MD with MBAs question

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MD with MBAs question

Postby am » Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:40 pm

Is there much value in an MD getting an MBA if they want to transition out of full time medical practice? Does this open up many opportunities or are you just competing for the same opportunities as MBAs are? What are some typical positions MD/MBAs hold and what is the typical pay? Would lifestyle be better than in private practice with weekends, evening holiday work being typical?

As a side question how about a JD? Malpractice riches? Specialization in medical issues in a large firm?
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby brainstem » Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:12 pm

Yes and no

I have been in health policy for quite a while and the MBA could be useful .... but I have met a number of MDs who in mid career get an MBA and expect to be treated like wizards or that their insights are wisdom --- does not happen -- it does not necessarily even get you a really interesting job. Medical directorships have a lot of experience requirments and integration with company management is not always what you will think it will be -- would ask around.

MD-JD is not a particularly valuable combination -- you are neither fish nor fowl --- there are a few out there that have done interesting things .... but only a few --- there are more productive degree combinations.

Bottom line question -- why do you want the degree and what will you do with it? If you are getting it just to get out of practice, I would think some more .... do you want to run a hospital, a health system, surgery centers, etc etc etc ..... have a niche or a direction of where you want to go before you head off to a degree program.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby smackboy1 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:24 pm

am wrote:Is there much value in an MD getting an MBA if they want to transition out of full time medical practice? Does this open up many opportunities or are you just competing for the same opportunities as MBAs are? What are some typical positions MD/MBAs hold and what is the typical pay? Would lifestyle be better than in private practice with weekends, evening holiday work being typical?

As a side question how about a JD? Malpractice riches? Specialization in medical issues in a large firm?


I assume you are an MD looking to get out of clinical practice? I don't imagine that there is much of a demand for MD/MBA's. And speaking for the JD's, an MD is overkill for most medico-legal matters. If you're just looking at alternative careers for doctors try looking at pharma or biotech. My wife is a doctor who made the switch a few years ago and traded in overnight call, working holidays/weekends, and huge malpractice premiums, for a life of a corporate exec.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby chaz » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:34 pm

am wrote:Is there much value in an MD getting an MBA if they want to transition out of full time medical practice? Does this open up many opportunities or are you just competing for the same opportunities as MBAs are? What are some typical positions MD/MBAs hold and what is the typical pay? Would lifestyle be better than in private practice with weekends, evening holiday work being typical?

As a side question how about a JD? Malpractice riches? Specialization in medical issues in a large firm?

You have good ideas - get a JD and see a better future.

Good luck.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Default User BR » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:20 pm

I would think it better to figure out what job you do want and then how to get it. Just getting MBA without a real plan is a recipe for wasting time and money.


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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby am » Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:43 pm

How about a cush well paying job as an administrator at a major insurance company, or a top hospital administrator? Maybe a malpractice lawyer with a niche in my specialty?
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby brainstem » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:39 pm

See first post
That thought process is not going to get you where you want to go.
You will not do well in your interviews for your first post MBA job.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby hicabob » Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:47 pm

am wrote:How about a cush well paying job as an administrator at a major insurance company, or a top hospital administrator? Maybe a malpractice lawyer with a niche in my specialty?

Ahhh - but most of those people would think being a doc is a cushy job. Grass is always greener I s'pose.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Jerilynn » Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:15 am

In my travels, I've seen more than a few physicians, dentists, optometrists and podiatrists go to law school and end up practicing law. I've not yet seen a lawyer go back to school in order to practice medicine. I wonder why that is. :?:
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby protagonist » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:46 am

hicabob wrote:
am wrote:How about a cush well paying job as an administrator at a major insurance company, or a top hospital administrator? Maybe a malpractice lawyer with a niche in my specialty?

Ahhh - but most of those people would think being a doc is a cushy job. Grass is always greener I s'pose.


