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Healthcare Consulting

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by Mike2132, 09.22.14.

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  1. Mike2132

    Mike2132 2+ Year Member

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    Hello,

    I am considering doing an internship with a healthcare consulting firm the summer after my Junior year. I am very into having a wide variety of experiences and I believe it will expose me to healthcare in a different manner than the volunteering/shadowing I have been doing the last few years. I know I want to be a practicing physician later in life so I do not see consulting in my long term plans as of now (although if I really enjoy it, I have heard about some physicians who consult part time as MD/MBAs). Do you know of any pre-meds who did a similar internship and how their experience was? I have also been told that this could hurt my application, is this true?

    Thanks,
     
    GaiusOctavius likes this.
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  3. gibson777

    gibson777 2+ Year Member

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    It might be good to have the exposure and on a resume if things don't work out, but it really will be no different than any other consulting internship. You will be in what is pretty much a business analyst role, figuring out how to optimize operations and cashflows, just that it will be a health related practice (could be a hospital, clinic, pharmaceutical company etc).

    MD/MBA is probably only worth it for people who aren't planning on becoming practicing physicians, in that case MBB consulting firms will be jumping to hire you, but this would be decided later on and I'd say the MD/MBA is not worth it in pretty much every scenario.
     
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  4. TxC

    TxC 2+ Year Member

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    I have interned at a large professional services firm (think PwC, EY...)

    The business side of healthcare is so crazy these days that I think if you have an opportunity to learn about it, then go for it (but I am a healthcare administration major applying to med school so maybe I'm biased).

    My interviewers have seem to be fairly interested in my non-science background.

    This is a pretty good article to read that shows the importance/benefit of understanding both sides of medicine (some small military hospitals were letting physicians take on administrative roles after a two-week course on how to do it): http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/02/u...pitals-said-to-put-patients-at-risk.html?_r=0

    There are a few schools with MD/MHA programs; in my opinion, this is probably more useful than an MD/MBA if you want to become a hospital administrator instead of a consultant.
     
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  5. type12

    type12 2+ Year Member

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    It really depends on what type of consultancy and what scope you'll have. So, yes, it could definitely hurt your application, and some schools will NOT consider you anymore, usually those who are community- or volunteer-oriented. However, this fact depends on what your activities and actions entail.

    As far as I could tell, this experience has only hurt me. My task was to find and screen MDs and PhDs for funding from govt and pharm/biotech groups (e.g., NIH, DoD, M$, Goog). It also entailed figuring out how to engage them (Doc X has a thing for asians, or Doc D's kid is failing calc, so maybe "help" him). Although I did interface and interview patients to check the candidacy of a physician for funding, schools refused to accept this as clinical. In addition, me knowing the dirty laundry of medicine was very hurtful, IMO, as one school actively probed me to see if I knew how things worked, during the interview. Of course I didn't say anything, but my "oh, it was a very eye-opening experience. I'm glad I got to see this before going into medicine" response was very discomforting to my interviewer.

    It's genuinely great insight, but play dumb when it comes to medical schools. Treat it as a job, but not anything more than that, and keep its value limited. The minute you learn, "DO and MD are nowhere near equal, and the gap is rising," "admissions is corrupt and stupid beyond measure, especially when you have two degrees of separation," or "physicians need oversight from non-physicians, because they actually know BETTER and are LESS biased," you need to shut your mouth. The current "let's d
     
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  6. Mike2132

    Mike2132 2+ Year Member

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    From what I understand, I will be on site, flying around to the different practices every week. That being said, most of my work will be dealing with powerpoint, excel and organizing information from the consultants. I know the experience won't be clinical at all and I have other experiences that are so that isn't much of a worry for me. My biggest concern is, like type12 said, that med schools will look negatively upon this experience.

    I do not think I want to go into hospital administration. If I do anything outside of clinical work it would probably be more in the realm of consulting or joining a healthcare start up.
     
