Why should a doctor do an MBA?

 

 One of the most interesting things was the chance to meet bright people from all over the world and from very different industries.  I was the only medical doctor on the course, but it was the best thing I’d done for a long time. 

“What’s a doctor doing on this course?” 

In hospital medicine, careers tend to follow a prescription from pre-registration house officer through to consultant.  I became a consultant and lead clinician simultaneously at the age of 34.  After a few months, I began to get “itchy feet” and looked around for new challenges.  I dallied with private practice, took a “mini-sabbatical” working for two months in Paris in a centre of excellence, and tried academia, producing several abstracts and considered a MD.  None of these really appealed.
What I did learn though, was that I was becoming increasingly frustrated by the way things were done in the NHS, and when the offer of Deputy Clinical Director was made, I accepted on the basis of receiving good management training.  I noticed how few senior, professional managers had a clue about management.

The MBA is the “gold standard” in management education and is increasingly becoming an entry-level qualification for top jobs1.  But, there is a vast range of types and styles, and it pays to carefully consider which MBA to do.  The course I chose was the modular Executive Part-time MBA at Leeds University Business School, my old alma mater.  LUBS is ranked in the top 100 business schools in the world, and top 15 in the UK.  The prestige of the business school determines to some extent the value of the MBA2.

The MBA was a great eye-opener.  I quickly realised that there were better ways of working, it was possible to organise effectively and I could make a difference!  It was refreshing to interact with top managers from both the private and public sector and wrestle with similar issues.    It was surprising to see how often the NHS could be used as case study material for how not to do it!

It is often said that MBAs are not for the faint-hearted.  Indeed, the workload is fairly intense and it can be strange to find yourself back in the examination hall!  However, I would say that any doctor who can pass professional exams should not find an MBA too taxing.  On the contrary, the stimulus of learning new material is very powerful and the fact that your career does not depend on it takes some of the pressure off.

Now, I feel “doubly qualified”.  I can reinvent my career as I choose, and I have lost that de-motivating, sinking feeling so prevalent in many consultant colleagues.

What an MBA is and isn’t

It’s worth just clarifying and remembering what an MBA is and isn’t.  First of all, it’s an academic degree, a Master’s level qualification, a Master of Business Administration.  The name is, actually, a bit anachronistic since you’re not primarily learning about business or administration!  In fact, the content of an MBA is very variable but basically, it’s a Social Science degree in Management.

You’ll find that what is actually taught during an MBA course varies greatly and depends on the type of course, e.g. generic or specialist, and crucially, on the institution offering the course.  Some will concentrate on ‘hard’ subjects, meaning the more numeracy-based ones, such as accountancy or finance.  Others prefer ‘soft’ subjects like leadership and organisational behaviour.  Most will provide a mixture of both.

So, choosing the right MBA for you is pretty important, though I would say that you’ll be surprised at the subjects you enjoy, which might not be the obvious ones you’d imagine.  For instance, I thoroughly enjoyed accountancy (and did pretty well in the exam!), even though the thought of it filled me with foreboding!  Probably, like most education activities, it depends to some extent on the abilities of the teacher.  If you have an open mind, there will be aspects of all the subjects that will engage you. 

Don’t forget that most courses offer the chance to select certain subjects as options, whilst retaining a core of “essential” ones.  If the course is accredited by the Association of MBAs, then, amongst other things, there are certain prescribed subjects that must be taught.  This is an attempt to guarantee the content and quality of the course.

If you think an MBA will teach you techniques of management or how to run a project, then think again!  It’s a higher level degree not a training programme.  Don’t expect to learn the intricacies of PRINCE 2 methodology or become a black belt in Six Sigma!  The MBA may touch on these topics to illustrate general principles and applications, but it won’t, for example, make you an accountant overnight!  However, it will open your eyes to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the theories that underlie many management fashions that are so often taken as ‘Gospel’ by unwary consultants and practitioners alike!

Why do one?

For clinicians an MBA can revolutionise the way you see things.  This is not overstating it.  You will be challenged constantly about the way you work, about the way you interact as individuals, groups and organisations.   You will learn things that make you say, “Why didn’t someone tell me this before!”

You will gain respect and status amongst colleagues across your organisation and will obtain the ability to link disparate groups together.  Your qualification will be transferable across any industry.  It will add value to your CV and to you personally.  It will open up doors previously closed and help prepare you for leadership roles.

Above all, you will gain a confidence and optimism that your efforts can make a positive difference in any organisation, even one as strange as the NHS!

If none of these reasons appeal to you, don’t do it!  Begin with the end in mind.  Ask yourself honestly, what’s my reason for doing this and what will I do with it once it’s over. 

Will I be up to it?