I agree. I'm a retired physician. The jobs you are considering are highly stressful and consuming, and likely not as personally rewarding as what you might be able to segue into, full-time or part-time, as a doc. Plus you must consider the financial and opportunity cost of the degree program. If you are frustrated with practicing medicine, imagine how you will feel when, as a high level administrator, you get thrust into the world of corporate politics, especially where the profit motive often conflicts with providing optimal care. And malpractice law... even more training, more stress and more ethical dilemma. Whether you are prosecuting or defending, you will spend much of your time attacking people's credibility...whether that of the physicians and health care team, that of the injured plaintiff, or that of the witnesses. Caring for patients seems like it would be a lot more fun.

Why do you want to do this?
Last edited by protagonist on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby protagonist » Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:51 am

Jerilynn wrote:In my travels, I've seen more than a few physicians, dentists, optometrists and podiatrists go to law school and end up practicing law. I've not yet seen a lawyer go back to school in order to practice medicine. I wonder why that is. :?:


Maybe because they don't have the prerequisites for acceptance? Maybe because it requires up to ten years or more of training? Maybe because the stress and lack of income of ten years of training does not justify the job opportunities available when they finally finish residency?

Anyway, I can't, offhand, think of any physicians I know who quit medicine to go into law practice. I am sure it happens, but I don't think it is common, at least not in my experience. I've known ones who have quit to become artists, or musicians, or do something else they love......
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Watty » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:23 am

I have seen a number of articles like this about how bad the job market is for lawyers right now so that could be a risky way to go even though your situation would be different than someone looking for their first job.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 58142.html
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby oragne lovre » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:06 am

:dollar :arrow: :moneybag :?:
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:54 am

am wrote:Is there much value in an MD getting an MBA if they want to transition out of full time medical practice? Does this open up many opportunities or are you just competing for the same opportunities as MBAs are? What are some typical positions MD/MBAs hold and what is the typical pay? Would lifestyle be better than in private practice with weekends, evening holiday work being typical?

As a side question how about a JD? Malpractice riches? Specialization in medical issues in a large firm?


A lot depends on your age and stage.

I saw a number of MDs in business school. They transitioned (usually fairly young) into consulting, medical related businesses like pharma, biotech, healthcare. Also some MDs doing exec MBAs-- a harder road out, not all of them found that given their 15-20 years of training and practice as MDs that their skills were valued in private industry. Some went back to the operating theatre. One at least (head surgeon) did sit on the Boards of start-ups, so that was maybe something easier to do with an exec MBA.

On MD/ JD it's going to aim you straight at medical litigation where I ASSUME (but I remember a law school prof telling us that 'Assume makes an ASS out of U and ME' ;-)) you might have an advantage. Also healthcare related Intellectual Property work. Remembering Law School is 3 years and $30k+ tuition pa it's a big burden for those not sure if it's going to lead to a better career- lawyers work as hard as doctors (post residency, anyways). And lawyers get sued, too-- the risk of making a mistake is a constant pressure on lawyers.

Don't go into Law because you think you'll make big money. You'll make good money (people in business always make *more* money) but you have to love the cut and thrust. Litigation is nasty-- it changes you as a person. And you will be facing people whose whole lives were about becoming litigators and exercising their anger or sense of mission on the world in the courtroom. You gotta love it, or you will not survive. You won't have enough time to enjoy the high pay.

Similarly corporate life (as anywhere-- see academia) is very political. It can be rewarding, working with teams of people to achieve common goals and drive your vision, but senior jobs are generally awarded on whose side you are on, did you get on the right elevator with the right boss, not on ability or achievement (a level of competence is taken as a given). And salesmen usually rise to the top above everyone else- -that's why so many CEOs eventually get found out (they 'sell' the board on them and the strategy, and then are found wanting in the delivery).

Probably the great life for an ex MD w MBA is to work with a couple of early stage healthcare companies getting management experience, eventually find a role with a Venture Capital firm, building new businesses. But most VCs fail-- it's not an easy road.

I would say read Herminia Ibarra's book on career transition and also maybe Po Bronson's. And then consider the Exec MBA route (depending on your age) unless you are sub 30, when a FT MBA might still work in your favour. If you are 30+, Investigate the Stanford or LBS Sloan programmes too (confusingly, Sloan programme is not the same as the Sloan School, the business school at MIT (which also has a Sloan programme-- the Sloan foundation established them, but they are for mid career executives)).

