (me? with my id?)....I'd say that pretty much every profession and every "job" will leave you disappointed with the lack of meaningfulness it entails by the time you're in your 40's

Its modern life and the price we pay for social mobility.

We no longer take an age to acquire a quality degree to get us through the gate-keeping of each profession, then take a further age in a relatively well paid, highly protected "apprenticeship, then slowly acquire tenure in the certainty of continued solid earning, then actually run a business from somewhere near the top, then finally see out our final working years in respect, advising the slightly more dynamic new execs, before retiring to a 60% final salary scheme.

We now welcome aggressive progression, feel that we can swap from being a lawyer to a doctor to an MC in mid-career, chase promotion over fulfillment, think age is a disability, aspire to retire at 50, and spend our employers budgets in ways that we would never spend our own money, before moving department and blaming it all on our predecessor.

Faced with that uncertainty, no wonder we all chase the money and get our fun from outisde work...

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#27 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
12/02/2014 18:32

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Mr Cool (#26)

So, so true...

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#28 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
13/02/2014 10:45

Anon MCs to Mr Cool (#26)

Hitting, nail and head come to mind.

Coolio is right I believe.

Now excuse me as I have some budget requests to get on with.

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#29 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
13/02/2014 10:57

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Anon MCs (#28)

hehe, budget requests, love it!

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#30 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
13/02/2014 22:45

london_consultant to sugam (#1)

I am working in a firm that is actively looking for people with medical degrees to join their consulting practice. If you are interested in a discussion, let me know how to contact you on here and I'll be in touch.

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#31 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
15/02/2014 07:26

sugam to london_consultant (#30)

I am working in a firm that is actively looking for people with medical degrees to join their consulting practice. If you are interested in a discussion, let me know how to contact you on here and I'll be in touch.

Hey

That would be great!

I can be reached through my Email - sugam@doctor.com

Thanks

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#32 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
15/02/2014 08:22

sugam to Happy (#17)

I agree that in this case the OP does not appear to have throught through the whole thing properly, or at least has not explained clearly his thought process for leaving, but I wouldn't discourage him based on that. I have a reasonably good understanding of life as a doctor and it is nothing like the ER/House type shows portray. Little of it is coming up with left-field diagnoses or miraculously saving the lives of young children. Much of it is paperwork, admin, dealing with the 'system', tasks that are equally as thankless as much of consulting.

I know a few doctors that have moved to consulting, and the key for all of them was that they did it properly - went to the best firms, did top MBAs, worked on projects for which their backgrounds were relevant, and I think for the most part didn't view consulting as a career but as a training ground to make the steps to better places. All of them have since left consulting and moved on to very nice and lucrative roles in industry, finance etc, where their medical background remains a big plus. None of them would (be able to afford to) go back to clinical medicine.

If that is the path that the OP is looking to take, then I would encourage him, as long as he can get his act together and actually make it happen

Thank you everyone for the many thoughtful replies and keeping the conversation alive while I was away. I just couldn't login for the last few days because of my schedule. Sincere apologies for the delay.

Here are my thoughts on what everyone said -

1. Academics: I kind of agree to the fact that medical degrees can be viewed as academically impressive. But what puts me in a tough spot is the fact that I went to a medical school on a tiny tropical island (The only medical school in the country). I had to make some decisions based on my family's financial status. Medical education anywhere else was too costly to afford. I made the best of what I had and now am a decently successful doctor. My scores are average too because that's how medical schools in our part of the world work. The examination process is strict. Even the brightest candidate gets a 70 - 72% score after a lot of (pardon me for my words) ass licking. So, I decided to take it easy and did pretty well there, despite the fact that I was in a totally new country and culture. If I boast of my averageness, that's only because I don't actually know how to package and market myself. Moreover, my original post was supposed to be very informal and I jotted it across as it came to my mind, hence fluffy.

2. Don't I want to be in Medicine?: I have thought this through almost everyday for the past many years now. Yes, it is a proper profession. The satisfaction of being able to diagnose somebody's ailment gives me a feeling that I might miss if I leave. But on the other hand, I also feel that I have only one life. I don't want to live that life working as an unknown doctor. Since I've already taken birth, why not leave a big mark on the world? This 'Think Big' concept doesn't work in medicine. I can't be a heroic doctor and put a patient's life on the line because of my zeal. Everything has a protocol which has to be followed. Period. So, that makes medicine monotonous and most doctors nothing more than glorified clerks in my opinion.

3. Why Management Consultancy? As very aptly mentioned by Happy about the doctors who used management consultancy as training grounds before moving on to better roles in industry or finance. I too, have been thinking on similar lines. I didn't dream of becoming a consultant for the rest of my life. I just wanted to get some exposure to the industry to get an idea of how things work in there and then move on to some better places.