This is a common anxiety especially for people with no previous experience of management, or who feel that mathematics is not their strong point.  However, don’t despair, it’s not that bad!  If you already have a first degree or equivalent then you shouldn’t find an MBA too taxing from an academic point of view.  Like anything new, there is a learning curve to climb.  Coming to terms with a new vocabulary in social science can be a bit perplexing!  If you really struggle with basic maths then consider taking a refresher course.  Many MBA schools offer additional support in maths, or will be able to suggest appropriate courses.

I strongly believe the key thing is your attitude.  You will need to apply yourself to the course and maintain momentum throughout.  The people on my course who struggled were not lacking in intelligence, rather they had other priorities and allowed work to accumulate till the easiest option was to quit.  I would also add that if you choose to study in a language in which you are not completely competent, then you will find it pretty tough.

What’s the commitment in time?

The course prospectus will suggest how much time is required.  Personally, I found that the modular part-time approach was very helpful.  This involves short, high intensity times, say 3 or 4 days full-time every 6-8 weeks for the taught aspects.  After that, a couple of hours a day for about 2-3 weeks to get the assignment done should suffice. 

I found that doing an hour’s work early in the morning was highly productive.  However, everyone’s physiology and social situations are different and you will have to decide what works best for you.

A word to the wise, get the explicit agreement of whoever you live with before you start.  The MBA can put a strain on relationships and you will need the support and understanding of those around you.  If relevant to you, explain to children what you’re doing and ask for their understanding, too; make it a family affair!

Next steps

Gather information.  Read this article carefully, and research the links.  Approach your organisation for support.  This includes time off for study and financial support for the course fees, which are often high.  Be realistic.  You will have to provide a good reason to your organisation for this level of commitment, but on the other hand, a forward-thinking organisation will want to retain and encourage its best employees!

Notes:

1   Economist (2003) Charisma helps, but it’s only a beginning.  The Economist, 23rd Oct, 2003.

2   Bickerstaffe, G. (1998) Which MBA?  Pearson Education Limited, London.

62 thoughts on “Why should a doctor do an MBA?

  1. I went through your blog and the messages are very much encouraging and motivating for young consultants and opens up more avenues to further broaden once career.

  2. Pingback: The 7 habits of highly effective people: powerful lessons in personal change « beyondclinical's Blog

  3. I’m about to get my MD in 5 weeks… and I have always found business and management so attractive that I think I’m going for the MBA first than getting into a clinical residency programme.

    • OK, Stephanie. But do consider if you should get some ‘real life’ experience of medical practice first. You need to have credibility with your medical colleagues, too!

      • I heard doing the internship, taking the 3rs board and getting the license is the least amount to be done before switching gear. I’m personally feeling quite done with clinical medicine in my 4th year is med school. Would my above course be enough to get into MGS and come out marketable?

      • I don’t quite understand the context of your comment. However, if you’re proposing quitting Medical School, I’d caution against it. Everyone I know who’s a doctor thought about giving up at some point (I can remember lying down on the floor of a ward toilet with nausea, having witnessed a patient having a pleural biopsy, and thinking, ‘I’m not doing this any more!’). Persistence has a certain quality all of its own. It’s virtuous, and people recognise virtue.

      • I apologize for the vague context. I’m not quitting medical school. However I am considering a direction change to focus mainly on leadership and administration of healthcare rather than clinical medicine.

        I have had a train wreck run in medical school so far in written exams by failing multiple boards. Observing resident doctors shows it will only become worse. I have relied on tutors to get me by but later on I will have to rely on myself more to identify what to study, create a study routine, how to pick things up on the fly during clinical and continue to learn. If my hard work was at least getting me by without these major failures then I would continue. However I have serious and reasonable doubt of even getting into a residency as I am looking down the road of most likely scrambling at best. This is why I’m trying to find a plan B.

        Like I said I’m not quitting as in dropping out. Nevertheless I am trying to adjust to the current circumstances. Now that I have had a full on experience through all the major rotations, I am gauging my enthusiasm level of this path to see if it warrants a life time commitment. Please be impartial to my viewpoint and try to understand where I’m coming from. It’s been very difficult and I don’t have a whole lot left on the tank. I’m having what seems like hypo-depression with tears almost always coming up on my drive back home every evening.

      • John, you are clearly struggling and you describe worrying symptoms that you must take seriously. Ask for professional help. From a technical point of view, the first things to clear up are ‘bio-psychosocial’, that is:

        Biological: is there some illness or issue that is contributing to your situation?
        Psychological: what mental health issues/ personality traits are relevant, if any?
        Social: what are your support systems like, e.g. living conditions, friends, etc?

        For self-help, a useful book is Marilee Adam’s, ‘Change you questions, change you life‘.