Various schools like Harvard B School have a 'what do I do with the rest of my career' for mid and later career professionals-- typically 3-7 day residential courses. I know Darden had a good one. You might check into those, too.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Jerilynn » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:34 pm

You gotta love it, or you will not survive. You won't have enough time to enjoy the high pay.


Ok, so instead of working 80hrs a week and netting $2 Million, why not just work 20hrs a week and get $500k? That should give you enough free time, yes?
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby hicabob » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:41 pm

Jerilynn wrote:
You gotta love it, or you will not survive. You won't have enough time to enjoy the high pay.


Ok, so instead of working 80hrs a week and netting $2 Million, why not just work 20hrs a week and get $500k? That should give you enough free time, yes?


Attorneys that clear 2million/yr are few and far between. Telling the client "sorry - I only work Mon, Tues and Wed AM" wouldn't cut it (it works for my dentist though!)
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby steadyeddy » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:50 pm

hicabob wrote:
am wrote:How about a cush well paying job as an administrator at a major insurance company, or a top hospital administrator? Maybe a malpractice lawyer with a niche in my specialty?

Ahhh - but most of those people would think being a doc is a cushy job. Grass is always greener I s'pose.


Agree. You would be met with a mountain of work, a painful decrease in pay, and an even more painful decrease in respect.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby protagonist » Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:18 pm

steadyeddy wrote:
hicabob wrote:
am wrote:How about a cush well paying job as an administrator at a major insurance company, or a top hospital administrator? Maybe a malpractice lawyer with a niche in my specialty?

Ahhh - but most of those people would think being a doc is a cushy job. Grass is always greener I s'pose.


Agree. You would be met with a mountain of work, a painful decrease in pay, and an even more painful decrease in respect.


Yes, and on top of which, I doubt that one becomes a "top hospital administrator" or gets a "cush well paying job as an administrator" of anything (including a "cush well paying" attorney position) by virtue of recently graduating with an MBA or JD, despite holding an MD. I imagine most people holding such positions work their way up through the ranks over the years, and those who receive them do so as a consequence of hard work, luck, politics and (perhaps mainly) who they know. Plus, "cush" and "administrator" are words I rarely see used in the same sentence. Valuethinker's thoughtful analysis above seems realistic.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Cash » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:59 pm

I know a few JD/MDs. But they all did their schooling in one long sweep. I don't know of any practicing physicians who decided to quit and go to law school, and vice versa. The opportunity cost is just too high (plus, as noted above, with lawyers there is the prerequisite problem). The corporate route sounds better.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby cutterinnj » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:31 pm

I would suggest the American college of physician executives (www.acpe.org)

They have multiple certificate/cme programs for physicians interested in management, and you may learn more in a week if one of their classes than you would at business school, as they are solely for MD's who wish to go into management.

Some if their programs actually also will transfer over to an MBA program.

This is the resource that most docs in your shoes use.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby DFWinvestor » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:37 am

protagonist wrote:
hicabob wrote:
am wrote:How about a cush well paying job as an administrator at a major insurance company, or a top hospital administrator? Maybe a malpractice lawyer with a niche in my specialty?

Ahhh - but most of those people would think being a doc is a cushy job. Grass is always greener I s'pose.


I agree. I'm a retired physician. The jobs you are considering are highly stressful and consuming, and likely not as personally rewarding as what you might be able to segue into, full-time or part-time, as a doc. Plus you must consider the financial and opportunity cost of the degree program. If you are frustrated with practicing medicine, imagine how you will feel when, as a high level administrator, you get thrust into the world of corporate politics, especially where the profit motive often conflicts with providing optimal care. And malpractice law... even more training, more stress and more ethical dilemma. Whether you are prosecuting or defending, you will spend much of your time attacking people's credibility...whether that of the physicians and health care team, that of the injured plaintiff, or that of the witnesses. Caring for patients seems like it would be a lot more fun.

