Can doctors really cut it to become a Management Consultant?
Consulting is full of incredibly smart and entrepreneurial individuals so the people you work with and the relationships you build are actually the best transferable skill you could wish for!
The management consultancy workshop you’re running this year booked out remarkably quickly. Why do you think that management consultancy is a popular considered option amongst doctors?
Leaving medicine is an incredibly tough decision for all doctors as they have focused in one area for so many years. Most are scared they don’t have the skills required to succeed outside health care, whilst at the same time feeling intimidated by the huge number of alternatives out there.
Management consulting seems to offer the best of both worlds, experience in a wide variety of business environments and a relative safety net of significant training and investment in your development. Why is this the case? These firms recognise the incredibly valuable skills of doctors in communication, teamwork, leadership and working under pressure, driving them to make this investment.
Do you think most doctors can realistically cut it to become a management consultant?
This is quite a tough sounding question and definitely should not be the way people think! As I mentioned, doctors have an incredibly skill set which can be applied in numerous fields, however for whatever career you choose you have to be passionate to succeed.
I see many doctors who are frustrated with the current training environment and perhaps are considering leaving despite truly loving the medicine. I would encourage everyone to really think about what motivates them, as if it is patient contact then they may not do well outside medicine, whether in management consulting or any other field.
That being said there is definitely a completely different world of thinking in business, the core equation of profit = revenue minus costs is central, and this can be quite a culture shock to some former doctors.
Now you’re working as an MD, are there any skills you gained in man con that you’ve transferred into your current role?
Interestingly management consultancy actually opened the door to my current role as Managing Director of a healthcare startup, as the CEO was my boss at McKinsey. Consulting is full of incredibly smart and entrepreneurial individuals so the people you work with and the relationships you build are actually the best transferable skill you could wish for!
Beyond this, working in startup requires rapid problem solving, working under pressure, understanding the fundamentals of business, and continuously pitching your idea, skills which I have developed across both my medicine and consulting experiences.
For more on how to develop a career in management consultancy, check out our Career Guide.
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