        From your comments so far, I think you need to ‘back-up’ somewhat to see the wood from the trees, (i.e. change your frame of reference). Get some face-to-face counselling as the first step. Start today! What’s the first practical step you can take?

  4. I totally agree on that. The experience in the medical field is what will give to anyone real criteria about how things work and it will give me the credibility as you say. But my real question is that I’m not sure what to do first. Should I go for the MBA now or after doing my residency? From what I see, you took the MBA once you were practicing. If your were me, do you think it could be better or you could improved your professional learning process during the residency if you did the MBA before it? or your think you would get more benefits by doing the way you did?. That’s my big worry now, and I find both options pretty intimidating because either I choose one or another I’ll be away from practice for a while, and in my particular case, I keep the most of my medical knowledge and skills because I work on them 24/7 while practicing… so being away from med school for two years sounds a bit to “medical brain atrophy” to me haha.

    • I had completed my training in anaesthesia fully before doing my MBA. You, obviously, have more insight into the benefits of an MBA than I had; I hadn’t even heard of an MBA! Doctors with MBA’s are quite rare in the UK, but more common in the US.

      The key is ‘purpose’. Why are you doing medicine? What do you see yourself doing in 10 years’ time? If it’s being a really effective doctor, then do the residency first; if it’s running a hospital, then the MBA might be better. Personally, I saw an MBA as an enabler to improve the way we do medicine, not as a way to make me a medical businessman. Check out the books I’ve reviewed, especially, Covey’s 7 habits, and Adams’ ‘Change your questions’.

  5. Thanks a lot doc! (sorry it took me a while to let you know how thankful I am for your help!!!) I have been checking the literature you recommended. But another quick question… where did you do your MBA programme? Was it a “medical” MBA or another kind? Thanks again!

    • I did the Executive MBA at Leeds University, England. I started on the ‘healthcare’ one, but quickly switched to the generic one. The reason is that I believe it’s more useful to gain experience outside ones own industry. The really interesting insights come from there. Why learn about what you already know? I prefer to learn about new areas, and see where that leads. It’s also a more ‘portable’ qualification. However, it depends on personality and experience.

  6. Thank you for this excellent post. I came across this by accident as was researching why doctors need MBAs (my medical school, Manchester, just advertised MBAs to medical students and I was curious). How easy do you think it is to juggle the dual realities of a clinician and your management role with CSC? What advice would you give to a medical student who wants to follow a similar path in combining management and a clinical role?

    • I would say, get involved in any managerial/leadership roles you can, e.g. organising rotas, introducing innovation, etc. It’s easy for me as a part-time Consultant, as I can split my time. It would be hard to do an MBA AND try to get postgraduate medical qualifications at the same time. Have you considered the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management? They have Clinical Fellow schemes, which would be ideal. These are aimed at SHO/Reg level.

  7. Very helpful post. It felt like you were speaking to me directly. I just applied for an MBA for the right reasons i suppose and after reading your blog, I am more convinced that my decision is a good one. I also appreciate you pointing out the importance of having spousal and family buy in before starting. Thanks you very much.

  8. Hi there, I am considering a ‘career-extension’ rather than a career change. I am a doctor, GPwSI Dermatology. My main job at present is working in dermatology which I absolutely love it. However, I have always wanted to work in a managerial level which gives me opportunity to interact with people (not only patients) and always thinking how I can improve our beloved NHS. Need suggestions on how I can achieve this? Thank you!

    • Thanks for this. Have you looked at NHS IQ? Also, the faculty of medical leadership and management. These have lots of standard ‘good ideas’ that might appeal.

      However, for a step change in thinking, you should consider an MBA. I’m curious about your use of ‘beloved’, which is a strong word. If the nhs is beloved, why would you want to change it? Real change only occurs when people are dissatisfied with the current situation. Have you experienced other health care systems, such as Holland or Switzerland? Try looking through the Euro Health Index reports, which show the uk nhs as ‘mediocre’.

      Where is the best dermatology practised in the world? Why aren’t we like them? What would you need to do to be as good as the best?

    • It’s about credibility. If you don’t have a track record in medicine, then medical colleagues will be sceptical. However, business credibility is less important, I think, since there are many examples of ‘ingenus’ who do well in business. Confidence is more important.

  9. Dear Doc ,
    It was wonderful to read your blog. I am planning to take a break from medical profession and do a full time MBA. I am hoping for a career change. What’s your view on Masters in health management as compared to a generic MBA ? (other than having interaction with people from outside your university)

    • From a career perspective, the MBA is more ‘portable’, in that, it is understood world-wide and outside of medicine. If you want to stay in NHS management then probably a Master’s in health management is fine, and may be less ‘threatening’. The key will be the detail of the modules and the quality of teaching. For me, I enjoyed interacting across sectors, industries and backgrounds.

