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Returning to Residency after a break?

Discussion in 'Med Business [ MD/MBA, DO/MBA, DDS/MBA ]' started by confusedSE, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. confusedSE

    confusedSE Junior Member
    2+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2006
    Likes Received:
    Medical Student
    Hi guys. I am a second year medical student thinking about going into healthcare business, perhaps consulting. Either way- after i get my MD, right after med school graduation- I want to work for 2 years to try to pay off some loans and see if I like consulting, and also to get some good experience. Does anyone know if it's hard to start residency when you take a couple years off after you get your MD? Or is it better to do an intern year and then leave for a couple years?

    I want to see if I like the business side of healthcare, but I don't want to close any doors to residency. I also want to get my firm to pay for my MBA as well (another reason for working). Another thought I've heard is to take a year off b/w 3rd and 4th years- to work or get your MBA- and still be able to go into residency after your 4th year.

  2. bluejay68

    bluejay68 Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Taking a year off between 3rd and 4th year (extending med school to 5 years) should not be a problem if you are using that year for something useful. I'm not sure if working as a consultant for that year would qualify (not sure if you would bring any more value to a consulting firm than someone without med school since you wouldn't even have your MD at that point, and you would have to explain why you are leaving med school after 3 years. A lot of consulting is training on the job early on, investing in the employee development, so if you were honest with them and told them you would only work for one year, that would make you a much less interesting candidate). You could probably take a leave of absence from med school for one year and then come back (so you wouldn't pay tuition for that year, but I wouldn't want to explain why I tool a leave from med school in a residency interview (huge red flag for an applicant).

    Also, in terms of getting a consulting firm to pay for business school, you usually have to have worked for them for some period of time (and proven yourself as valuable) and then have at least 2 years free after your MBA to work full time in order to "pay back" the firm for their MBA investment. Understanding that the application process for both B-school and residency basically starts one year before you find out any results, you'll have to be placing lots of bets; for example, you'd be applying to B-school without knowing for sure if your firm would pay for it (so you have to be willing to either not go or pay your own way if you are accepted and your company didn't offer to pay).

    I'm a little confused on your optimal plan; do you intend on starting med school, then taking at least one year to work as a consultant full-time and then apply to B-school, get the firm you are working for to pay for it, then come back to school and do an MBA and finish med school? If so, that plan would take at least 6 years (4 for med school, 1 for working, 1 for MBA, assuming you have a 5-year MD/MBA program at your school that would let you do all of this.....

    My advice would be to put off med school, do health care consulting now, apply to a med school that has a MD/MBA program, start med school after a couple years of consulting and then make the big decision: MBA or no MBA and then if MBA, residency or no residency. This gives you the full set of options without limiting any, keeping you on track for graduating in 5 years. You will have full knowledge if business/consulting is for you and you will also know what clinical medicine is all about. I know the aspect of getting a firm to pay for the MBA is appealing, but it just gets too complicated when concurrent med school is in the mix, and remember this benefit is not free - you'll have a work obligation afterwards (may not matter if that's what you want, but I had several friends who were bummed about going back to work for their old firm after B-school).

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