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Reason for MD/MBA

Discussion in 'Med Business [ MD/MBA, DO/MBA, DDS/MBA ]' started by ClearDay, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. ClearDay

    ClearDay Senior Member
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    For those applying to MD/MBA programs, what are your reason? What do you hope to do with your degree in the future?
     
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  3. Shredder

    Shredder User
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    i want to be involved in medicine but minimize or eliminate patient contact, and make tons of money while also improving medicine from the business side. maybe entrepreneurship, upper level management, venture capital, investment banking. im interested in biotech and genomics in particular, and their applications in medicine via the private sector. but thats just me. phd isnt for me--i cant do research all the time and write grants. business plans, now that sounds like fun. thus md/mba i figure.

    personally i think any md/mba should not simply lead a split lifestyle with half patient care and half business. theres no advantage to having that person vs having 2 separate ppl who specialize in each area. i think dual degrees should be used synergistically somehow, thus my suspicion that i will move away from patients either from the start or at some point, which is common btw among md/mba's if you look some up. you should visit the md/mba forum or md-mba.org, as the responses in the former may be less plentiful but more informed. theres a lot of business in medicine, increasingly so id say--and thats not a bad thing, just a result of the heavy spending that comes with modern healthcare. its good to have the business savvy to allow oneself to control that aspect rather than being at its mercy like many old fashioned docs might be
     
  4. chaeymaey

    chaeymaey 1K Member
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    Shredder, you're one of the most realistic people I've ever seen.
     
  5. Elastase

    Elastase StanfUrd bound!!!
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    The PRIME-LC at UC Irvine has a combined program with MBA, or MPH. So in that aspect, it has an MBA geared towards creating successful nonprofits and knowing the business/policy side of medicine...So thats another way to use an MBA, further training to become business savvy and make bigger changes as a physician leader....Anyone have more info on the PRIME-LC MBA?
     
  6. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    I am interested in MD/MBA because I don't want to be the physician who wakes up every morning, puts on the scope and sees his patients.

    I want to be a leader in medicine whether it be within the academic medicine realm in a role of CMO or in the private sector (like Shredder except my interests are in imaging technology).

    I will def. do a residency and practice for some time to build experience but there comes a time in every docs life Im sure when they want to transition and I hope I will be more prepared.

    I will elaborate more in a bit once I quit playing online poker :laugh:.
     
  7. Shredder

    Shredder User
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    in a few words, this is my motivation for md/mba. i may or may not do a residency--will decide when the time comes. depends on what the options are immediately after med school. but that is another perk of md/mba, it does provide options. and whether you take the options or not, its better to have them than not. many dual degrees i suspect do provide this option of whether or not to do a residency, as you have that other skill set that allows you to pursue other ventures if you want to. the question is, will the MD offer you substantially higher pay than the other degree alone--is it worth getting the MD, basically. this is a subject of recurring debate in the md/mba forum.
     
  8. ASDIC

    ASDIC The 9th Flotilla
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    In order to provide the cost-effective medical care of tommorrow, physicians need to understand the business dynamics of medicine. As medicine today becomes more consolidated, there is a need for leadership.

    Medicine is unfortunately moving from a human necessity to a commodity - for people who can afford it rather than need it.

    I am doing my MD/MBA to gain some business acumen to provide effective medical services in a cost controlled business environment. I am taking courses such as Healthcare Management and Health Finance to better understand the commercialized nature of today's medicine.
     
  9. bobito

    bobito Senior Member
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    Point of advice. You would probably be better served without the MD.
    Reason 1: is opportunity cost. You're losing significant salary earning years to go through an MD program for 4+ years. If you compound the interest that could be made on these savings rather than the likely debts caused by med school, over the long term (greater than 20-30 years) These differences will be very significant.
    Reason 2: The only compelling reason to get an MD is patient contact.

    Right out of college you could get a Healthcare consulting job at some place like Stockamp...make about 40k for 2 yrs or so prior to promotion. Then go back get an MBA and pursue your management interests or you could go into investment banking if you really want money (You'll have more money than you have time to spend it) and then go get an MBA, and pursue your health interests.
     
  10. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Where would medicine be without radiologists and pathologists?
     
  11. bobito

    bobito Senior Member
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    haha This is quite possibly the greatest bit of political speak I've ever read.

    You want to make medicine cheaper.

