Going into investment banking/finance with a medical degree?

Watch
chickenwing2291
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
I've posted this on reddit before but I'll post it again for exposure.

Hey, just wanted to ask if there was anyone who knows anything about getting a job in the finance sector with a medical degree as I know it's possible but I've never heard anyone talk about alternative jobs other than being a doctor/researcher after graduation. I just want to know more about it.
I am doing more research as I don't really know much about investment banking especially science/health related careers. What's the common practice for this sort of career path? Is it usual to become a doctor first then move into the sector, or do banks/pharma industries actively recruit medical students and give them job offers? Are they more likely to recruit e.g. chemistry/biology graduates or econ/finance graduates than medical students?

Fyi I'm probably starting medical school this year depending on my A level results, and started considering about job opportunities after looking at clearing options for chemistry if I don't make my results. I was considering job prospects for a range of companies from the higher rep ones like glaxosmithkline, goldman etc
1
reply
gr8wizard10
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
do internships during your time at uni - any degree is fine, at a reputable uni
0
reply
asif007
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 year ago
#3
I’m not sure which one you’re considering more but there’s a big difference between IB and pharmaceutical industry. For things like healthcare consultancy and pharma I would argue it’s more useful for you to have a scientific qualification first, ideally Medicine or Pharmacy. Chemistry would be good too if you are considering that.

Having said that, I would discourage you from applying for Medicine at all if you aren’t at least considering spending some time practising as a doctor. Medicine is a long, arduous degree to pursue and it’s a bigger undertaking than necessary if you don’t want to practise as a doctor. You would save yourself a lot of time and stress and you would improve your chances particularly at IB if you study a Maths/Economics heavy subject at a target university. If you have already made up your mind not to be a doctor then I suggest you pursue Chemistry or look into doing a more mathematical subject. Otherwise if you are still dedicated to pursuing 5+ years of medical school and the medical career afterwards, bear in mind that these are good alternative careers for doctors. I would argue that it’s more competitive for Maths/Economics graduates to get into IB straight out of uni than it is for medical graduates to become doctors.

Decision is yours: spend longer at uni and have a medical career to fall back on or do a shorter 3 year degree and compete for the best firms but may involve multiple rounds and a long time waiting to get in . IB pretty much recruits exclusively from target universities so if you aren’t at Oxbridge or Imperial/UCL/King’s/Warwick then you won’t have a great chance tbh.
2
reply
username4451578
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by asif007)
I’m not sure which one you’re considering more but there’s a big difference between IB and pharmaceutical industry. For things like healthcare consultancy and pharma I would argue it’s more useful for you to have a scientific qualification first, ideally Medicine or Pharmacy. Chemistry would be good too if you are considering that.

Having said that, I would discourage you from applying for Medicine at all if you aren’t at least considering spending some time practising as a doctor. Medicine is a long, arduous degree to pursue and it’s a bigger undertaking than necessary if you don’t want to practise as a doctor. You would save yourself a lot of time and stress and you would improve your chances particularly at IB if you study a Maths/Economics heavy subject at a target university. If you have already made up your mind not to be a doctor then I suggest you pursue Chemistry or look into doing a more mathematical subject. Otherwise if you are still dedicated to pursuing 5+ years of medical school and the medical career afterwards, bear in mind that these are good alternative careers for doctors. I would argue that it’s more competitive for Maths/Economics graduates to get into IB straight out of uni than it is for medical graduates to become doctors.

Decision is yours: spend longer at uni and have a medical career to fall back on or do a shorter 3 year degree and compete for the best firms but may involve multiple rounds and a long time waiting to get in . IB pretty much recruits exclusively from target universities so if you aren’t at Oxbridge or Imperial/UCL/King’s/Warwick then you won’t have a great chance tbh.
Man said Kings, but left out LSE.
2
reply
asif007
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
(Original post by moneymanJPM)
Man said Kings, but left out LSE.
So I forgot one. Big deal.
0
reply
cheesecakelove
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#6
Report 1 year ago
#6
(Original post by chickenwing2291)
I've posted this on reddit before but I'll post it again for exposure.

Hey, just wanted to ask if there was anyone who knows anything about getting a job in the finance sector with a medical degree as I know it's possible but I've never heard anyone talk about alternative jobs other than being a doctor/researcher after graduation. I just want to know more about it.
I am doing more research as I don't really know much about investment banking especially science/health related careers. What's the common practice for this sort of career path? Is it usual to become a doctor first then move into the sector, or do banks/pharma industries actively recruit medical students and give them job offers? Are they more likely to recruit e.g. chemistry/biology graduates or econ/finance graduates than medical students?