Why do you want to do this?


This. Truly a "grass is always greener" issue. I am a physician who recently was given a (small) administrative role. I have found that the headaches can be enormous, even in a small role like mine. The politics can get nasty. There are some nice little perks but overall I am not in any way looking to advance administratively based on my early experience.

A few important questions:

1) What field are you in? In some fields you may not need an MBA or any additional degrees to advance administratively, if you truly want to do this. In some fields just taking some initiative and showing some interest will go a long way and you may find some opportunities just by showing some interest. I am a testament to this, and I know many others in my field who have been given these roles without an MBA or other degree.

2) What is it about your current practice structure that you do not enjoy? Medicine is becoming more flexible than it used to be. You have a set of skills that are in demand. Could you find another job that suited you better?

3) Would you be willing to have a less flexible schedule if you were an administrator? Or a LOWER salary? Because these are two very possible outcomes, at least initially. I can tell you for the administrative work I am doing currently, and the hours I put in, I would make more money just working clinically on an hourly basis. And many administrators take call. A lot of administrative people earn less than the highest paid physicians at the hospital and may have less job security.
Some of the MD's with administrative roles in my company put in a lot more hours than I do.

If you are doing this purely for financial reasons think long and hard about it. If you are doing it for lifestyle reasons, look for ways to improve your lifestyle within your current career before making the leap. Add up how many hours you will spend working on the MBA including study time, class time, etc and how much it will cost you for tuition. Figure out how much you could earn in that many hours working clinically.

If none of the above changes your mind then perhaps you are an administrator at heart and you should go for it.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Valuethinker » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:53 am

Jerilynn wrote:
You gotta love it, or you will not survive. You won't have enough time to enjoy the high pay.


Ok, so instead of working 80hrs a week and netting $2 Million, why not just work 20hrs a week and get $500k? That should give you enough free time, yes?


1. not many lawyers make $2m. Those that do, work more than 80 hours a week, sometimes (or did so on the way to partner).

2. you can't part time law, especially not litigation. Courts have dates and you have to be ready. Motions need to be filed. Clients won and kept happy-- when it's millions at stake, clients call you on a Saturday night and expect to talk. It's also a global world so we are all on different time clocks.

I have never seen a high powered lawyer make 'part time' work. Maybe as in house counsel, but, even then. A lot of mums with young kids struggle the part time route with their firms, but it's not a recipe for career success. Better to outsource the kids to nannies etc, and work the days. Clients get narked when they call up and Suzanne is not available til next week (been on the receiving end of that).
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Valuethinker » Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:03 am

protagonist wrote:Yes, and on top of which, I doubt that one becomes a "top hospital administrator" or gets a "cush well paying job as an administrator" of anything (including a "cush well paying" attorney position) by virtue of recently graduating with an MBA or JD, despite holding an MD. I imagine most people holding such positions work their way up through the ranks over the years, and those who receive them do so as a consequence of hard work, luck, politics and (perhaps mainly) who they know. Plus, "cush" and "administrator" are words I rarely see used in the same sentence. Valuethinker's thoughtful analysis above seems realistic.


Hard work and ability are a given. Everybody has those (to a great enough extent to do the job). Most people also have the requisite credentials and letters after their name.

To get to the top you have to have contacts and political acumen. And luck.

The thing on the way up is you are middle management-- caught between the orders of top management and the reality of your team. There's a wonderful description of a brigadier (a novel about D Day by Alexander Baron called 'From the Field. From the Plough') going up to the front, the battalion has been torn apart breaking the German line. But there is still a German strongpoint on a hill blocking the advance, and the battalion has to go and take it-- one last job. The way he deals with his friend, the Colonel, knowing he is sending his battalion to its death. That's what management is sometimes like, working people to the breaking point in the greater cause, deliberately lying to people to get something from them.

Karl Marlantes novel 'Matterhorn' about Marines in Vietnam is pretty good on the politics of being an officer.

