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Mckinsey consulting vs. dermatology radiation oncology, radiology

Discussion in 'Med Business [ MD/MBA, DO/MBA, DDS/MBA ]' started by Gunneria, 09.29.10.

  1. Gunneria

    Gunneria

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    Ill be straightforward....I love medicine and I love the science and at the end of the day I want to do what I love. At the same time, some of us think about $$$ and lifestyle not as the end-of-all but a major consideration. After researching great lifestyle/$$$ paths over the past few years (I'm a 4th year med student applying to derm and my interest stems from a ton of derm-related research-nih, review projects, transplant center, etc...), I sometimes pondered as I joked with my business buddies from college, what could an MBA in healthcare consulting followed by a consulting job at Mckinsey take me? I thought about the reasons why I turned down business before- the variance/luck of it all- connections panning out, networking, etc...in order to climb the ladder to the top. I even thought why there are always a handful (4-6) Harvard MD (+ MBA?) grads go to work at Mckinsey Then again, about 12 harvard MD grads choose derm, 8 choose rad-onc, 8 choose rads...I'm sure they have earned it with their hard work to live out their dream to make $$.

    So I was wondering, is a job at Mckinsey healthcare consulting worth > derm, rad onc, rads private practice given the impending healthcare reimbursement cuts and increased governmental regulation? Am I a dummy for even asking this? I am not sure what the future of Mckinsey healthcare consulting is like but I speculate there is a brighter side of obtaining a high ceiling.
  2. uquark

    uquark

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    If you love medicine then why would you ever consider a career that doesn't involve the practice of medicine? Clearly, on that basis alone, any of the medical fields you list above would be superior to a consulting gig at Mckinsey, other major factors aside. Then again, if "love of medicine" were extracted from the equation, you may reach a different result.
  3. Thaitanium

    Thaitanium Member

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    Have you thought about psychiatry? :laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:
  4. zmkelchn

    zmkelchn patagomate

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    It's not a bad idea in my opinion. However, if you choose Mckinsey and don't do a residency and you would like to later on, it may be very difficult to obtain one, especially in derm. You'll make a lot more $$ at Mckinsey starting out (compared to residency) and probably have even more earning potential down the road if you become a partner. However, it's the difference between practicing medicine and (obviously) not practicing. You could always do derm for a while, and then go to Mckinsey. From what I hear, they recruit many MDs to their company. One of their individuals in their "featured profiles" of employers was a former doctor then chose to go to Mckinsey. It's all in what you want, and neither route will be easy. Furthermore, you'll make a good salary in both circumstances, but potentially more at Mcksy.
    This simply represents my opinion; I'm still an undergrad and am just going off of what I have read.
  5. trpng0bily

    trpng0bily Member

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    For one thing, there is zero doubt that if you are succesful in the financial industry you will make more money than any physician, whether they are in derm, plastics, interventional neuroradiology, retinal surgery, whatever.

    And for another thing, consider that you are deciding between two professions - in one, you need to try make excuses for who you are, trying to present your goals in a light that other people will deem acceptable (how much time did you put into crafting the original post of this thread in order to try to avoid judgemantal responses?); in the other, your outlook on life is considered the norm and nobody would judge you or even look at you funny. If you're honest with yourself, this decision will be a no brainer for you. You will have a much happier life if you choose the profession in which you will be able to be yourself.
  6. zeus777

    zeus777

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    I strongly agree with you trpngObily.
  7. ConfusedDoctor

    ConfusedDoctor

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    Hi, I am a doctor and I am half way through my third year working in the UK. I have a joint academic/clinical position and I was planning on heading down the route of becoming an academic neurologist. Over the last few years working as a junior I have found that I haven't enjoyed working on the wards much - on a day to day basis, I have found the work largely mundane and I have found working in the NHS frustrating. Particularly I find my work as a junior doctor mainly about doing repetitive boring tasks with the goal of not making mistakes - there is little room for problem solving and creativity - two things that I particularly value. On top of that I have seen non-medical friends from my university race ahead in their city careers with better salaries and opportunities to travel.

    As a result I have applied to other areas and I have final round interviews coming up with some of the top management consulting companies in the next couple of weeks.

    I feel very confused about whether or not I am doing the right thing in looking to change career or whether I should hold out and just hope that things get better - which a lot of more senior doctors suggest they do. I would appreciate any advice.
  8. abcabc1

    abcabc1

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    It really depends. The distinction should be clear in this sense: if you want to be a doctor, pursue a Residency and work as a doctor. If you've found that practicing Medicine is less enjoyable/rewarding than you had hoped, see if you can do something else (preferably something where your Medical Education can be put to use).