Fyi I'm probably starting medical school this year depending on my A level results, and started considering about job opportunities after looking at clearing options for chemistry if I don't make my results. I was considering job prospects for a range of companies from the higher rep ones like glaxosmithkline, goldman etc
Why are you starting medical school if you want to go into investment banking? I would agree with @asif007 to only apply for medicine if this is what you want to do as a career. Medicine is competitive and a lot of hard work.
1
reply
username738914
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
personally it seems pretty unfair to take someone else's medicine spot (that costs the government $250k to provide) when you're just going to **** off into finance. at least stay until after fy2 otherwise why not just change course?
0
reply
HCB97
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 year ago
#8
(Original post by chickenwing2291)
I've posted this on reddit before but I'll post it again for exposure.

Hey, just wanted to ask if there was anyone who knows anything about getting a job in the finance sector with a medical degree as I know it's possible but I've never heard anyone talk about alternative jobs other than being a doctor/researcher after graduation. I just want to know more about it.
I am doing more research as I don't really know much about investment banking especially science/health related careers. What's the common practice for this sort of career path? Is it usual to become a doctor first then move into the sector, or do banks/pharma industries actively recruit medical students and give them job offers? Are they more likely to recruit e.g. chemistry/biology graduates or econ/finance graduates than medical students?

Fyi I'm probably starting medical school this year depending on my A level results, and started considering about job opportunities after looking at clearing options for chemistry if I don't make my results. I was considering job prospects for a range of companies from the higher rep ones like glaxosmithkline, goldman etc
Hi I'm glad to see you've started a discussion on exactly the topic I'm interested in, I will be interested to see what others say. I've almost finished med school, currently looking toward pharma/biotech jobs -- which have the benefit of allowing some clinical practice alongside the work.

I can say with some certainty that there is almost no active recruitment of medical students to those careers, but I have heard of plenty of people leaving for those careers -- medics make very desirable employees, and healthcare is a huge sector so practical knowledge is valuable. I have heard of people leaving before FY1, but most stay in order to get full General Medical Council (GMC) registration and many also stay for another two years to finished their Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP, or MRCS for surgeons) qualification -- neither are essential, but they are good to have and don't take very long after medical school.

If you studied history you wouldn't feel guilty for not becoming a historian, same for any degree, don't feel guilty about wanting a different career -- it is not reasonable to choose your one job and one employer for life at the age of 16 or younger. Medical students get more government subsidy than most subjects, but the difference isn't huge. Think of all your fees, the quality improvement projects, the audits, the teaching, and when a doctor, the free overtime, the exams costs, the car parking costs! and everything else you do out of your own pocket and time.

My tentative advice would be, consider your other degree options seriously and call some universities perhaps, but if you want to study medicine then give it a go (you can always switch courses once you're in and jump a year if the degree is similar to medicine)
0
reply
asif007
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
(Original post by HCB97)
Hi I'm glad to see you've started a discussion on exactly the topic I'm interested in, I will be interested to see what others say. I've almost finished med school, currently looking toward pharma/biotech jobs -- which have the benefit of allowing some clinical practice alongside the work.

I can say with some certainty that there is almost no active recruitment of medical students to those careers, but I have heard of plenty of people leaving for those careers -- medics make very desirable employees, and healthcare is a huge sector so practical knowledge is valuable. I have heard of people leaving before FY1, but most stay in order to get full General Medical Council (GMC) registration and many also stay for another two years to finished their Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP, or MRCS for surgeons) qualification -- neither are essential, but they are good to have and don't take very long after medical school.

If you studied history you wouldn't feel guilty for not becoming a historian, same for any degree, don't feel guilty about wanting a different career -- it is not reasonable to choose your one job and one employer for life at the age of 16 or younger. Medical students get more government subsidy than most subjects, but the difference isn't huge. Think of all your fees, the quality improvement projects, the audits, the teaching, and when a doctor, the free overtime, the exams costs, the car parking costs! and everything else you do out of your own pocket and time.