4. Truth or Myth: It could so have been that my thought process was flawed and I have been chasing something that's only an illusion. After reading all of your replies, I've decided to stop one last time and reconsider before I actually take the plunge and start working towards changing my career.

I have two options before me and I need your opinions on each one of them:

Path 1: If I continue working as a Radiologist, I'll be doing the same work forever. Fine, I can do that and channelize my extra energy in some other direction. After 4-5 years, I'll start making about US$ 300,000 to 400,000 a year and that's how I'll be paid for as long as I work. Saturated (In my opinion)

Path 2: I somehow manage to take another huge loan and get into one of the best B schools and get an MBA. Thereafter, either I move into consultancy and stay there for a few years before moving on to a senior position in the industry or I directly move on to working for a corporate right after my MBA. I have no clue of the figures that I'm going to make. But the overall package, including the growth opportunities, does seem enticing.

Could someone please share an insight and guide me here with respect to what can I expect in Path 2?

Thanks for your time and participation guys.

I'm learning a lot from what you're saying.

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#33 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
15/02/2014 08:33

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to sugam (#32)

I still can't believe this is for real!

Mind you, with words like "channelize", you are one of the few people that might just be ideally suited to doing an MBA...

Take off the rose-tinted spectacles, dude...

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#34 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
15/02/2014 15:58

mb88 to sugam (#32)

I still don't think you'll find what you're looking for in consulting. The notion that you'll continually 'think big' and take part in industry changing consulting engagements all the time just isn't reality. I'd bet all the money in my pocket and all the money in your pocket that you'll find the same level of frustration in consulting. There is little glory in this business.

Regarding your path 2, a couple things to consider:

- In 4 to 5 years, you will absolutely not be making what you would have been as a radiologist. $300k-$400k is a huge amount and it is absurd to think you could command this in several years even from a top firm or moving into industry after a short stint with a firm. Remember, after 2 years of B school, you need at least another 5 years to get yourself to an engagement manager or principal level where you obtain real business knowledge, capability and respect. This level also is where doors to senior industry roles begin to open. Keep in mind, throughout all this, you'll still be making no where near what you would have been making as a radiologist.

- If you want to remotely get close to your ambitions of glory and grand understanding of business, then top (ultra-elite) B school and then a role at a tier 1 firm is your only path (and even in that situation, I still don't think you'll get what you want). Anything else would be a waste of time. If you don't get into a top B school (where you'll still have to pay a huge amount), you'll probably end up in a decent, albeit tier 2 firm working on engagements with limited 'glory' (e.g. a clinical process improvement project) earning a fraction of what you would have been earning (think sub $150k).

You really need to find those doctors that successfully executed your ideal career path and start talking to them.

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#35 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
15/02/2014 17:28

sugam to mb88 (#34)

- If you want to remotely get close to your ambitions of glory and grand understanding of business, then top (ultra-elite) B school and then a role at a tier 1 firm is your only path (and even in that situation, I still don't think you'll get what you want). Anything else would be a waste of time. If you don't get into a top B school (where you'll still have to pay a huge amount), you'll probably end up in a decent, albeit tier 2 firm working on engagements with limited 'glory' (e.g. a clinical process improvement project) earning a fraction of what you would have been earning (think sub $150k).

You really need to find those doctors that successfully executed your ideal career path and start talking to them.

When I mentioned Option 2, I was actually considering the option of attending either one of the Ivy Leagues or INSEAD or LBS. Could you please enlighten me about the possible career paths and progression in this scenario?

I understand that getting a place in one of the B schools is not a piece of cake, but I would stick to my profession rather than compromise by attending a Tier 2 B school.

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#36 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
17/02/2014 09:27

Happy to sugam (#35)

When I mentioned Option 2, I was actually considering the option of attending either one of the Ivy Leagues or INSEAD or LBS. Could you please enlighten me about the possible career paths and progression in this scenario?

What you are basically saying here is "I am considering giving up my large six figure $ salary and spending two years with no salary getting an MBA from a top school, but I haven't bothered to spend any time looking into my possible career paths and salary after the MBA. Please advise"

Presented in this way can you at least see how naive it sounds?

There is tons of information out there about this - you need to show some initiative and do some work for yourself. Identify the best schools/firms and read every page of their websites, find relevant blogs, ring up the admissions people in the top business schools and ask them to put you in touch with ex-doctor students and alumni, make a list of companies that you might join after a consulting firm and review them to identify suitable roles and people to talk to - I could go on, but ultimately it means showing some creativity in finding the people that have already trodden this path...

Some basic research would enable you to answer many of your questions all by yourself. After that you could come back and ask educated questions for which people can provide specific answers, and you might get more help. My experience is that people are generally far more willing to help people that have already done everything they can to help themselves.