  10. Dear Sir,

    Your article is very encouraging. I have been offered MBA healthcare from a reputed european school. I have 3 yrs experience post residency. My family members are objecting my decision to join this programme.

  11. Dear Paul, this has been very inspiring!
    I am a urology clinical fellow on a reg rota with some time to spare in between applying for registrar numbers, and this has given me some food for thought!

  12. Hi i found this really enlightening, im just finishing my f2 and decided to take a year out to do an mba before progressing, is there any advice u could give a fellow medic?

    Yours
    Javed

    • If you’re doing a full-time MBA then, fine. I would advise that you continue to do locum work during your year out in a speciality that is relevant. You could also consider doing the MBA later, once you’ve finished professional exams, which is what I would recommend, personally. Keep up-to-date with your clinical work! You will need to have a convincing story about why you took a year out; not all clinical colleagues are sympathetic!

  13. I am a doctor and i am about to complete my MBA pretty soon. Could you please sight me a few examples for Master thesis topics which i plan to do with a Pharmaceutical or Healthcare firm. I have been pondering about the same since quiet long with no avail. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

    • How about something to do with electronic systems in hospitals, e.g. ePrescribing: advantages/disadvantages/barriers, etc?

  14. It’s a good topic to research on! appreciate it. But i am planning to do it in a healthcare firm like Siemens or a pharmaceutical company..Could you suggest something. Thank you for your insights and time.

  15. Hi, this is really interesting. I am taking a year out post FY2 and I am thinking to do an MBA but I am wondering how you funded it? Is it necessary to do an MBA to seek a career in business if you already have a medical degree in your opinion?

    • I obtained full funding from my Trust on the basis that I had been approached to take on a managerial post, and that I would use my training and skills within the organisation, which I did.

      There are many doctors who successfully combine business and medicine without a MBA. However, I would say that for an Executive position in a large commercial organisation, you would be expected to have an MBA if you want to be seen as anything other than a Subject Matter Expert (SME). Also, many medical director roles in the NHS, now list MBAs as ‘desirable’ qualifications.

  16. Hello! Thank you very much for such a good article. I work as a gynecologist in Germany and I have just finished my residency. I always wanted to complete a general MBA program and now I think I am ready for this challenge. I am so looking forward to getting into a business school and broaden my horizons there but sometimes I begin to doubt whether this experince will have an impact on my actual carrier. I am afraid that after MBA I will switch to a completely business thing and forget about my med practice. On the other hand if I continue with my doctor career the MBA might become useless and a total waste of time and money. Do you have any advice what a young doctor who wants to continue treating women but really appreciates the value of MBA can do? How is it possible to combine two things using both medical and business degree?
    Thanks for your time,
    Yours Hannah

    • You can use both in your career. I would advise that you look for managerial/leadership roles within healthcare AND continue to practise clinically. There are lots of opportunities for doctors within healthcare, e.g. clinical director, clinical leads, medical director, etc. I would caution against giving up your clinical practice, especially when young, as it’s very hard to go back once you stop. At the very least, you should practise part-time to maintain your skills.

      If you do swap completely to a non-clinical role, you will lose some of your credibility, which is your ‘unique selling point’ (USP). Credibility is vital when managing change.

  17. Dear Sir, Thank you for such an important insight. I will be very honest with you in seeking advice for why I want to pursue with an MBA. I am a dentist, and after working for 2 years in Pakistan, I came to middle east and am settled here with my family. But it has been a year I haven’t found a job mainly because my qualifications are not upto the job market as the recruiters prefer western qualified dentists. I am thinking about a career change as I can see I don’t have a future as a dentist here. I also have interest in MBA. Do you think with my background, and lack of managerial skills will hinder in the way, although I know I can fully commit to the studies. I will really appreciate your advice, Kind regards.

    • I think you first need to consider what it is you really want to do/be. There’s no doubt you could do an MBA, but the real question is why? I would recommend you read Steven Covey’s, ‘7 habits of highly effective people’ (reviewed here in my blog).

      Remember that an MBA doesn’t teach or train you to become a manager – it’s an academic degree, not a training programme.

      Finally, have you considered improving/enhancing your dentistry qualifications, e.g. spend some time getting the ‘western’ qualifications. Also, are you sure it’s your Pakistani qualifications that are preventing you getting employment? Can you ask for honest feedback from recruiters, and/or try approaching employers directly?

      • Thank you for your reply, I will definitely read the book. I have looked into programmes offered in UK and I can’t afford them to be honest. And yes I have been told during interviews that their prefernces are for western nationals or atleast western qualified. Not just once, many times. Or I should be an arab. Even the job ads mention their preferred nationalities. Since I can’t shift to another place for now, I was hoping for a career change.