    You have to keep in mind that landing a job at McKinsey is FAR (and I mean FAR) more competitive than landing a Residency in Derm, Radiology or Rad Onc (which is extremely competitive to start with). Remember, Residencies can only select amongst Physicians (primarily those who are MS-4's from American Schools), while McKinsey can select from the best talent in the world.

    Even though McKinsey makes for great exit opportunities, you have to keep in mind that your chances of staying with McK for as long as YOU would like are very small. It's considered a very 'up-or-out' place. Think of it this way: you have to be one of the best employees in a company with one of the world's most selective hiring processes. If you make one promotion, then the competition for the next one is that much tougher. Financially, you'll earn far more than any Physician if you make it all the way to the top. Assuming you haven't even applied, your current odds of reaching the top level at McKinsey are VERY low: my guess is <1:250,000.

    You're really comparing apples:oops:ranges.
  9. TDAlmighty

    TDAlmighty

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    This is truly a matter of apples and oranges and I would not make this decision without researching heavily and talking with those that have gone before you.

    Before I get to that, lets get one thing straight. To get a job at McKinsey straight out of med school, you need to have one or more of the following:
    1. Gone to a top ivy league school or service academy for undergrad
    2. Be going to a top medical school
    3. Alumni from your medical school are at McKinsey
    4. You have serious connections
    Without one of these items you are likely to not be hired and would likely be wasting your time thinking about this option.

    Once there, McKinsey consulting is very much an up or out mentality like someone else mentioned. More than 50% of people are gone after three years (not official, but common-knowledge among the consultant industry). Granted many of these leave for great opportunities, but many also leave because of the lifestyle which includes week after week of being away from home and 60-90 hour work weeks. I personally know ex-McKinsey guys that have done well and I know others that have struggled. For your own evidence, search McKinsey as past employer on Linked-in and find your own examples.

    If you choose McKinsey you will get put through a meat grinder, very different than residency, but no less intense. From my impression of family members that have been through residency, the main difference is that in residency you just have to make it through and you are virtually guaranteed to have a job waiting for you at the other end. As a doctor going to McKinsey, if you attempt to "just make it through" you will be wasting your time because you will NOT see the outcomes that made it worth taking the risk.

    Another subtle difference is that in medicine, doctors are put into leadership roles that are more substantive than the ones you will play in consulting. Also doctors are masters of science and helping people, consultants are masters at business and helping companies compete. As a consultant, more often than not you will be recommending lay-offs/restructurings at the end of your study.

    Lastly doctors can get away with being a little weird, goofy, or otherwise just themselves. McKinsey consultants must never let their guard down and must always carry the McKinsey prestige badge with them 24/7.

    The factors change a little bit in my opinion if you did an MD/MBA or MD/MPA, because your McKinsey exit opportunities may be wider. As a straight MD you better have a very narrow focus on what you are trying to achieve by going to McKinsey or you could get yourself in a situation where you hate it and have few fallback options.

    However, I think that consulting may be a good option for "burnt-out" doctors that have been practicing for several years, especially if they were involved with pharma/device companies or hospital administration. You will not be forced into the "meat-grinder" as much because you are more senior and you will have fallback options. But again, you better know somebody to get hired at this level.
  10. exMBB

    exMBB

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    Quick reply here:

    McKinsey would love to hire a dermatologist as a consultant. Unfortunately, not many dermatology fellows end up applying to McKinsey
  11. Gunneria

    Gunneria

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    Valid points...since mckinsey is a consulting firm...what are your thoughts on those physicians who practice and consult on the side for other companies (and Ive seen salaries range from 50-150k)..yes i am talking about part-time consulting and it is evident (both academic physicians and private practice) especially when they reveal their financial disclosures in their publications.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/12/29/105932/commentary-big-pharma-is-paying.html
  12. exMBB

    exMBB

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    Gunneria,

    First of all, there is a HUGE difference between management consultants and "expert" consultants in terms of what they do. The former is retained to do the leg work required to solve a business problem, the latter provides technical expertise. I know that's not what you asked, but just wanted to get that out of the way.

    My view on physicians consulting for Pharma companies is: as long as they are not pushing inferior drugs than what's available, I think they provide a valuable service.

    Would you rather have Pharma companies developing drugs in the blind or would you rather have them developing drugs with guidance from practicing physicians on unmet needs, dosing schedules, trial design, safety, etc. ?

    The media is too cynical about these relationships. I think most KOLs understand the importance of dialog between drug companies and clinicians. However, there will be some physicians who are philosophically against such arrangements. I personally take a much more pragmatic view.
  13. Gunneria

    Gunneria

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    thanks...I really considered going the business route exMBB and instead of taking this roundabout route of doing the MD followed by mckinsey, I actualyl had some connections to possibly get into private equity (PE), which I believe is a common exit opp for mckinsey workers....but at the end of the day, i think a dolid busy practice w/expert consulting positions provides a stable level of income comparable to the VP level of PE firms...i just came to the conclusion that the hours, uncertainty of reaching managing director at a PE firm just doesn't cut it when good lifestyle specialties (derm, rads, rad onc) in medicine can provide you an equivalent and much more stable option
  14. BBender716

    BBender716 Med school drop out!