    I'm interested in Md/MBA programs for much the same reason. Although I'm mostly interested in drug development and the developing world.
     
  12. bobito

    bobito Senior Member
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    I read it to mean that he didn't want to practice....He wanted an administrative role. rather than he wanted to pursue a specialty with less actual "patient contact".. I also used the term as such. You are correct though. It should read....the only compelling reason to get a medical degree is to practice medicine, academic or non. Administrative roles can be best fufilled with degrees that are designed to train you as an administrator, rather than a practitioner
     
  13. ASDIC

    ASDIC The 9th Flotilla
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    I dont wanna make it cheaper. But as a doctor you will be pressed to increase access to the poor patients. what are you gonna do? say no?

    I am sure as businessmen we would only care about products and services going to those who can afford them...but when the government or any other red tape forces you to adjust ur business policies to cover the poor people, you must be ready for it.
     
  14. Shredder

    Shredder User
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    it comes down to this: ceteris paribus, what is more valuable, an MD or 4 years of work experience in some low end, entry level position working among pretty average peers vs intelligent medical school classmates. thus for anyone with an interest in business and medicine i highly advocate md/mba as it seems like a steal to me. compare this, a year for an MBA or a year going to africa to administer shots. the point im trying to make is that a year is nothing, something premeds might use to devote to any number of things, few of which can compare to the long term and professional value of an MBA.

    so the central question restated: MD or 4 years working in some run of the mill job, which is more valuable. 40k and groveling for promotions is demeaning

    besides, theres no point to having more money than time to spend it. and the only real way to make money is not to be on a payroll
     
  15. unfrozencaveman

    unfrozencaveman not a dude
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    For this guy's path, I would strongly disagree with this. I know it doesnt make a lot of practical sense to have the MD, but if you want to go, say, being a medical director of a managed care org, having the MD gives you invaluable street cred. In roles where people have to straddle the fence between medicine and finance (and judging by this board, that leap that they are not really at odds with each other is not going to be overcome anytime soon), having an MD is well worth its weight in training.

    Shredder, I dont think you saw the post I put up on that Penn thread, but I do work with LDI. I hope you get in there. It's a great place.
     
  16. aamartin81

    aamartin81 Senior Member
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    Shredder,

    I'm curious as to whether you have any experience in the business world, or are you an undergraduate? You seem to have well developed thoughts on what a MBA offers in the professional world, but how much are these ideas based on assumptions you have made? There are quite a few recent studies which offer quite a dastic difference in the value of the degree. What they state, however, is that the true value lies in the school where you complete the degree (I.e. the value is derived from the connections you make). I wonder whether an of the MD/MBA programs will offer the same type of connections to be found at the Harvard's, Wharton's, etc... Though I have done little research into the specific programs, some questions I would ask would be the differences in obtaining the background knowledge (I.e. Corporate Finance, Statement Analysis, Portofolio Mgmt, Accounting, etc...) in an undergraduate setting (less expensive/time consuming) vs a combined program.

    If geared towards the management of a group of physician's, there is little more that you will need than basic business principles (I.e. no need to understand the intricacies of arbitrage opportunities in international investments based on currency fluctuations). As for running a hospital/becoming part of a biomedical venture capital fund, the two years you spend in the MBA program will pale in comparison to what you learn in the first two weeks on the job. Furthermore, national healthcare regulations change quickly and any introduction to their effects on the business of management will likely be brief.

    I understand that you have likely put much effort into researching these programs and as such have valid answers to the concerns I have addressed above. I am curious to hear them.

    Adam
     
  17. ASDIC

    ASDIC The 9th Flotilla
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    for MD/MBAs the prestige of the business school doesnt really matter. as long as its AACSB accredited.

    MD/MBAs are extremely rare and its more expensive to hire a MD/MBA than a ivy league regular MBA.

    Witt-Kiefer, the largest healthcare executive recruiting firm targets MD/MBA recently graduated from the program to fill in vacancies all around the country...many of these MD/MBAs forego residency training for a high position in a healthcare organization.
     