  18. Hi Its been very useful and timely for me to read your blog. Ive been a doctor for 25 years ( hard to believe, its gone so fast) and work in a semi- managerial but predominantly clinical role in a government based health service in Australia which i really enjoy.
    It seems that the more experienced you become as a doctor, the more likely you are to be thrust into taking on management duties, generally with little support and no training.
    My life partner works in sales and management in the private sector and finds it incomprehensible that i have been given so little training for my management part of my job.
    I am generally checking out the options as to what i can do now to further enhance and support my skill base and further develop my career.
    Do you have any experience with the various MBA’s offered in Australia and any ideas on which would suit for doctors?

  19. Thanks, Tuni. I can sympathise with your predicament; it’s all too common in healthcare. One general point is to ask your other Executives about mentoring/coaching.

    I don’t have any personal contacts in Australia, but I checked with my old Business School at Leeds University and they suggest:

    ‘…there are three Australian Schools in the FT Global MBA rankings. This is the top school and has an elective module to do with healthcare:

    https://www.mgsm.edu.au/mba-and-graduate-programs/unit-directory
    (not clear if this runs part time or not)

    This is the school in 2nd place (for Australia) – https://www.business.unsw.edu.au/programs-courses/postgraduate-coursework/agsm-mba-social-impact

    This is the school placed third (for Australia) – https://mbs.edu/programs/executive-mba/subjects

    Hope this helps”

  20. Dear Sir,
    Just found your this blog and read about it, guess it’s quite helpful.
    I am working in radiology unit for couple of years, had attempted couple of times for my external board exam in radiology (unfortunately still couldn’t make it). Till recently a senior of mine did advised me, perhaps it’s the time to have a change, and suggested me to pick up the part time MBA.
    There is no doubt that i am kind of hesitate and reluctant to do this, as scared that i unable to handle the course, and i am kind of introvert type personality. Wondering could you give me some advised on this?
    Thanks for reading!

    • It doesn’t sound like a positive reason to do an MBA, does it? You mention your personality. Have you ever had a proper assessment of your personality, e.g. Myers Briggs? This might be in interesting starting point. Do you really want to be a radiologist? Many doctors take several attempts to pass professional exams. The key aspect is to begin with the end in mind. This is habit 2 in Steven Covey’s, ‘7 habits of highly effective people‘. Steven also makes you think about what’s at your centre; what’s really important to you? I suggest you read through it.

  21. Hello! For a doctor a MBA doesn’t allow to switch to a new career in the area of finance, math, management consultant? Right? At 39 or 40, is too old to do a MBA in Europe (France)?

    • You’re right to a certain extent. You don’t become an expert in those areas, but you know what they do and where to get the knowledge. It’s a bit like learning a new language: you can understand what they’re talking about, but you’re not expert. However, like a language, it opens doors. With a medical background you can move into the management consultancy areas where medicine is relevant, etc. I worked for an IT company that was developing electronic patient records. Many leadership positions in healthcare are for doctors, e.g. clinical directors, medical directors, chief medical officers. An MBA is usually (nowadays) a ‘desirable’ qualification for such a role. I predict it will become an ‘essential’ one in the future.

      39 or 40 is not too old, especially for an Executive MBA. The average age of my class was 35. I started at 37. Many were in their 40’s; one in his 50’s.

  22. Quite insightful information.After having a read ..in addition to previous thoughts I had about ..it does seem more valuable to someone who has reached one peak in their career and wants to venture into new grounds to further enhance their career while being satisfied intellectually.I am an aspiring surgeon..however the journey seems like a very long winding one with a lot of speedbumps…to begin with I would be at the level that in the NHS would be equivalent to fy1 .following my internship year ..my family suggested I took a few months off for the purpose of travel and spending time with family..as I have never really made time for these things all my life and it would be difficult finding the time once I started a training position..however..the year has unfolded. Quite differently for me and to this point I still havent gotten back a response as far as getting called to restart working..in the interimn I have started preparing for what would be a professional exam (mrcs part one) .this waiting period does have me a bit insecure of what the future may or may not be like for me.I have also used the time to sit part of the licensing exam required to register with the gmc.the time that I do have to spare ..has me toying with the idea of pursuing an MBA.Many a times I have thought about it..I had many doubts while attending medical school..if it was the right thing for me to do..there were numerous occasions where I honestly felt that maybe its for the outgoing type..but having contact with patients..have truly brought out qualities I never expected were there..my most enjoyable and satisfying times were spent in the surgical rotations.though most would say to not give up on whatever you want to do in life…I feel strongly at this intersection that I should consider starting an MBA. For one I think it would help me perform tasks in a very organized way when I do start back working and it would also help with how you relate with people and better understand them..I also believe in the bigger picture..while it may not sound useful having not had much work experience..there would be other things in the distant future to look forward to if life permits it.

