'I've Had It With Medicine!' 16 Options for Second Careers

Leigh Page

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July 10, 2014

In This Article

7. Work at a Management Consulting Firm

A management consulting company might be a good fit for ambitious physicians who like problem solving and working in teams, but expect to put in long hours and don't mind having to be away from home a lot.

Many doctors work for such companies as Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, McKinsey & Company, and Milliman. The work involves making in-depth studies on behalf of clients that include hospitals, government, and insurers. Salaries at the top firms start at around $150,000, with the chance to earn raises each year.

Consulting firms often recruit doctors directly out of medical school, but also hire them in mid-career. McKinsey has a Webpage to answer questions from physicians and other people with advanced degrees looking for jobs there.

Dr. Fork said assignments can last months, during which consultants usually work on-site for most of the week. "In many cases, you're traveling four days a week and putting in long hours," she said. This makes it impossible to work in clinical practice even at a minimal level.

In 2001, Michael P. Ennen, then a senior medical student who had accepted a position with McKinsey, wrote an article[10] about the career in JAMA. Physicians attracted to this work often cite a "fear of reaching a professional plateau," he wrote. They like "the challenge of continually working on new problems and shaping new industries as a source of professional satisfaction."

He emphasized the need to adjust to a team approach. "To be successful, physicians must modify their expectations about their role in a hierarchy, their individual input, and the service being provided to clients," he wrote.

Pluses: The work is challenging, and the pay is good.

Minuses: You'll work long hours and travel a lot.

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