  18. Shredder

    Shredder User
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    hey, im a young undergrad, little experience ill readily admit. i do plan to attend one of the top b schools and they are all i have applied to for med schools (it was my only criterion pretty much), and a big reason for that is connections and meeting potential partners, visionaries and such. i would say my long term interests lie primarily in business, but i also think medicine is an interesting area and ive done well in prerequisite courses and mcat. i dont see why ppl are so opposed, im pretty legitimate i think. so what if i take away a spot from a premed who wants to see patients and do research; an md/mba is poised to do more for medicine anyway IMO, and its a competitive process to get admitted, winners will be winners. the opportunity cost of seeing patients is high when you reach a certain level--im an economist and i think in those terms. just like in business when youre trump, you cannot afford to have chats with all of your employees or even customers on a regular basis. same deal. but trump still had to learn about his business, real estate, first. similarly with medicine. this is just my reasoning but im always up for discussion, with the hope that personal feelings and emotions dont get involved as that ruins objectivity

    so i see it as a free MBA without having to work beforehand, with an MD on the side which might (or might not) be used to improve the state of healthcare. if one wants to wheel and deal in corporate america, undergrad courses will not open any doors or close deals. you might learn more in the first two weeks of a hotshot job, but how to land that job without proper credentials or connections? in fact undergrad courses arent even necessary, one could learn it all from books, who needs teachers? but what kind of potential client or partner wants to see a list of completed books and self teaching? in fact, one could learn medicine on ones own too, but it hardly needs mentioning that that would not fly in the real world

    would you dispute that an MBA is more valuable than a year administering shots in africa? i dont know the exact value of an MBA, but i know that letters after ones name and credentials from certain schools impress people. and i dont mean people at parties, i mean professionally. its hard to place a numerical value on that, its intangible. thoughts?

    as for me, my top choices where i interviewed are dartmouth, penn, and columbia, as they would serve these functions well. no word from northwestern or cornell, im growing skeptical. michigan waitlisted, chicago rejected
     
  19. little_late_MD

    little_late_MD Ready To Jump
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    Just as an FYI, most of the "top" business schools you are applying to do not accept many students without significant work experience. As I'm sure you know, you must be accepted to both the Medical School and the Business School for dual degree programs.

    Good luck to you.
     
  20. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    For dual degree students, the work rule is often waived. They also count 3rd year as work often times.
     
  21. bobito

    bobito Senior Member
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    I think the MBA is worthwhile. I think you should clearly define your career goals to determine if the MD is worth the opportunity cost of getting it.

    For example, since you applied to top business programs...many are private...tution and living expenses are about 50-60,000 per year. Lets assume you don't have to go into debt and make the total cost 200k for 4 yrs. Now you have the opportunity to put that money to use elsewhere, starting your own business, ect. I'm going to use the rate of return for the stock market over the last 50+ years, 8%. Say you graduate at 25 and retire at 65...using your degree for 40yrs. The opportunity cost of the degree over that span in about 4.3 million dollars. [200k(1.08^40)]
    If you want to do a purely business related thing...investment banking...be a CEO. That prestige for the MD needs to be worth a whole Sh*tload of money.

    I would suggest you do this sort of calculation according to your own situation. If you have to go into debt, if you add in the lost wages and the low wages of residecy...this type of calculation starts getting ugly.

    MD/MBA is great for some things...its a waste for others. Figure it out yourself.
    You're right if you really want money start your own business, you don't need any degree for that.
    I'd also sincerely reconsider what you consider demeaning. The jobs I was speaking about aren't easy to get, nor are they demeaning.
    If you plan to start your own business, fields considered demeaning are in fact very lucrative. Junkyards...make obnoxious amounts of profits and many owners are multi-millionaires, having a carpet padding business can make you assloads of money, I know a poorly educated immigrant who started a business installing fire sprinklers in offices who is a multi-millionaire. Capitalism doesn't care about anyone's sense of pride.

    Anyway I usually make it a point not to post about these sorts of things...but this is food for thought. Its important to have very clearly defined career goals before you embark on an educational track that cost F-loads of money and has significant opportunity costs.
     
  22. aamartin81

    aamartin81 Senior Member
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    First and foremost, I am impressed by the schools to which you are applying. Getting into their MBA programs will be a large accomplishment. That addresses the primary concern over the value of the MBA.

