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Did any of you guys go into hc consulting because you changed your mind from med school? Do you regret it? Do you ever think about still applying in the future? I’m unfulfilled in the consulting world and am considering med school. Would appreciate any input! Thank you!

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Have you spent time in patient-facing clinical setting?

Its very easy to romanticize what practicing medicine is like, especially for primary care specialties. Lots of paperwork, treadmill of productivity/patients, admin makes decisions that you have limited ability to push back on.

Also patients can suck. Depending on your specialty, many refuse to take the steps to fix their own problems, have unrealistic expectations, or want a quick fix. Patients with DM2, HTN, morbid obesity, etc who have the attitude of "everyone in my family loses a foot so I might as well enjoy this ice cream and soda".

Edited to add: I got to the point where I had taken the MCAT and was going to apply after 1-2yrs then determined it was not a path I wanted to.go.down after working with so many jaded asshat docs (I did provider comp strategy for a bit and Saw Some Shit).


More than happy to chat via dm C1

Was using the first 2-3 years of consulting to decide whether I wanted to focus on the business of healthcare with an MBA or go for the clinical side with an MD (and save some money at the same time). Realised a couple months into consulting that I wanted the immediate, face-to-face impact of helping someone and that consulting wasn’t at all challenging, whatsoever, although I’m performing phenomenally and am somewhat of a natural. Now I’m studying for entrance exams and aiming to apply to med school next year.

I took my time - 3 years during undergrad and consulting - figuring out if I wanted to do it, and now that I’ve finally committed myself to it I feel great about my decision. We’ll see if that lasts into med school and beyond. Right now, it feels like one of those risks I’ve got to take or else I’ll regret not taking the shot my entire life. That risk is also what makes it feel exciting; weirdly enough I’m looking forward to struggling through it especially given the fact that I’m not the best at school, although I deeply enjoy learning.

I will note, however, that I’m looking at schools in a country other than US, where affordability is far less of an issue and physicians practice much closer to the top of the license.

My advice, for whatever it’s worth: take your time making the decision, and use that time to save up. Examine data points from your past experiences including consulting, internships, student orgs at uni, volunteering, etc., to identify the traits that you enjoy most, e.g. constant social interaction, solving problems with your head and your hands rather than designing products, working with a sense of urgency, running towards a disaster rather than away from it, etc. Cross-reference the traits you’ve enjoyed with those you expect to see in medicine; use networks to identify these traits. Importantly, you’ve got to ask yourself if you can get this blend of traits outside medicine in other careers too. Once you’ve got a picture of all the careers that have those traits, you’ve got to ask yourself why it’s really medicine you want above any of those other options. And if you spend a really long time wondering about medicine, maybe you need to just bite the bullet and take the plunge. Worst case scenario, you never regret that you tried to take your shot. Just make sure you have a clear financial

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After seeing the shit that doctors and other healthcare providers have to deal with I am so glad I didn’t go to med school.


Poor soul has 1 foot in his grave at this point. He was 64 and diabetic. Not the greatest combo.

I was a surgeon before switching to consulting. I will say medicine is more interesting, more important and more personally fulfilling than being a consultant.

The downside is healthcare has been completely taken over by corporate interests. All doctors are employees now and are RVU slaves for the corporate masters and Press Ganey. A lot of the interesting science gets old because you’ll really only see the same diseases and use the same drugs day after day. Being a doctor is more akin to being an unappreciated plant worker. You’re supposed to push the meat to generate wealth for the MBAs and admins who control the hospital.

The pay also is not that great. My internal medicine doctors and Peds doctors make less than a Project Leader or EM at BCG/ McKinsey. The pay in business only goes up from there too whereas as a doctor your pay is capped and will decline INr eh future.

That and doctors are being replaced left and right by PAs and NPs. It’s certainly not a job I would recommend to my child.


Yeah primary care doesn’t make much on a average but that’s for most doctors who just want to be employees. If one thinks outside the box just a little (working locum jobs, starting a private practice, etc) the income can be substantial especially considering hours worked.

I’m going to return to full time medicine. Tired of making PowerPoint slides and working horrible, unpredictable hours.


I’ve always been interested in health care policy/administration/business. Never thought about medicine as a career path since I’m not good at science and don’t have the right personality to work directly with patients. Patient care isn’t the only way to have an impact on the healthcare industry.


Regret it all the time. Shadowed a doctor as part of a senior project and wish I'd stuck to my plan. I didn't have the right mentors and didn't know how to find them and ended up here. I'm doing fine I'm just burned out, jaded, and dissatisfied.

Everything is greener on the other side, though. Physician burnout is a bigger problem than consultant burnout.


No way. I’m a physician and a consultant and although burn out is true in residency where hours and perks are sometimes much worse than consulting, life as an attending is superior to consulting life. Normal hours, more autonomy, good pay, job security.


Yeah, realized I couldn't survive another 4 years of school towards the end of undergrad. Got an office job at a great hospital instead, went for an MBA 4 years later, then moved into Healthcare consulting. I didn't have the love of medicine and/or school that would have been required to make it as a successful doctor. Instead I get to work with doctors and make their lives easier, which I enjoy way more. No ragrets.


EY1 where are you based out of?

Been there done that. Immigrated to specialize in US. Obama Care happened, took that opportunity to go Administration route. Served couple of years as MSC Officer in USAF. Got out and now working as PM.

Agree with all comments above from VP1 and BCG 1. Even if you pay out of pocket to finish Med school it is not worth the stress. Instead use the same money to build on your education with some certifications or Masters which can provide you additional credibility to move up the corporate ladder.


I question this every day


Agree with a lot of what was said here but wanted to remind people that a lot of the critiques of medicine are the same critiques I’d levy at consulting, except the client is the patient who can also be rude and abusive, for example. Find what motivates you and use that to drive your decision, not which career has less downside.


Also, dealing with patients is awful. They treat you like a McDonalds worker. I feel like I’m much more appreciated as a consultant than I ever did as a doctor.

Sucks to hear that BCG1. I trained about 50% at a wealthy hospital and the rest at low income trauma hospitals.

Same. I was pre-med and in a lab and quickly figured out that I didn't like the idea of being a highly paid service provider. So I went the tech route (Epic) + learned health economics and now I spend my days trying to find the systemic levers I can pull to make healthcare better.

It's still a tiny shovel for a big problem at the end of the day, and I think about medicine from a purely intellectual love but no, I don't regret it.

I do think if I became a trust fund kid, didn't have loans , and didn't have to work I'd go back to med school. But probably only in that case. And then the goal would be medicine sans frontieres rather than US based practice.

Shadowed physicians in high school. Started college aiming to be a PA. One semester in I knew I wasn’t fit for the clinical side. Agree with A1 - there’s other ways to have impact. I’m more business-minded and logical, I then learned about consulting. Knew I could fit into a healthcare consulting niche well. Best decision I’ve ever made.

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