  7. TxC

    TxC 2+ Year Member

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    Do what you think is best for yourself.

    Make yourself a strong applicant (good #s, good EC's...); that's all that matters.
     
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  8. tymont12

    tymont12 But it can't be two illnesses! 5+ Year Member

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    Of my many positions right now, I spend part of my time doing projects for a medical billing/consulting firm. This entails anything from following up on unpaid claims to special projects such as helping an orthopod build his practice from the ground up: securing DEA Registration, building his phone system, securing his insurance contracts, etc. As a whole, it has given me a lot of insight into what modern healthcare looks like and what the business side of medicine really is. What I've really learned is that practitioners are so singularly focused on being clinicians that they usually have horrible business sense.

    I would like to think that my experiences there have made me an interesting candidate for med school but that's yet to be seen...
     
  9. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Meep Meep Meep 5+ Year Member

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    This is totally untrue.
     
  10. gibson777

    gibson777 2+ Year Member

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    Why? People on SDN have a totally skewed view of MBA and the finance/consulting industry from almost every single thing I have ever read on here. Get an MBA? You'll know how to run a business and money will start pouring in. Stroll into investment banking if "pre med" doesn't work out. Law School? A big law job is looking right at you. Engineering or CS? Stroll through that as your "backup" and here comes Google.

    There is no truly tangible value of an MBA in the realm of a practicing physician. It is a professional degree meant for networking and name recognition for a career change or advancement and there is a reason MBA admission for M7/any other top MBA programs have pretty predictable admissions standards. Most other MBAs are just a requisite to move up into management. Opening your own practice, joining/running a physician group, dealing with hospital administration, or anything else I can think of will not be taught in an MBA. This is all taught through work experience, and probably the most important skill would be accounting. Why do you think all top MBAs want work experience from BB investment banks, MBB consulting firms etc?

    Also the opportunity cost is horrible. You pay extra tuition, start practicing a year later, accrue more interest.

    If you want to become a consultant, get into venture capital, healthcare private equity, you shouldn't even bother with the MD. The people doing hospital administration and making the changes in healthcare are politicians anyways.
     
    Last edited: 09.27.14
  11. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Meep Meep Meep 5+ Year Member

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    I work closely with one person that has an MD/MBA. He's in the operating room 2-3 times a week and sees a full patient load. He does, however, have an interest in healthcare economics and about half of his research focuses on this avenue. There are many others like him.

    None of the other stuff you said applies to anything I think so I'll just ignore it.
     
  12. gibson777

    gibson777 2+ Year Member

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    Healthcare economics? That has absolutely zero relation to an MBA.
     
  13. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Meep Meep Meep 5+ Year Member

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    Has it ever crossed your mind that grant funding is often aided by having a degree in a relevant field and that cost effectiveness (and other research) can often be aided by this?

    But okay, this is SDN and you know everything.
     
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  14. Glashutte32

    Glashutte32 2+ Year Member

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    I think you should absolutely check it out. I currently work a boutique firm focusing on the life sciences/pharma/biotech and I intend to apply to medical school next cycle (considering md/mba as well). It's fascinating work. I spend a lot of time learning about diseases/TA's and the firms that work in those areas. It's a totally different look at healthcare and it's a ton of fun.

    I looked into it because I had spent a ton of time in the lab (including internships in pharma) and realized I needed a change of pace. I wanted to stay around healthcare but work from a different perspective. The pay is pretty good and I average about 55-60 hours a week. Travel amount varies by firm.

    That said, it's difficult to stumble into positions like these. The interviews are extremely competitive (at least where I went to school) and you should be prepared to devote a significant amount of time to learning how to case interview.

    If you or anyone wants to know more about getting into HC/life science consulting, pm me.
     
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  15. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Meep Meep Meep 5+ Year Member

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  16. type12

    type12 2+ Year Member

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    Why mobile? Anyway, I think the takeaway is not that an MBA+MD = $$$$, but rather, there are unrealized opportunities to marry medicine with other fields. So if you have a skillset, it's not enough to just nurture it, but keep an open mind and see solutions where others see walls.
     