    As for the decision to pursue the MD as well, I am confused. You do not seem to care so much for the patient aspect as the growth aspect of medicine. You speak of opportunity cost, so why not approach it this way:

    Would you not be better served by obtaining a job with an I-banking firm that specializes in the medical industry as an analyst, then going on to complete the MBA after two years rather than spending an additional two years studying science courses which will contribute little towards reaching your goals? Potentially, this could be applied to the entire four years of medical education, as you seem to have little interest in patient contact. You could avoid two years of wasteful studying (not including USMLE Steps 1, 2, and 3) and two years of clinical exposure (you won't have a rotation on managing a practice/hospital), while getting applicable experience and developing essential business contacts - all while receiving a salary instead of paying $50,000+ per year.

    As for the year dedicated to giving flu shots in Africa, there are other components to life than achieving goals. For some people this is a much more rewarding experience than simply a line on their resume/AMCAS application. Applied towards your goals, it may not provide such satisfaction, but it likely does for those who commit themselves to such a cause.

    I agree that the MBA is an essential component of your path towards corporate governance, but I would not discount the potential education offered by undergraduate courses. You would be hard pressed to find professors at my undergrad university who would not put their students up against MBA students in similar courses (In fact, some taught both courses on similar syllabi -sp?).

    Let me know what you think.
     
  23. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    Yikes! If you _that's_ demeaning, wait until you attend B-school without years of professional experience. It'll make interning at Charles Schwab feel like a power position...
     
  24. little_late_MD

    little_late_MD Ready To Jump
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    Really? Do you happen to remember where you got this information, because it would be a major burden off my shoulders if it where true. I visited Columbia, Penn, and Harvard, and all three said that admissions standards were the same for dual degree students as for MBA students.
     
  25. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown
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    Look through the MD/MBA forum at the top. I have links to programs. It should be listed there.
     
  26. Shredder

    Shredder User
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    i wont be dissuaded, its futile trying. im not sure why everyone tries their hardest to do so, as i never in fact asked for any pointers here. a few examples of role models below. the guys have done a lot for medicine, as id like to, and make money while im at it. is that so wrong?

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2005/54/VI4N.html
    http://www.forbes.com/finance/lists/54/2002/LIR.jhtml?passListId=54&passYear=2002&passListType=Person&uniqueId=XA34&datatype=Person

    granted, they dont in fact have MBAs. but md/mba wasnt common until recent years, and can it really hurt? and not all tycoons in the healthcare industry have MDs. can that hurt? you consider those two things then reformulate arguments for why i should not pursue md/mba. if one has the credentials to obtain a top notch md/mba, i see it as the safest and most highly probable way to reach a billion dollars. sincerely. and im open to hearing refutations. so to clear things up, im not shooting for a 100k job. nor 500, nor some number of millions. truly, i want one billion dollars, and whether i reach it or not, im going to try.

    to answer the OP summarily, and regardless of what people think, i plan to reach a 9 figure net worth, and i might do it through medicine somehow. medicine alone simply does not offer that kind of reward, business is a must to hit it big. ill ask this: what advice would you have given the google guys before they decided to attend grad school for computer science? drop the idea and work for merrill lynch for a nice fat 80k income, the real way to make money and change the world?
     
  27. CTSballer11

    CTSballer11 Senior Member
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    Those are some great points. You have a good head on your shoulders. It is apparent in your posts that you are thinking long term what is beneficial to you, not a quick fix ( in this case a 50K job). IMO, those kind of jobs are very demeaning, busting your butt for a BS raise. I look at the MD/MBA degree as an asset, and if you get that MBA at a school like penn you will have a lot of doors open for you. As someone mentioned before, the MD is such a versatile degree, and it will give you "street cred" among the other MD's.
     
  28. bobito

    bobito Senior Member
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    I think people try to give you pointers because you come across as having ill defined career goals (make lots of money in medicine). An MD cannot hurt ostensibly. However, it is an opportunity cost, in both time and money, and should be examined as such. Thus it can hurt you as a long term economic cost, if not used appropriately. As you have mentioned, an MD is NOT necessary to be a tycoon in Medicine, nor is it in fact common.

    Look at the Forbes list. For the amount we spend on Medicine....very few people have made a billion from it. The reasons are numerous and depend on what area of medicine you want to specialize. Drug company, hospital management...whatever. They largely fall under the heading of high startup costs however. Starting a medical device company (engineering) would probably get you there quicker than an MD.
    I would actually suggest getting involved with investments real estate or financial, as the safest quickest way to a billion.