Middle managers tend to be highly stressed, in other words. They do their real work after 6pm when their staff has gone home, no more meetings, no more interruptions.

Once you get to the top it's like being on a sports team. Working for the team, but really working for yourself-- your bonus, your stock options, your career visibility. Get too visible and the CEO will fire you for upstanding him. You don't make the cut that year, you are out. Average CEO lasts less than 5 years (I think it's now 3?). Make your money and then try to find a job afterwards.

In a hospital situation, because the consultants have clinical independence (up to a point) they are a separate power structure. The experts in an office always are, and one of the tricky jobs of management is to get them on side when their loyalty is to the profession and to their patients (and their own personal bottom lines).

That's why managing professional service firms is always tricky because people derive power from their expertise and their client base, not just from their position in the hierarchy (in the latter case, it is 'Jump!' and 'How high, sir?').
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Jerilynn » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:24 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Jerilynn wrote:
You gotta love it, or you will not survive. You won't have enough time to enjoy the high pay.


Ok, so instead of working 80hrs a week and netting $2 Million, why not just work 20hrs a week and get $500k? That should give you enough free time, yes?


1. not many lawyers make $2m. Those that do, work more than 80 hours a week, sometimes (or did so on the way to partner).

2. you can't part time law, especially not litigation. Courts have dates and you have to be ready. Motions need to be filed. Clients won and kept happy-- when it's millions at stake, clients call you on a Saturday night and expect to talk. It's also a global world so we are all on different time clocks.

I have never seen a high powered lawyer make 'part time' work. Maybe as in house counsel, but, even then. A lot of mums with young kids struggle the part time route with their firms, but it's not a recipe for career success. Better to outsource the kids to nannies etc, and work the days. Clients get narked when they call up and Suzanne is not available til next week (been on the receiving end of that).


Ok say a lawyer has X active clients/cases, works Y hrs a week and makes $Z.

Now say he stops taking any new clients/cases. After a certain amount of time as these cases get resolved, he will only have 90% of X clients, etc. Let this follow the natural progression until it gets to the point where he only has half as many clients. Wouldn't he then be working (approximately) Y/2 hrs. per week and earn $Z/2 per year?

Or look at it this way, say a lawyer stopped taking any new cases/clients, at some future point in time he won't have any, yes?
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby am » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:44 pm

Thanks for all the info. Will scratch my plans of becoming a wealthy medmal lawyer or top hospital executive for now :)
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:53 pm

Jerilynn wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
Jerilynn wrote:
You gotta love it, or you will not survive. You won't have enough time to enjoy the high pay.


Ok, so instead of working 80hrs a week and netting $2 Million, why not just work 20hrs a week and get $500k? That should give you enough free time, yes?


1. not many lawyers make $2m. Those that do, work more than 80 hours a week, sometimes (or did so on the way to partner).

2. you can't part time law, especially not litigation. Courts have dates and you have to be ready. Motions need to be filed. Clients won and kept happy-- when it's millions at stake, clients call you on a Saturday night and expect to talk. It's also a global world so we are all on different time clocks.

I have never seen a high powered lawyer make 'part time' work. Maybe as in house counsel, but, even then. A lot of mums with young kids struggle the part time route with their firms, but it's not a recipe for career success. Better to outsource the kids to nannies etc, and work the days. Clients get narked when they call up and Suzanne is not available til next week (been on the receiving end of that).


Ok say a lawyer has X active clients/cases, works Y hrs a week and makes $Z.

Now say he stops taking any new clients/cases. After a certain amount of time as these cases get resolved, he will only have 90% of X clients, etc. Let this follow the natural progression until it gets to the point where he only has half as many clients. Wouldn't he then be working (approximately) Y/2 hrs. per week and earn $Z/2 per year?

Or look at it this way, say a lawyer stopped taking any new cases/clients, at some future point in time he won't have any, yes?


Whilst you do have files that run and run, you have to keep generating new files, new cases, or your practice dies. Only in the last few years can you deliberately run down.