  17. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Meep Meep Meep 5+ Year Member

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    So basically like I originally said, what you said was untrue.

    Thanks for playing though.
     
  18. moop

    moop 1K Member Banned Account on Hold

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    I spent a full year as a healthcare "analyst" (scare quotes b/c I did not have a BA and thus could not be a full fledged analyst) at an MBB firm. It has been the most transformative experience in my life, far beyond school, research, all that sh*t. Do it if it sounds interesting. You can't lead your life based on whether a particular set of med schools will look down upon an experience that will teach you volumes (even if part of those volumes is "oh my Lord, I will never do consulting again").

    Some schools aren't going to like it? F*ck them. You'll have better choices.
     
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  19. gtbROX

    gtbROX 2+ Year Member

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    I worked as a temporary employee at a healthcare consulting firm and did Reimbursement Counseling. Because I did it during the transition to ACA, I definitely feel more comfortable talking about healthcare policy. Through my experience, I could talk about the fallacy of the word "covered" and my ideas on why certain treatments are still inaccessible to patients even with the ACA.

    I say go for it. It allow you to confidently answer healthcare policy questions based off of an actual experience dealing with it. And if your job ends up being anything like my old job, you'll probably learn a lot about Medicare coding/billing, which is something that many doctors struggle with today.
     
  20. dedicated1989

    dedicated1989 officially gonna be a doctor!!!! 2+ Year Member

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    spinning off this convo, I recently ended my job in research due to funding issues. As I've had opportunities to go back into research I'm kind of ready for something new and have been applying to consulting positions with some interviews lined up. Do you guys think it would be something to update schools on or should I keep it on the hush hush (even when asked in interviews if something is new to my app)? I still plan on scribing part time (maybe on weekends) and doing volunteer work.
     
  21. moop

    moop 1K Member Banned Account on Hold

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    I doubt it will reflect poorly on you if you said that the person you did research for lost funding (which is not your fault), that you're working part-time.

    Why are you looking for consulting positions? Hardly anyone hires for positions less than a year as a temp thing. What sort of things are you looking at?
     
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  22. type12

    type12 2+ Year Member

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    I doubt they care, at least that's what I was told by the schools who didn't say it was a negative. I would just forego updating them. It's definitely not something to brag about.
     
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  23. dedicated1989

    dedicated1989 officially gonna be a doctor!!!! 2+ Year Member

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    Well I'm mostly looking into consulting because I like the aspect of working with teams to solve problems for clients. When interviewing for these companies I am in no way mentioning I'm applying to medical because they will definitely not hire me if I tell them that. At this point I need a job, and one that preferably pays well. These loans aren't paying themselves .... Hahaha
     
  24. moop

    moop 1K Member Banned Account on Hold

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    That's not going to cut it. If you do get a job (I'm assuming you're going for a typical Analyst position), you will be required to sign a minimum one-year contract. They don't hire analysts for less; no exceptions. Other administrative jobs are different and idk. They wouldn't even let me be a half year, one-semester analyst; I had to take a full year off from school. If you sign and then renege, consider yourself dead to the industry, or at least with a very bad rep. It's very small world and consultants are very sensitive to this sort of thing due to their constant interfacing with clients.

    This is all assuming you're going for a legitimate consulting company that has some rep (not necessarily Big 3 but somewhat established firm). If it's a small, up-and-coming boutique dying to have people around and you're highly qualified, maybe they're privy to <1 year commitments. Either way, it's just bad taste and poor professional responsibility to not tell your future employer that you're headed off to graduate school in less than a year, unless you're willing to consider deferring. You probably know this already as a nontrad.
     
    Last edited: 10.02.14
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  25. dedicated1989

    dedicated1989 officially gonna be a doctor!!!! 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the info. I'll take it into consideration
     

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