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#37 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
19/04/2014 23:06

Zhulian to Happy (#17)

Happy,

Thanks for your understanding.

I share the same boat.

I wonder is there a direct route to industry; instead of passing through consultancy?

If your doctor friends have all moved into industry or finance, can you please highlight a few industry companies and the posts that your friends work in? Thank you very much.

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#38 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
22/04/2014 09:10

Happy to Zhulian (#37)

As per my post above - do some research of your own so that you can ask sensible and informed questions. The information you're seeking is freely available online.

Given the information I have on you (i.e. none), the only answer I can give you to your question on direct entry to industry is "It depends on your education, background and other factors". Not much help right...?

It's a fairly straightforward process to identify companies and types of role in which you are interested and then to go on Linkedin or elsewhere and start researching the backgrounds of relevant people to see what paths they have taken and whether you might realistically do the same.

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#39 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
26/04/2014 12:01

TheConsultingCoach to sugam (#1)

Hi,

Am surprised at some of the responses on here. This transition is MUCH more common than you'd think.

At McKinsey when I was there, there were at least 10 doctors working as consultants at any one time (and I can think of 2 partners and 1 director who were previously doctors). That doesn't include the many doctors working in the specialist parts of McKinsey that only serve hospitals (e.g., McKinsey Hospital Institute).

Point is, it is possible to make the transition and many have made it before you. Without a big 'name' medical school, getting into MBB might be tough but there are plenty of other consulting firms with strong healthcare practices that would be interested (I heard PA Consulting used to recruit a lot of doctors, not sure if they still do).

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#40 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
09/07/2014 20:28

Randy to sugam (#1)

Hi guys. Sugams story does resonate with me also. I'm a doctor born and bred in the UK and have become greatly disillusioned by the nhs work environment. Leaving clinical practice has been a big decision in my life. But I do not believe it to be one of weakness or selfishness that has led me to abandon medicine. I believe it is self-preservation. Helping others sits deeply within me but in the current climate and the non-accountability of the modern work environment in hospitals led me to question whether I can see myself in a 30 year career practicing medicine in a health care system that often seemed blind to humanness, both mine and my patients’. The answer to that question is no so find myself looking to apply my confidence in knowledge, expertise and myself to another rewarding career. Hence I've found myself looking at a career in mc

I've been a top tier student throughout education and have confidence in myself and my abilities to be able to do much more than be a doctor. Mc appeals to me due to the variability and business like approach to an objective.

So my question is how to plant myself firmly in a career in MC? Is it best I hand my CV to a recruitment firm or direct to consultancy firms? What am I expecting? Open arms or questions of why I have chosen to drop medicine and pursue a career in business. I do not know many doctors who have switched but am wondering if there are firms who actively recruit people from the medical profession, if so who? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks. Taj

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#41 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
09/07/2014 20:30

Randy to sugam (#1)

Hi guys. Sugams story does resonate with me also. I'm a doctor born and bred in the UK and have become greatly disillusioned by the nhs work environment. Leaving clinical practice has been a big decision in my life. But I do not believe it to be one of weakness or selfishness that has led me to abandon medicine. I believe it is self-preservation. Helping others sits deeply within me but in the current climate and the non-accountability of the modern work environment in hospitals led me to question whether I can see myself in a 30 year career practicing medicine in a health care system that often seemed blind to humanness, both mine and my patients’. The answer to that question is no so find myself looking to apply my confidence in knowledge, expertise and myself to another rewarding career. Hence I've found myself looking at a career in mc.

I've been a top tier student throughout education and have confidence in myself and my abilities to be able to do much more than be a doctor. Mc appeals to me due to the variability and business like approach to an objective.

So my question is how to plant myself firmly in a career in MC? Is it best I hand my CV to a recruitment firm or direct to consultancy firms? What am I expecting? Open arms or questions of why I have chosen to drop medicine and pursue a career in business. I do not know many doctors who have switched but am wondering if there are firms who actively recruit people from the medical profession, if so who? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks. Taj

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#42 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
09/07/2014 20:47

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to deleted (#0)

Firstly, I'd take off the rose-tinted spectacles. You think being a doctor is unrewarding? Just you wait until you work as an MC! In your job, you change people's lives. You get paid well and you don't have to worry much about work when you're not working. In our job, we make powerpoints and spend most of our time trying to scrape through the next round of appraisals. The work can be very, very, very VEEEERRRRRRRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY boring. Yes, so boring in fact that you'll wish you were changing catheters on old grannies again. And as for the hours? Huh, over-worked junior doctors don't even know the meaning of the term "long hours" until they've spent some time in a "data room" doing a due diligence for a boss who "wants to make partner one day". And the pay? I think you'll find it's less in MC. You would literally have to be nuts to go from being a doctor to working as an MC.