Also as a partner in big law, corporate law, you probably only bill 1500 hours a year. The other 1000 hours a year are spent making pitches, wining and dining clients and potential clients, your share of the management of the firm, coaching junior staff, promotion rounds for associates etc.

Litigation partner, you still pull 2200+ hours a year on cases. Oh and somehow run your practice and the firm in your spare time.

You stop doing this and the firm will push you out-- they are quite Darwinian in that way. There are few (or no) part time jobs in big law.

My friends in small law work similar sorts of hours but for a lot less money (clients who can afford to pay less). Also you spend a lot of time on business development-- Rotarian or whatever. Working your own religious or social community etc.

Sometimes in house counsel or government work can be a cushy number. Make maybe (US terms) $100-250k, you'll work professional hours (50+ per week) but you'll be at home on weekends (maybe working one afternoon, but you'll be at home), see your kids.

Lots more lawyers want those jobs especially these days, than there are such jobs. Just as Big Law is biased by various factors in favour of men, so a lot of those jobs go to women-- put it another way, the quality of the women applying for those jobs is very high, and as a man it may well be assumed you were just not good enough for Big Law.

Law Professor used to be a relatively easy gig for say $100k pa, BUT the pressure to publish is now intense: better a Phd in economics than someone with 5-10 years of experience in practice (almost unhirable these days by law schools, my friends tell me).

And Law Schools are charging huge money and not getting their grads the jobs (and big lawsuits about manipulating placement numbers-- google around there are some interesting blog posts on this). Something's gotta give, you can't keep your students running up $200k of debt and not being able to pay it back, forever.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:03 pm

am wrote:Thanks for all the info. Will scratch my plans of becoming a wealthy medmal lawyer or top hospital executive for now :)


I am all for you doing an MBA or exec MBA. But *not* to make more money-- you'll make the most money by choosing a lucratice specialization and then pursuing it in a lucrative way (plastic surgery in Burbank?) OR by owning clinics and other doctor related businesses that you can steer business to (see the New Yorker article on 'the most expensive Medicare County in America'-- amazingly it's not New York City, it's a border county in Texas, serving retirees not illegals).

No do the MBA for the intellectual challenge (not as bad as med school, but diverse), the people you might meet (on a good programme, eg you might meet a middle manager from Pfizer or Kaiser, and see their side of it) and the chance to perhaps work on the business side of medicine and healthcare. Business is a highly creative endeavour (or can be), pulling teams together, building new businesses, coaching and mentoring staff, strategy formulation and execution.

If you get involved in a start up which then makes you rich, more power to you-- some of the best people I know did that, and then could afford to do pure medical research in an academic setting, they have great lives seeing interesting cases and advancing the cause of science.

But money is an outcome in business, it's not the be all and end all. As in most things in life, when it becomes the be all and end all, you get behaviour which damages society and damages you as a person-- see the Wall Street bubble and crash. The bitter twisted people who emerged out of it, winners and losers.

My father had adequate means, and never pursued money-- his investments were successful to some extent more because he neglected them than because he managed them. His dream was to benefit mankind, by building nuclear power stations no less.

When he died suddenly in his early 80s, on 24 hours notice for the funeral, we had 200+ people at his funeral, from every part of his life-- one person flew from England across the Atlantic on 24 hours notice, arrived at the funeral suitcase trailing behind him. 200+ people in that church of every faith and colour, some had probably never been in a Christian church in their lives, including the dry cleaner and the house cleaner.

That's how a man dies, if he dies well. I'll be lucky to die half so well.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby ResNullius » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:04 pm

am wrote:Is there much value in an MD getting an MBA if they want to transition out of full time medical practice? Does this open up many opportunities or are you just competing for the same opportunities as MBAs are? What are some typical positions MD/MBAs hold and what is the typical pay? Would lifestyle be better than in private practice with weekends, evening holiday work being typical?

As a side question how about a JD? Malpractice riches? Specialization in medical issues in a large firm?


