Is MD/MBA right for me? Need advice please

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abar

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Hey guys,

I'm about to be a senior in college and I'm considering want I want to do with the rest of my life.. I'm really science minded and passionate about medicine, but I'm also an econ major and I'm incredibly interested in business as well. I'm trying to decide if I should go MD/MBA, MBA, or just MD. My ideal career is this:

I'd like to practice medicine for a while (a decade or 15 years) and then move into a management role. I'm not very interested in hospital administration... I'm more interested in biotech and pharmaceuticals. I'd love at some point in my career to assume a management role in one of these types of companies where I can apply my medical knowledge and experience from earlier in my career to leading a company.

Is an MD/MBA the path I should take to accomplish my goal? I've already taken the MCATs and done well and I have a good GPA, but I haven't thought about GMATs yet.

Thanks guys, I appreciate any advice . I'm definitely feeling a little lost...

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whatbout2morrow

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You may be better off going just MD and then pursue an MBA in Pharmaceutical Management (not offered by many colleges in comparison to other MBA concentrations). That probably would better equip you for a management career in the pharmaceutical industry.
 

michaelrack

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I'm trying to decide if I should go MD/MBA, MBA, or just MD. My ideal career is this:

I'd like to practice medicine for a while (a decade or 15 years) and then move into a management role.

Is an MD/MBA the path I should take to accomplish my goal?

Thanks guys, I appreciate any advice . I'm definitely feeling a little lost...

Since you want to practice medicine and already have taken some business classes as part of your econ training, I would recommend just doing an MD right now and concentrating on your clinical training. You can do an executive MBA when you are ready to transition into a managment role (or even after you start the transition).
 
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abar

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Is it difficult to move into management at a pharmaceutical or biotech company when you have been a practicing physician? Also, are there certain specialties that better lend themselves to eventually taking this transition?
 

TR MD

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I agree with the others.

Take it a step at a time. First focus on medicine and once in practice, if you still have this other interest, explore the options available then.
 

DrJosephKim

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Sounds like you'll eventually end up with an MD/MBA. There are pros/cons to getting the MBA during medical school, so you'll have to assess those factors based on your personal circumstances.

I'm getting my MBA now, but if I could go back in time, I would have preferred getting my MBA during med school.
 

abar

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Could you elaborate a bit on the pros and cons? Also, is it easier to get into a top 10 business school as part of an MD/MBA program or is it easier once you've been a practicing physician for several years?

Thanks again for all the advice guys, I just want to make sure I'm informed as I can be before making such an important decision
 

PrimaryCoeur

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My decision was easy, I was rejected into medschool on first application and used time to get my business degree (MHA). I reapplied and will be starting toward MD in Fall. Benefit of getting business education later is having a better grasp of business material when at that step; I'm sure I'm going to need plenty of refreshers later in my career. Even if doing MD first, you'll have plenty of opportunities to learn about business of medicine in med school, through professional groups (e.g. american college of physician executives student membership) to seeking mentors in your school/community in admin. Another benefit of doing MD first is you may find the MD enough and decide not to pursue business. All that said, the benefit of business education before MD is that you'll have a different perspective on delivery of care, etc, and that for me is enough to make me happy I did business before medicine. Getting the business degree sharpened my professional skills and gave me confidence through leadership roles, changing my entire professional outlook, preferences for residency, etc. There's really no "right" answer.

If you have an MD, I'm not sure it matters as much where you get your MBA, I wouldnt think it needs to be top-10, but others can speak better to this.
 

michaelrack

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If you have an MD, I'm not sure it matters as much where you get your MBA, I wouldnt think it needs to be top-10, but others can speak better to this.

If you want to go into "consulting" or have a wall street career, it matters where you get the MBA. If you want to get into health care administration (lead/manage within a healthcare organization) what you know matters more than where you learn it.
 

abar

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If you want to go into "consulting" or have a wall street career, it matters where you get the MBA. If you want to get into health care administration (lead/manage within a healthcare organization) what you know matters more than where you learn it.


What if you eventually want to end up in pharmaceuticals or biotech? Does the rank of your school matter then?
 

TexasPhysician

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Don't do an MBA now. If you plan to practice medicine for 10-20 years before using your MBA, you won't remember much of it 15 years from now. Your knowledge will be outdated if you can even remember it. Not to mention an MBA now will distract you from your MD studies.

An MBA is also not needed for the biotech/pharm world. I've met many people there with only an MD.

If you want an added bonus, get an MBA from a top B School just before you get into the field. Your knowledge will be fresh, your connections may help you get a job, etc.
 

DrJosephKim

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Pros of doing an MBA now (vs. later):
  • You probably have more time (no family, kids, etc.)
  • You can graduate with the degree on your resume and find opportunities immediately
  • You can explore the business world and determine if this is what you want to do

Cons:
  • You don't have much real-world working experience, so b-school is more theoretical than applicable
  • Potentially less flexibility about getting an MBA from a top-tier school (vs. getting an executive MBA from Harvard, Penn, MIT, etc. once you finish your medical training)
  • You're networking at a different level in a regular/part-time/executive MBA program
 

tonguetalker

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if you can get into a top tier medical school would you recommend doing the MD/MBA?
 

DrJosephKim

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if you can get into a top tier medical school would you recommend doing the MD/MBA?

The value of the MBA goes beyond the degree of the 3 letters. Rather, you'll have the opportunity to build and establish meaningful professional relationships that may open all types of doors in the future. Also, you'll gain skills and knowledge that you may not have unless you work in the business world.

There are many successful business-minded physicians who don't have an MBA, but the reason why they've achieved success is often largely attributable to their network of connections and their hands-on business experience.
 

gman33

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I worked in the pharma/biotech industry for 10 years before going back to med school. If your goal is to work in medicine for a while before making the switch, I'd wait on the MBA. A lot of the jobs you'd be looking at in industry would initially lean more on your clinical knowledge base than business.

Just because you have a MBA, you wouldn't land a high up management career, because you wouldn't have any real world management experience.

I'd say just get into a pharm type job later and do some type of executive mba at the same time if you need it to advance your career.

Saying you want to work in pharm can mean a lot of different things.
It's hard to get a good grasp until you have actually worked in the industry for a while.
 

Doc89

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Definitely a tough decision:

Pros - get school done with ASAP
-apply business knowledge throughout your clinical career (i.e. in private practice etc...)
-might help make you more marketable and differentiate you amongst docs


Cons
-tuition/time
-wont have as strong connections/hard technical business knowledge by the time you will go into management, but hey as long as you keep the connections up you should be fine

I was going through the same thing and am doing an MD/MBA right now because i know i wouldn't want to take 2 years off when I'm 40 when i have kids/family etc... to go back to school and interrupt my career. id like to have the mba ASAP so that whenever the opportunity or urge arises to transition i can do it the day i want. another great resource for these kinds of questions is the md mba association www.mdmbas.com they also have a great application advice section to help you when you actually are applying if you decide to: http://www.mdmbas.com/ForProspectiveStudents/ApplicationAdvice/
 
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