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#43 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
09/07/2014 22:04

Randy to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#42)

Lol the rose tinted spectacles again. I don't know how u say doctors can switch off after work. Medicine is probably the only career where switching off is difficult. Peoples lives are at stake on a daily basis. U forget to research something in MC I don't think there will be much of an issue. Do the same in medicine and afraid to say there might be life and death consequences

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#44 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
10/07/2014 09:44

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Randy (#43)

Hmm well yes I see what you're saying - you possibly always have that nagging doubt in your mind, "have I messed up? Am I going to go into work in the morning and find out that the patient died because I did something wrong?" whereas in MC it's more like "how the F am I ever going to get all this work done even if I work all night" or "OMG my phone is ringing and the caller ID shows that it's some partner from another office that i've never even met before" or "OMG why does HR want to change the date of my appraisal". These things can be surprisingly stressful... it must sound trivial to you, but once you're in that environment it can drive you crackers. At least as a doctor you can rest assured about job security and so on and although you might carry worry around in your mind at the weekend, you at least don't have over-zealous colleagues constantly harassing you about powerpoint presentations during your free time and expecting to work 100% more than your contracted hours (for free) just because everyone else does it. Or slow clients who have had 2 years to do something but now that the deadline is 2 weeks and they've spent most of that time slurping coffee and having meetings about how they can think more strategically about the project, expect you to drop everything and treat it like your life's one and only mission to get it delivered - again.

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#45 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
10/07/2014 14:28

Happy to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#44)

The discussion shouldn't be around whether or not this makes sense, it should be on how to do it.

So to answer the 'what approach should I take?' question, my answer would be to do everything. In no particular order:

1) Develop a non-medical CV

2) Speak to recruiters - identify the relevant ones and get on their radar

3) Speak to ex-medics - find them and ask them what they did and what they would advise

4) Speak to potential employers - find all the companies that are of interest and attend open days/workshops etc

5) Consider what other options you have to make the move - additional qualifications (MBA is the obvious one), stepping stone roles within healthcare, healthcare policy etc

6) Find things like this --> http://medicalsuccess.net/

7) Educate yourself so that when you actually speak with real people rather than a message board you sound like you know what you are talking about - what the job entails, why it makes sense for you etc

8) Develop a plan so that you know in which order you are going to tackle the above, and treat every interaction as an interview

All of the above will take time and effort and some lateral thinking - if you don't have the time or lateral thinking skills, and if you can't be bothered to make the effort, then probably best to steer clear of consulting in any case...

Good Luck

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#46 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
10/07/2014 20:57

Randy to Happy (#45)

Yep that's the plan I have for myself at the moment. Finalising my non medical cv. Searched the wen and come across a few websites like medical success.

http://www.support4doctors.org/detail.php/53/alternative-careers-management-consultancy?category_id=13

So far I've found recruiters most of the time do not give any feedback on applications. Next point of call will be to the firms directly. As you guys have mentioned there are certain firms that recruit doctors actively and the link above gives a list of names so that's a good place to start.

Quick question about resume. Is it better I pay someone to build a cv or have a go myself. If any of u have time I don't mind sending it so u can ridicule my efforts so far lol and gather a gist of if I'm capable or not. Thanks for replies, much appreciated.

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#47 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
22/02/2015 09:45

sugam to Randy (#46)

Hi Randy

I just came back to see your responses on the thread I started last year.

Have you been able to make any inroads to MC since your last post?

Would love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, I have been accepted to an elite MBA program in the EU. Starting this September.

Hope this gets me to where I plan on going.

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#48 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
22/02/2015 09:45

sugam to Randy (#46)

Hi Randy

I just came back to see your responses on the thread I started last year.

Have you been able to make any inroads to MC since your last post?

Would love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, I have been accepted to an elite MBA program in the EU. Starting this September.

Hope this gets me to where I plan on going.

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#49 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
22/02/2015 09:46

sugam to Randy (#46)

Hi Randy

I just came back to see your responses on the thread I started last year.

Have you been able to make any inroads to MC since your last post?

Would love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, I have been accepted to an elite MBA program in the EU. Starting this September.

Hope this gets me to where I plan on going.

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#50 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
12/03/2015 11:55

Shane McCutcheon to sugam (#49)

Hi Sungam,

I haven’t read all the posts here. Personally, I can understand your move. A few weeks ago I read a (German) article about a medical doctor who also transitioned to MC. Working hours were very similar but at the same time she earned three times more.

I think an MBA is not a must but certainly helps.

Good luck! Keep us updated.

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#51 RE: Transitioning from a Medical Doctor to Management Consultant
31/08/2018 02:05

mdtoconsulting to sugam (#1)

Hi Stan,

I am coming across this post now and am very interested to know if you went down that pathway and if you have any insight you can offer in your journey? Would love to chat to you!

Regards,

Doc Shaun

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