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    Just wanted to put it out there:

    #1 PE and consulting at McKinsey are hugely different beasts. PE is very finance heavy, McKinsey is very strategy intensive

    #2 If your primary goal is to make as much money as possible and you hypothetically get offered a PE position and any management consulting position, you take the PE position every time. PEs make BANK. In their down years, they make more money than consulting hands down. Goldman-Sachs IB positions are not highly sought after because of their compensation (which is nice as well), but because it's practically a pipeline into PE.
  15. pupster

    pupster

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    Well...Gunneria...really, PE will make $$$ vs. derm/rads/etc. McK is sweet if u make director...you can still do McK after residency if you want. Plus, as a generalist consultant at McK (before you specialize in operations, etc.), you can transition horizontally if you want....
    Last edited: 03.30.11
  16. pupster

    pupster

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    Ehh? So that's why they were trying to recruit me heavily :p....
  17. PBeck

    PBeck

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    Beware: McKinsey is very "burn & churn." Those that like the culture can thrive, but it's not for everyone... If you can, speak with former McKinsey consultants to get a true picture.
  18. pupster

    pupster

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    True dat...y'all should read "The McKinsey Way" by Ethan something...
  19. MOHS_01

    MOHS_01 audemus jura nostra defendere

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    They should look me up. ;)
  20. pupster

    pupster

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    PST me if you are serious about applying to McKinsey.
  21. bronx43

    bronx43 Word.

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    I don't see why any practicing derm would go work for McKinsey. You give up too much for too little, unless you truly have a desire to do management consulting work. I also don't see any reason why McK would single out derms as desirable candidates. Dermatologists don't necessarily provide any unique skill or talent that would be a great value add to consulting firms.
  22. pupster

    pupster

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    You're joking, right, and you realize dermatology is one of the most competitive specialties to enter (i.e. most people there are top of their med. school class, etc. -- we have a lot of people that are AOA honor society that don't match into dermatology every year...)...and yes I was at McKinsey for a period of time (AFTER medical school), and yes, they do know which specialties are harder to get into than others. I wanted to finish residency so I could have something to fall back onto in case business didn't work out, so I didn't stay on for the long haul.... McKinsey and the travel (unless you're in the Newark office) isn't for everyone, but they like smart people...and as for your question as why any practicing derm would work for McKinsey...it's not all about the money, but for those that care about that sorta stuff:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE7DB103EF934A15752C1A9609C8B63&pagewanted=all

    For me, I really enjoyed learning new things on engagements and the prospect of being able to make a real difference that could impact many people. The people at McKinsey were some of the brightest, talented, and most driven people I have ever worked with.
    Last edited: 04.03.11
  23. bronx43

    bronx43 Word.

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    Huh? I asked why McK would single out dermatologists. Derm isn't the only competitive field in medicine. Why not include plastic surgeons, ENTs, orthopods, diagnostic rads, or even IM/GS at big name institutions (Harvard, Stanford, JHU, etc)? Basically, your point is that McK wants competitive residency applicants - not dermatologists per se. I mean, that's fine as a screening tool, but I'm sure they know that success in medical school is far from a perfect indicator for performance as a management consultant.
  24. pupster

    pupster

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    Good point...they do look for those too :oops:) (the Harvard, Stanford, JHU, ENTs, plastic surgeons, etc...). McKinsey singles out competitive applicants, whatever competitive specialty they may be...derm, etc. The way recruiting works, however, is that often times, your application is routed to a recruiter that knows your undergraduate/graduate institution well (i.e. Harvard recruiter gets all Harvard applications).
  25. ultima

    ultima Junior Member

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    Any idea if you join Mckinsey after residency, you can join as A.P. or even Principal? That would make most sense in terms of compensation.
  26. sanityonleave

    sanityonleave Adrenaline Junkie

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    Since you cross posted this in another thread, I'll post the response from that thread for anyone who happens to read this one:

    Two things:

    1) don't double post
    2) an MD is a technical degree -- outside of being able to practice clinical medicine, the MD degree is basically simply a piece of paper saying you're capable of working hard. honestly, were it not for the credibility that the degree carries, I don't think the big consulting houses would even higher MDs w/o experience or residency -- because you don't know anything about consulting (and know relatively little about practicing medicine) -- but the degree has such inherent credibility that they're willing to train people with good pedigrees and an MD how to be good consultants. certainly the MD degree (even with residency) doesn't give you any understanding of business or consulting.

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