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. Why do you think that an MBA will help you become organised? You need to be organised before you start an MBA! Please read Steven Covey’s book, ‘7 Habits‘.

      In ‘7 habits’ you will get the opportunity to understand yourself a bit more, e.g. what is really at the centre of your life. What is the most important thing in your life? Why? What are your real underlying values and beliefs? What is the nature of reality? What happens when you die? It’s vital to answer these ‘big rock’ questions in order to align your career with your life. An MBA won’t help answer these issues much.

      To understand other people try investigating ’emotional intelligence’. A good starting point is, ‘Change your questions, change your life‘.

      You may also want to consider gaining more insight into your personality type, e.g. Myers Briggs evaluation. Any personality type can be a great surgeon; the key thing is understanding your motivation. Why did you do medicine in the first place?

      You don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so start living out your values today. But, you need to identify your values first!

      Do you know the story of Solomon?

      • Thanking you for a response.For the things you have mentioned, I did spend a great deal of time this year reflecting on life through many different ways.As far as searching my personality type, that was already evaluated. It turns out that the result points towards an INFJ type..which closely resembles the way I think and behave. My most passionate form of activity is writing, its the best way I get most of my thoughts out. I have tried to move out of my comfort zone a bit trying to interact with other writers and posting some of my writings. That’s the one thing I do with the least effort..but I would consider that a hobby.Within the Medical realm…the surgical field is my passion, I don’t ever feel drained though the day may get tiring, and I used to love getting up really early in the morning to follow up on patients . I enjoy having to work out a few of the problems that are presented as well.I find it stimulating. I thought I was taking a major risk by taking time to think about the things I wanted out of life…because most around me seemed to have everything planned in their minds..would like to share with you something I wrote:

        “i got over a lot this past week…i went through somewhat of an emotional turmoil.i thought i missed out on many things in life..but at the end of the day i feel i really havent.life is an opportunity cost.one thing gain is another thing foregone..and i must remember that throughout my life..i thought i needed a husband, a family , a career..everything that most people want.but like now as with most of my other times in life..things only come when i am ready for it..or even when its needed.i think first i have to find my self.find out about knowing me.i dont know myself entirely.but there are some parts i do know..thie things i had to learn was to learn to keep my own company…and trying to know what that feels like..its only when i am alone i can hear some of my deeper thoughts without speaking..thoughts just flow and they keep on flowing.for the most part trying to understand myself is like trying to climb a mountain..the higher you climb..the more difficult it is to find myself.its only in finding yourself can you then understand what the rest of the world means to you.i admit from a very early age i was different…i couldnt understand why or how it came to be..but the way i saw life was different to most.i never said much at a young age, neither did i care.spent most of my time trying to observe the life around me, being dazzled by the many miracles on this earth and still yet the one out of this world..i was dazzled the galaxies all far and wide..the sky..the sea.the wind.the birds.what made these things so awe inspiring to look at.nature in itself is a working miracle and its always a work in progress..just like nature and its always changing times..so are we when we go on each day..forever changing,,a phenomenon to be reckoned with.i write with the hope that many things positive are yet to pass..i would wish for the energy to go on..because the world does go round.many challenges have faced me ..on reflection i realize this..but i also know many more would ready coming in the form of an avalanche.i dont know why exactly i was put here..but i feel the day i realize my purpose would be the time of my leaving , so unitl then i remain in wonderment..someday hoping that i find what i searching my whole life for.though some people dream forever without end.today is an ordinary day, like most days yet still different from yesterday..today the sun shines brighter than the rains…the light filtering through the molecules of every substance..creating radiance..to beautiful not to look at .the sun brings hope with new light everyday..the light shining today..will be lost and replaced with new light tomorrow.this moment i feel hopeful..i can say that not everyday i feel like this..but what i feel is a light inside me..illuminating my heart , a firing,a desire, a sensation in knowing that a lot can be achieved.i dont want this fire to be out , and i also dont believe that it would.because this light that i feel inside is a great one..one that shines on few occasions when everything around you makes sense..a light to remind me of hope ..hoe to never give up until that purpose is found..a light that gives the vitality to never give in failure..even if it pains or stings or burns..the light to remind me that there is some amazing just waiting..waiting..waiting..to be embraced by ..this light i talk about..fills the soul..it never grows old.its light thats planted since creation..its the energy perpetually fueling in many.its the passion i see in few.its the inspiration that sometimes consumes my world.i try not to dim the light when it shows up..i try to magnify this light as i feel it grow inside me…the light grows inside when i give it attention..it cannot be stolen..its placed in my heart…it gives me the strength to endure….i feel it today..not everyday is like this ..I feel Him…i wish He never leaves but times are there to be put to the test..where faith is the lesson to be learnt..my faith is weak..this i know i crumble sometimes even before the end draws near..time gives chances of faith to be had..but i am an impatient lady..this i know about me..i worry, fret, about everything..thinking my world is falling apart..but at the last second He shows his kind face and whispers kind words into my ear..for me He is my comforter..and my protector..for He watches both day and night..i hope to be with Him forever and ever and ever..i hope to fulfill that purpose whatever that may be..but it seems like a very way from home..as i havent found my path..still journeying through the rocks meeting people on my way….”

