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Job chances and entry position level for someone with a medical degree?

Anonymous A asked on Dec 29, 2017 - 6 answers

Hello, though I am a MD and working for now almost 3 years at a university hospital, I am interested in changing my career and getting a consulting job. My question is

a) Do you think changing to consulting is possible without any prior experience in professional consulting or education/degree in buisness? And what do you think, which of the big players (BCG, McK, etc.) would probably be interested in such an applicant?

b) On which level, in the company's hierarchy, would someone like that (physician with a doctor's degree and job experience of around 3 years) enter?

Looking forward to your answers! Thank you so much in advance!

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Vlad
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replied on Sep 17, 2018
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Hi,

I was working on healthcare projects at Mckinsey for 2 years and I know the folks who came to McKinsey with a pure medical background.

Application process: While medical background + MBA is a good fit, non-top school may be a problem. Big 3 companies are hiring most of the guys from the Top schools. Two hints here:

One hint that may help you - try to contact your classmates who worked at Big3 companies before MBA and ask them to recommend you. For example, at Harvard, McKinsey only invites for the interviews the guys who are recommended by classmates. It's not a referral in most of the cases. Big3 HRs are just in contact with their employees pursuing an MBA.

Alternatively, you can get a referral from current employees, but that only works if you are applying full-time (does not work with the summer internship). Tip: it will be easy to connect ex-doctors and current McKinsey employees on LinkedIn and get their advice and maybe even help. More on the referral here:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/what-is-a-referral-really-1103#a2129

Interview process: for these candidates interview process was the same as for other candidates, thus you should be well prepared for cases and fit

Work experience: While healthcare projects went for them pretty smooth, I saw the guys struggling with the other industries. Unfortunately, you have to make this transition to get exposure to other teams and partners. Thus I recommend you to have the first projects in healthcare, get all the necessary skills and then gradually and very accurately increase your exposure to other industries.

Exit opportunities:

Guys with medical and consulting background made probably the best exists from McKinsey I've heard of. Even though some of them were underperforming at McKinsey. On the contrary, if you are doing healthcare and have no medical background the exit opportunities will be limited

Best!

Vlad

All the following questions are referred in Pre-MBA context 1. I am from India but studying my MBBS degree(bachelors in medicine and bachelors in surgery), about to be a doctor in one year from top 10 medical schools in Nepal.I would like to apply for full time job positions in MBB based in Delhi,India.What would be the role of the undergraduate institution in the recruiting process?. Unlike campus recruitments which happen in most IITs(Indian Institute of Technology) they are uncommon in Med-schools. 2.What would be the perfect resume for doctors/people from medical backgrounds?.what are the MBB looking for particularly in such cases. 3. What role does academics(grades/marks) play in recruiting process?.( since gaining high grades is a big deal in Med-schools) Thank you. — Harish chandra on Sep 18, 2018 (edited)

Andrea
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replied on Jan 30, 2018
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In BCG US if you are an MD you will enter as a Consultant.

Elias
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updated his answer on Sep 17, 2018
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Hi Anonymous,

reg 1.: I guess MBB would hire people with such a background, some of the strategy-oriented tier-2 consultancies (like goetzpartners for example) probably as well. These companies look not sooo much for a specific academic background.
I assume that there are some consultancies specialized in healthcare/pharma that would also hire professionals with a medical education.

reg 2: Don't know much about the space in particular. I have heard from MDs and other life science graduates (i.e. biologists), that they were more accepted by pharma / HC clients because the "spoke the same language". But that's anecdotal evidence.
Otherwise, I believe the ambience would be very similar to that of any other consultant with a non-business background. Also, don't expect to be put exclusively on pharma / HC projects. With MBB you will definitely do other projects in other industries (which is good!)

reg 3.: Expectations would be the same as for any other non-business graduate. So a bit lower expectations regarding "business stuff" (esp. finance) but obviously intelligence, problem-solving, personality and especially demonstratable ability to get a grasp of new things from other fields quickly (as you'll have to learn the business stuff)

reg. 4.: Same as for all other non-business graduates.

Hope this helps!

Cheers

Elias

(edited)

All the following questions are referred in Pre-MBA context 1. I am from India but studying my MBBS degree(bachelors in medicine and bachelors in surgery), about to be a doctor in one year from top 10 medical schools in Nepal.I would like to apply for full time job positions in MBB based in Delhi,India.What would be the role of the undergraduate institution in the recruiting process?. Unlike campus recruitments which happen in most IITs(Indian Institute of Technology) they are uncommon in Med-schools. 2.What would be the perfect resume for doctors/people from medical backgrounds?.what are the MBB looking for particularly in such cases. 3. What role does academics(grades/marks) play in recruiting process?.( since gaining high grades is a big deal in Med-schools) Thank you. — Harish chandra on Sep 18, 2018

Anonymous replied on Feb 23, 2018

Hey anonymous,

Your background is not an handicap at all as far as you're able to clearly demonstrate why you want to move, as consulting firms (especially MBBs and even more especially McKinsey) do love background diversity, so as far as you're able to show business acumen and perform well in the dimension the firms test for you would get an offer (they can't care less about your previous background!) - as an example, the majority of the ex-physicians in my MBA cohort transitioned to Consulting; as another example, I just coached an ex-physician at LBS who got an MBB offer, and let me tell you that both of them performed much better than many people with a business background

Given the short details you shared, you might qualify to apply as an entry position (e.g., BA at McKinsey) or an experienced consultant (e.g., Associated at McK), depending on well you're able to position your academic and professional experience, jointly with the business acumen and leadership skills you are able to demonstrate.

Try to secure a referral and that will definitely boost your chances to get an interview.

Best

Bruno

Odeh replied on Dec 29, 2017

I'm an MD. Message me privately and I can provide some advice based on my experience.

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