My tentative advice would be, consider your other degree options seriously and call some universities perhaps, but if you want to study medicine then give it a go (you can always switch courses once you're in and jump a year if the degree is similar to medicine)
To the best of my knowledge, pharmaceutical industry and healthcare consultancy recruit practising doctors rather than medical students who have no experience past graduation. That’s why we don’t hear about people getting in before FY1 - practical experience of working frontline in healthcare is more valuable for healthcare sector jobs than just unapplied knowledge gained at medical school. People who manage to get into pharmaceutical jobs after medical school have most likely gone off to do a Masters first before applying for the jobs, should they decide not to practise as doctors. I have a friend who graduated in Pharmacy and then did a Masters in Marketing in order to make his CV more competitive for pharmaceuticals. I know for a fact that management consultancy (something I’ve considered going into myself) requires a certain number of years of professional experience before you can be shortlisted, regardless of which sector of consultancy you want to enter.

OP also talks about financial sector and this is why I recommend they study something with strong Maths/Economics content from a target university instead of Medicine. IB and other finance jobs in the City pretty much recruit only from those universities I mentioned. A medical degree is prestigious and hard-earned but can’t compete with a degree in a STEM subject for financial jobs. Again this is where practical experience or extra qualifications come in useful for making up for lack of experience in finance.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that, depending on specialty, some of the downsides you mention about being a doctor can be paid for you in the private sector. Things like exam costs, car parking, study leave, research opportunities - all paid for by most private sector employers of doctors. I would argue that these things are a hindrance to doctors in the NHS, but outside the public sector there are better opportunities than lots of medics realise. Hence why we are here talking about alternative careers, haha.

I wouldn’t discourage OP from applying for Medicine if they are really dedicated to the course and the job and have some idea about the day to day lifestyle of doctors. But I would encourage them not to use a medical degree as a means to an end. There are many less stressful and less time consuming routes into finance, pharmaceuticals, consultancy etc which they should consider properly. And only apply for Medicine if they would be committed enough to work as a doctor should their plans to move into another sector not work out.
Last edited by asif007; 1 year ago
0
reply
HCB97
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 year ago
#10
(Original post by asif007)
To the best of my knowledge, pharmaceutical industry and healthcare consultancy recruit practising doctors rather than medical students who have no experience past graduation. That’s why we don’t hear about people getting in before FY1 - practical experience of working frontline in healthcare is more valuable for healthcare sector jobs than just unapplied knowledge gained at medical school. People who manage to get into pharmaceutical jobs after medical school have most likely gone off to do a Masters first before applying for the jobs, should they decide not to practise as doctors. I have a friend who graduated in Pharmacy and then did a Masters in Marketing in order to make his CV more competitive for pharmaceuticals. I know for a fact that management consultancy (something I’ve considered going into myself) requires a certain number of years of professional experience before you can be shortlisted, regardless of which sector of consultancy you want to enter.

OP also talks about financial sector and this is why I recommend they study something with strong Maths/Economics content from a target university instead of Medicine. IB and other finance jobs in the City pretty much recruit only from those universities I mentioned. A medical degree is prestigious and hard-earned but can’t compete with a degree in a STEM subject for financial jobs. Again this is where practical experience or extra qualifications come in useful for making up for lack of experience in finance.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that, depending on specialty, some of the downsides you mention about being a doctor can be paid for you in the private sector. Things like exam costs, car parking, study leave, research opportunities - all paid for by most private sector employers of doctors. I would argue that these things are a hindrance to doctors in the NHS, but outside the public sector there are better opportunities than lots of medics realise. Hence why we are here talking about alternative careers, haha.

I wouldn’t discourage OP from applying for Medicine if they are really dedicated to the course and the job and have some idea about the day to day lifestyle of doctors. But I would encourage them not to use a medical degree as a means to an end. There are many less stressful and less time consuming routes into finance, pharmaceuticals, consultancy etc which they should consider properly. And only apply for Medicine if they would be committed enough to work as a doctor should their plans to move into another sector not work out.
I agree completely!
I'd also mention that my friend is intercalating in a masters at a top uni in order to help get into high finance, intercalating from med school lets you go to any uni really (some course directors were saying that med students are always good bets for their courses). Neither of us hate medicine, and we are both happy we tried medicine, rather than live with a nagging regret of not trying it. However, I agree that one should really only start med school if they want to practice as a doctor.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Do you have the space and resources you need to succeed in home learning?

Yes I have everything I need (76)
63.33%
I don't have everything I need (44)
36.67%

Watched Threads

View All