        There are reasons other than the ones I have mentioned that I probably didn’t make overt as yet, but this year has been somewhat interesting exploring things that I never thought I would have.I would agree with you that it’s best valued when done at a maturing time…that’s what I always thought… When I mentioned the word organized…I was microscopically referring to something…I went to an information session for this program and got insight as to how this has helped the graduates..some mentioned that only through progressing the course were they able to identify or more easily relate with certain issues they faced in their particular job and through the exposure they were able to know how to deal with those issues…in a more timely fashion…and you are right…you don’t really know what tomorrow may bring…

        Will take a read for the things you have suggested..I will be open to new thoughts and ideas.

  23. Also would like to display what i understand from your response. I understand that the main thing is staying true to self.but i have to keep remembering also to never give up if disappointments come.and as to the reason for doing Medicine..it was really interventional more than anything else..most of my turning points were interventional really..

  24. i really enjoyed the review thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am in my first year of residency training and am not enjoying any of it. I only go to work because I have a duty to accomplish nothing more. dont get me wrong I did enjoy learning in med school and couldnt wait to start training since I was 10 years old I wanted to pursue my career as a physician but due to some health issues I had to take a break between graduating med school and training. I am know thinking of switiching to the business aspect of medicine ( managing my own clinic without practicing myself). I want to know if an MBA in health managment will allow me to do such and also does it matter which university I complete my degree from? for instance if i do my degree from a well recognized indian business university would I be able to locate a job in the US or canada for example?
    thanks

    • An MBA will help to open doors into Management. MBAs are rarely ‘essential’ for medical management posts, but are increasingly ‘desirable’. However, you will need clinical credibility for senior medical leadership roles. Why don’t you want to practice?

      The ‘brand’ of MBA is important, so choose a school in the top 100 worldwide, if possible. In my experience, American executives are often biased towards American institutions.

  25. Guten Tag ! I have just finished reading your blog and it gave me a good image about what an MBI ca do for your medical carrer. Thank you for that. I would love if you cound assist me with an advice. Something about my history: Since childhood (8-15 y.o) i have had an inclination of being an anterprenour ( making little bussineses with friends and reading Robert Kyosaky\Donald Thrump\Stephen Covey in my spare time) , as i finished my highschool i intended to go and start and MBA programme but i was adviced to start Medical School ( good financial opportunities, social status , high % of finding a job ,hard work was not a problem as i loved to make time schedules and have a good work ethic as a child). Now i am in my final medical year , throught that experience i have shifted my views , not trying to get rich and have my ego as a motivation, but actually during the hard work of learnig the human body,discovered a world beyond ‘me’. My purpose is to help as many people as i can, running my own company , and also capitalise on my hard work( millionaire by 30 was my child dream 🙂 ), but i intend to provide the best quality of service i can. Because of my great imagination ,great work ethic,investing opportunities, liking to see the big picture i intend on becoming a (Interventional) Radiologist. This is the closest specialty i saw that links with the economy and that fits my talents. Or perhaps a consulting for pharma industries after med school( not really clear how can you make millions there, and what if you are let go after 10 years? you are not specialised in anything). What other carrer opportunities can you see from your experienced view in medicine, and also does an MBI help alot in trying to open your own practice\network of practices and working with the health system ? ( for instance making contracts on medical equipments that they put the investments and you provide the service :P. High rewards ,low risks always the best according to Tony Robbins :)).
    If you manage not to read this whole `’book’ can you please give me your experienced advice ? Thank you.

    • If you have read Covey, you will know that it’s important to understand what’s at your centre. Have you considered the ‘Big Five’ questions of life?

      1 Where am I? That is, where did this universe come from?
      2 Who am I?
      3 What’s gone wrong? i.e. why is the world in such a mess?
      4 What’s the solution?
      5 What happens when you die?

      I am glad you have re-orientated your view away from ‘riches’, which can never satisfy in the long run. Remember that Jesus said, ‘Don’t store up riches on Earth, where moth and rust decay, and thieves break in and steal. Rather, store up riches in Heaven, where moth and rust do not decay, and thieves cannot break in and steal’…Where your treasure is, there will be your heart’. (Matt 6:19-21)

      If you like interventional radiology, then embark on a suitable training programme in a good centre.