I would forget the JD completely. If you want to work in managed care, the policy field in health care, or hospital admin then getting an MBA might be of some assistance. Personally, I would stick with being a doc, but then I used to be a real attorney.
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby Jerilynn » Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:59 pm

Valuethinker wrote:Whilst you do have files that run and run, you have to keep generating new files, new cases, or your practice dies.


Yes! my point exactly. So, just let the practice get to half-dead or 1/4 dead. Oh I was referring to a solo practice or small group where everyone eats what they kill.
Cordially, Jeri . . . 100% all natural asset allocation. (no supernatural methods used)
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby oragne lovre » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:48 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
am wrote:Thanks for all the info. Will scratch my plans of becoming a wealthy medmal lawyer or top hospital executive for now :)


I am all for you doing an MBA or exec MBA. But *not* to make more money-- you'll make the most money by choosing a lucratice specialization and then pursuing it in a lucrative way (plastic surgery in Burbank?) OR by owning clinics and other doctor related businesses that you can steer business to (see the New Yorker article on 'the most expensive Medicare County in America'-- amazingly it's not New York City, it's a border county in Texas, serving retirees not illegals).

No do the MBA for the intellectual challenge (not as bad as med school, but diverse), the people you might meet (on a good programme, eg you might meet a middle manager from Pfizer or Kaiser, and see their side of it) and the chance to perhaps work on the business side of medicine and healthcare. Business is a highly creative endeavour (or can be), pulling teams together, building new businesses, coaching and mentoring staff, strategy formulation and execution.

If you get involved in a start up which then makes you rich, more power to you-- some of the best people I know did that, and then could afford to do pure medical research in an academic setting, they have great lives seeing interesting cases and advancing the cause of science.

But money is an outcome in business, it's not the be all and end all. As in most things in life, when it becomes the be all and end all, you get behaviour which damages society and damages you as a person-- see the Wall Street bubble and crash. The bitter twisted people who emerged out of it, winners and losers.

My father had adequate means, and never pursued money-- his investments were successful to some extent more because he neglected them than because he managed them. His dream was to benefit mankind, by building nuclear power stations no less.

When he died suddenly in his early 80s, on 24 hours notice for the funeral, we had 200+ people at his funeral, from every part of his life-- one person flew from England across the Atlantic on 24 hours notice, arrived at the funeral suitcase trailing behind him. 200+ people in that church of every faith and colour, some had probably never been in a Christian church in their lives, including the dry cleaner and the house cleaner.

That's how a man dies, if he dies well. I'll be lucky to die half so well.


It's not if one dies; it's how one dies.
Another excellent post, Valuethinker!
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby lwfitzge » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:00 pm

I'm in start-up biotech...lot of my peers w MD/MBA are CEO, CBO, and CMO's.....many are also principals in venture capital firms
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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby BillyG » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:59 am

I know an MD who sold his beach house and closed his practice to go to law school. He didn't cut it as a lawyer and I'm sure he took a steep pay cut. I doubt he and his wife were very happy about his decision.

The only exception I would make for an MD/JD is if the MD specialty was in genetics or biochemistry and you want to specialize in patents (not patients!), and even then it would be better to divide and conquer -- the PhD/JD patent attorneys are probably better prepared than an MD/JD.

The MBA could be useful depending on what you want to do, but I would suggest doing it at night or as an executive MBA on weekends so you can continue practicing medicine. Concentrate in finance.

I'm an EE who who worked as an engineer for 10 years, getting an MBA at night and later going to law school full time. Law school was a huge amount of work and after law school starting over in a new career was even more difficult with many long days, well into the night, and long weekends. A lot of the work climbing the ladder is boring but necessary. If you survived med school and residency I'm sure you can do it but are you sure you want to do that again with absolutely no guarantee you'll be better off than where you are now?

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Re: MD with MBAs question

Postby BillyG » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:18 am

Jerilynn wrote:In my travels, I've seen more than a few physicians, dentists, optometrists and podiatrists go to law school and end up practicing law. I've not yet seen a lawyer go back to school in order to practice medicine. I wonder why that is. :?:


They're not smart or ethical enough to be doctors.

Sorry, I couldn't resist!~ :-)

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