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MD or continue in business

Discussion in 'Med Business [ MD/MBA, DO/MBA, DDS/MBA ]' started by SirMonkey, Jun 4, 2008.

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  1. SirMonkey

    SirMonkey 2+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2008
    Hi guys,

    Backgroung situation:
    Was hoping to get some people's thoughts on a decision I'm up for making in the near term. Some background: graduated a couple years ago, got into and deferred medical school for 2 years at a top 20 school, and have been working in New York on Wall Street in investment banking / M&A advisory.

    I was very excited about the medical school I got into but also felt that some business experience would be useful in the short-term. That being said, I felt the 2 years I'd give up on the track to become a doctor and live / work / play in the city would not mean much in the long-term. The more I go through my short-term career in New York, the more I have realized that my life is more fullfilling when the focus is put on others. In terms of a service career, the desire to become a physician has gone from seeming to be the right choice to one in which I KNOW is the right choice to fullfill me in the long term.

    I recently received a private equity offer for the year I am supposed to matriculate for medical school. Private equity is the kind of business that is extremely hard to break into and recruits very early. In terms of skill-sets developed, it is a combination of almost every facet of business - the dealmaking side of banking, investment acumen side of asset management, and the operational improvements side of consulting. The compensation for a 24 yr old is also extremely good; offer is for about $425k a year, all in (base, bonus, phantom equity in the fund). The position is a minimum 2-year committment.

    The decision:
    Essentially trying to figure out what to do. I highly doubt the medical school will defer my admission for another year or two so that is not an option.

    A benefit of going into private equity is obviously the compensation, but aside from that is a really unique learning opportunity; where else are you going to be able to buy, run, and sell companies. I have friends who are de-facto CFO's of highly leveraged companies (enterprise value ~$1B); and, they are around 25! In the short-term, again, I think this would be a great experience (much like my current 2 years in banking). And, I'd save a lot more for medical school / thereafter.

    The cons are more complicated: first, I'm delaying the path to becoming a physician, which is absolutely, without a doubt, what I want to be doing with my life. While in the long-term another 2-3 years won't matter, it is adding up in the short-term. It feels like I'm delaying what I really want to be doing for a really neat experience. I think private equity would be an extremely neat experience and could do it / learn a lot in the 2 years, but it's not a sustainable career for me. Finally, I'm giving up a deferral; I'll have to re-take the MCATs (scores will be expired) and re-apply. This last bit is a nuisance, but manageable given that going to medical school is what I want to do and would be worth the effort again.

    I know both are great options and appreciate any input. Looking forward to responses / your thought-processes.

    Thanks in advance.
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  3. gonogo

    gonogo 10+ Year Member

    Jan 31, 2007
    Wow, first of all, you're in a pretty good situation, deciding between two options that both sound pretty good. Now, it's really up to you to decide what you want in life. Honestly, you sound like being pretty captivated by that job offer, and it sounds as if you will enjoy it. Are you sure you really want to become a doctor? You will obviously give up a lot of things by turning away that job offer. First of all, forget about the money in medicine, no way to ever compare it to what you can make in private equity. Even the entry salary you just mentioned is way above the mean average of any specialty (maybe plastics and a couple of others aside). And just think of the fact that you will go through 4 years of med schools + 4-7 years of residency/fellowship. That's around 11 years all together without really living a normal life, you'll be instead living like a student (residency/fellowship salaries are ridiculously low, barely enough to live).

    So as you can see, you really need to love medicine to go into it based on your situation.

    Anyhow, good luck, and whatever choice you make, do it because you really want it.

    Now, may I ask you, what kind of background do you have (major in college, etc...) in order for you to get such a good offer? I see tons of people struggling nowadays especially with this lagging economy.
  4. SirMonkey

    SirMonkey 2+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2008
    Thanks for the response. I majored in two, highly quantitative fields in college (but not engineering). I did not major in finance, but did take the majority of the finance electives at our business school.

    I am captivated by the job offer in private equity - but it's also brought up a lot of long-term life questions; namely, at what point does pursuing what you want to be pursuing outweigh the marginal value you can derive from money? Seems like a straightforward question to answer in principal, but in the context of my situation, and in practice, not so much.

    I agree with you on the money and lifestyle change of going to medical school; I agree that if you go into medicine these days, chances are you won't be rich. That being said, you won't be uncomfortable either. I understand what you mean about going in for the right reasons.

    Looking for some constructive advice / insightful thought process on how to approach the decision. I've built all the nerdy models to estimate the "opportunity cost" of delaying medical school for another 2-3 years; but its very hard to discount for both my lower "happiness value" in private equity (as opposed to being back in school) and change in lifestyle of starting medical school at 27 as opposed to 24.

    Looking for a less analytical way at thinking about this decision. Happy to talk specifics about my situation through private message; prefer to keep anonyminity on the message board.

  5. IceMan0824

    IceMan0824 Holy crip, he's a crapple 5+ Year Member

    Dec 7, 2006
  6. MOHS_01

    MOHS_01 audemus jura nostra defendere Physician 10+ Year Member

    Oct 2, 2005
    Assuming that this thread is not fabricated upon a foundation of BS....

    Two things here -- is medicine what you truly want? I mean truly, truly want? I would not be quite so quick to answer yes to that because very, very few, if any, premed understands what practicing medicine as a career entails. If so, take a week and follow around a doc in a specialty that you believe that you would enjoy and in a geographic location that you can see yourself practicing in. Be frank and candid with the doc, and most likely they will respond in kind.

    From an economic vantage... you would be out of you f*ing mind to forego a job like that for any medical career. I have what is widely believed (true or not) one of the best jobs in all of medicine, and I would not be considering becoming an MD if I were you... at least not until after money and retirement were not an issue. If you want an honest take on the matter, PM me

    BTW -- my brother is a few years behind you (works in the financial district for an independent financial advisory corporation dealing predominantly in M&A). He brought up the possibility of going back to school for medicine a year or two ago. I told him one of two things would happen. I would hold his head under water until 1. he quit kicking or 2. he came to his senses.
  7. SirMonkey

    SirMonkey 2+ Year Member

    Jun 4, 2008
    Thanks MOHS_01 for your response. Regarding is it the career I truly want, I think the answer is yes. I spent quite a bit of undergrad shadowing both here and abroad, a bit of volunteering, etc. It came down to more of a personal choice for me and how I view happiness, sadness, and ultimately, fullfillment in life. This is not the forum to discuss the topic, but I feel reasonably comfortable (and more so now then when I graduated) with my decision / long-term desire to become a physician.

    Would really like to chat with you re: "the best job," what it entails, etc. Will PM you shortly. Thanks for your response.
  8. Strength&Speed

    Strength&Speed Need more speed...... 10+ Year Member

    Dec 26, 2004
    SirMonkey---this decision to try medicine will test you. I LOVED medical school, and i cannot say I'd do it in lieu of what other offers you have proposed. Hey, go for it though if you really love it. Happiness is more than about money.
  9. mshheaddoc

    mshheaddoc Howdy Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2002
    Wild west of Mistytown
    Closing this thread, please post in the above referenced thread. Thanks!

    My opinion? Take the experience and put off medical school. The experience is invaluable and you won't get an experience like this for at least 7 years or so after you enter school. Plus very FEW people get that type of experience. 27 isn't that much older and the avg age of med students are increasing as it is. :luck:

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