    Look up Edward Lampert...Warren Buffet....George Soros... what do you think these guys started doing?
    I would not have suggested the google guys get a computer science degree if they didn't want to practice computer science, and they only wanted to manage a technology company.
    I understand that this is student "DOCTOR" net. But I think its important to consider that the MD degree may not be all that great. It only teaches you how to practice medicine and does nothing to help your abilities as an administrator. While getting a "demeaning" job does.
    And MD degree is in fact an investment in human capital....It does have opportunity costs. Those need to be considered.

    I have nothing against pursuing an MD/MBA. I may do so. But I'm only getting the MD because I want to practice medicine. If I wanted to make lots of money in medicine, I'd likely pursue something else.My advice was unsolicited, so I'll stop. I wasn't trying to denegrate your goals (there isn't anything wrong with making assloads of money), but point out that its possible that it may be reached more easily through a different path.
     
  29. aamartin81

    aamartin81 Senior Member
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    Shredder,

    I'm not attacking your idea, nor am I trying to dissuade you from pursuing your goals. You brought up the point of opportunity cost. I wanted to hear why you thought the 4 year MD and associated $200,000+ was more valuable than 2 years of relevant business experience (~$100,000 salary or more - been a while since I interviewed I-banking), then moving towards the MBA.

    You mention the guys at Google as a reason to surround yourself with people in a field in which you are interested. Does this really apply to medical school? You will be surrounded by people interested in helping patients. If you are looking for people whose research/technological innovations will change the face of medicine, perhaps it would be more prudent to pursue schools like Stanford and Duke, who in conjunction to pushing research are also located in areas of technological progression (Silicon Valley and the Research Triangle, respectively).
     
  30. Shredder

    Shredder User
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    shooting blindly for a billion dollars and throwing caution to the wind is a foolish goal. if there is one thing an MD does provide, its security that one will never, figuratively speaking, starve. in other words, you are always assured of living a (highly) comfortable life. brett put it nicely in another thread: the ceiling of medicine is low but the floor is high, and vice versa for business. so basically the spread is wide in business, and one puts oneself at quite a bit of risk by delving into the business world fully expecting to reach the top. i understand that a billion dollars is hard to come by, and i dont intend to live a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle forever in a possibly futile pursuit of it. to bring some finance into it, an MD is a hedge against a risky position with an MBA.

    as for opportunity cost, as thats been mentioned more than once now, i dont think about short term opportunity costs such as devoting a few years to schooling. i think about long term opportunity costs of treating patient after patient for decades on end. a leader will necessarily have to sacrifice at least some of that, as there are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. i am only being realistic about it. becoming a leader in medicine (general) requires backing off from the front lines (soldier). rumsfeld and powell are not in iraq. besides, something that was also mentioned is that a degree/education is an asset, a contributor to future earnings. the same cant really be said of intensive patient visitations. if you want to take the opportunity cost point to an extreme, why even finish college? im confident i will find other aspiring md/mbas to share visions and ambitions with in medical school. if not i will simply seek the business students, who will also be my classmates.

    stanford doesnt have an md/mba program and dukes app was too hard. its not only that it was too hard, but as a matter of principle i felt it was a cheap way to weed out applicants instead of using objective criteria such as stats, especially mcat which im a big believer in. brett im sure youre golden at duke, pretty good backup.

    one last note: whats seen is warren buffett, george soros, and bill gates. what is not seen are the thousands upon thousands who wanted to be like them, just like me, and fell flat on their faces, leaving them broken in finances as well as spirit. when you take risky positions it happens. i see md/mba as a superb way to create an ideal risk/reward ratio with a relatively small price tag attached. it lowers risk--disputes? it increases reward vs an mba alone--disputes? the intangible value is that MBAs, even from top schools, are a dime a dozen. an md/mba is something unique and special, worthy of a lot of respect. not only street smart but also book smart. its a real power combo. so aamartin, the 200k medical tuition is the ultimate career hedge. with your experience in finance you can appreciate the value of those in allowing one to sleep at night. MD prevents you from falling to the floor, MBA allows you to reach for the sky. rational, or no?
     
  31. aamartin81

    aamartin81 Senior Member
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    Rationality is unique to each person who interprets its meaning. It seems as though you are completely comfortable with your decisions, so yes, I would say the MD/MBA is a rational choice for you. Good luck with your endeavors!

    Adam
     

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