  26. Hello,

    Very nice article. I am a chiropractor and I have been practicing for the past 7 years. I enjoy what I do, but I am worried the demand on my body will eventually make me have to quit before I would like too. I have been thinking of getting my MBA for the purpose of the future. I am worried that my chiropractic degree will hold me back from getting into another part of the healthcare business with an MBA (i.e.. an executive position). What are your thoughts?

  27. Hello,

    I am a chiropractor and I have been in practice for the past 7 years. I enjoy what I do, but feel my body may not be able to keep up. I have thought about getting an MBA for a couple of years, but what holds me back is my chiropractic degree. What opportunities would there be for a chiropractor with an MBA in a hospital or other healthcare related business?

    • In the UK, there are lots of opportunities for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) to get into managerial positions, since most posts use the generic term ‘clinical’ rather than the specific ‘medical’ one for doctors. The easiest way is to get involved in small projects that the management of the hospital think important and need ‘clinical engagement’, such as a clinical lead, etc. Then, you can look for specific managerial roles, such as clinical director. Many ‘pure’ managerial posts often prefer candidates with any sort of clinical background. Finally, it would also be worth looking at specific training, such as NHS Leadership Academy, or generic PRINCE 2 project management courses.

  28. Hello,

    I have written before, please excuse the way i write so profusely.I would like to thank you for providing those recommended books.they are quite insightful.I do have a couple books that I read in the past and would also like to share them in return.: “177 mental toughness secrets of the world class” by Steve Siebold, I thought this book captured some features found in Covey’s 7 habits, but it also cited many other sources to satisfy one’s curiousity about related ideas.” Tuesdays with Morrie” was another book that I found interesting that to some extent made me think about life from a retrospective point.There is also an audio book on YouTube by Thomas Paine entitiled Common Sense , which made me think differently on the way how structures are formed..I know this is a forum discussion on an MBA but wasn’t sure on what other platform to communicate this message to you.

    Again thanking you on ideas shared.

    Elizabeth.

  29. A well thought out weblog. I am particularly grateful to you as you have explicitly answered the very question ruminating in my mind. I am a Clinical Pathologist (akin to mix of biochemist and lab hematologist) with 12 years experience working in the middle east and have been selected for the modular Executive MBA at Cass business school, London. My primary reason was to move into management based on the fear of near extinction of requirement of a Clinical Pathologist with the advent of new sophisticated diagnostic equipment. It is evident even in UK NHS wherein the consultants in clinical chemistry posts are now increasingly being held by biomedical scientists rather than doctors. So getting into management of a multinational In vitro diagnostics company is the goal. The second reason is the monetary benefit.

    Am I justified to enrol in the very expensive course ( as I am self financing) based on my goals?

    Also, my wife has doubts that I would succeed after the EMBA as I am a very introvert individual with nil networking skills.

    What should I do? Your reply will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • It sounds like you are doing the right thing in thinking about the purpose of the MBA. Have you read, ‘7 habits of highly effective people’? You will see that Habit 2 is, Begin with the End in Mind.

      Have you ever done a personality inventory, such as Myers-Briggs? I would recommend that you do. It might be worth investing in some sessions with a Coach, who will be able to help with social skills, etc. Remember, you can learn these skills, you don’t need to be born with them!

      An MBA is not a ‘ticket’ to senior management, you need managerial experience, too. However, I would say that the MBA will open your eyes to many possibilities. The more you put in the more you’ll get out. Use the MBA modules to expand your network. Develop your digital identity.

      You must get the support of your wife; even if she has doubts, you need her to commit to the project, too. There will be tough times and you need to work as a team. Don’t start without her explicit agreement.

      There are obviously cheaper business schools than Cass. But it has a great reputation. I cannot advise you what to do; you must come to the conclusion yourself. A coach would help.

  30. Pingback: Physician Leaders: Four Reasons to Seek a Business Degree | The VITAL Physician Executive

  31. Hi there,
    I recall reading this post over a year ago to gain more insight into the rising trend of crossover between management and medicine. It cemented a lot of my key ideas and expectations and gave scope for future practice. I am replying because I stumbled upon your blog recently (through posts regarding the productivity problems in the NHS) and found myself back here. I would like a extend a HUGE thank you for unknowingly functioning as an inspiration and motivation to me, as I am now half-way through my intercalation in an MBA. Having completed 3 years at Leeds Medical School, which I know was your playground, I have attained a place at Huddersfield after exercising ridiculous resilience. I will continue to enjoy your articles so long as you create them and am grateful that you took your time to.
    Kind regards

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