From Medicine to Management Consultancy

Sara Sabin Posted by Sara Sabin on March 29, 2015

When looking at alternative careers for doctors, the choices may seem endless and it can be confusing. It helps to look at some of the different options out there and see if anything seems particularly attractive to you.

So what about…


For some, the lure of a City career is strong. The Financial Services world is in some ways very different to the NHS but in other ways similar – the structured career path, the hierarchy, job pressure, long hours are similar. However, your earning potential is likely to be higher in the City, if it is something that you are good at doing.


Management consultancies are companies external to an organisation that will help businesses develop strategies that will drive them forward. It helps to have this specialist, external and objective view as they can come at the problem from an alternative non-emotional perspective.

The best strategies start with a deep understanding of a company’s strategic foundation and end with a clear plan for mobilising and delivering results. This can be by providing help on things like – business unit strategy, corporate & portfolio strategy, profit margins, sustainability, marketing, as well as the CEO agenda.

A branch of this that may be particularly appropriate to doctors is healthcare consulting, which is a process of advising and informing a business on topics related to healthcare in a number of different business activities. While many understand the most important thing in healthcare is the patient, it is also a business and subject to the same concerns as any other business. While doctors and other healthcare professionals are often solely focused on the patient, there are other aspects of the business which healthcare consulting can help with.

This is why healthcare consulting is so vital. While a physician, or even an entire hospital, may be able to hire an office manager or a business CEO, the synthesis of business and healthcare can be a hard one to combine. Even if these individuals are capable of handling the day-to-day tasks, consulting can help by providing long-range strategic goals for an organisation, no matter how small or large.


First of all, the same attributes and skills that have allowed you to succeed in medicine are essential in consulting. Like physicians, consultants must be exceptionally good with people, intellectually curious, creative, and analytically talented. They need strong skills in problem solving, logical reasoning, and leadership.

Secondly, on any health related topic; doctors have an innate understanding and can speak the language of medicine that would be so alien to those from a business background.

Doctors can be hired as generalist consultant, in an associate role, which means you will have exposure to a number of different sectors and projects. You will generally be given the opportunity to use your knowledge of medicine as work is client based project work.


  • Pay: over time better earning potential than staying within the NHS.
  • Stepping stone: can be used as a way to gain entry into the corporate world
  • Career prospects: can stay with the firm and progress to partner; undertake a placement abroad (international network); other fields in healthcare sector; investment oriented firms (private equity and hedge funds).
  • Influence: Rather than influencing one patient at a time, you can help shape the systems and strategies that have a much broader impact, helping clients tackle some of their toughest problems. As a consultant, you have the potential to help shape the way healthcare decisions are made—decisions that influence the care of thousands or even millions of patients.


Medic Footprints is holding a networking event on 21st April 2015 “From Medicine to Management Consultancy”. Guest speakers:

Azra, an anaesthetic trainee in the London Deanery who is currently working as a management consultant at Deloitte.

Jayanie, a Management Consultant who works with a boutique firm with extensive experience working in the NHS.

Vishaal, a post FY2 Management Consultant at a boutique firm.

Sign up via our Meetup Group (New members will have to apply to join before sign up).

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