An MBA for Medical Students & Doctors

mba for medical students and doctors doing business
A.I. prompt: a colourful, expressive oil painting of male and female doctors doing business

The world of health, tech and business is rapidly changing.

Med Tech, amongst other verticals, is rapidly expanding over recent years. As our population grows, the need for health management, at all levels, is increasing in a similar fashion.

Medical students and doctors with an interest in business are watching these events unfold and planning ahead.

Choosing the right MBA for medical students or practising doctors has become easier in recent years with an increased focus on the niche.

But not all health and business careers are the same, and not all require 7+ years of university level tuition in order to access.

In this article, we look at the paths available to budding health entrepreneurs and business-minded medics.

MBA Basics

Masters of Business Administration (MBAs) are typically taken after medical degrees (MD/MBBS/MBChB etc). An MBA usually lasts between 1-2 years, on top of an undergraduate or postgraduate medical degree.

Pursuing an MBA is therefore no small undertaking after considerable time already spent in education. Depending on your country of residence and age, you may have to pay for both degrees yourself.

Of course, this perseverance unlocks access to a number of unique career paths surrounding healthcare leadership, management and entrepreneurship.

The Traditional MBA post MD/MBBS

Although entry to medical school is highly competitive, this doesn’t guarantee entry to an MBA program.

To be eligible, applicants must pass the appropriate MBA entrance exam for their desired school.

In the UK and USA these are typically either the GMAT or GRE, although there are a number of other exams used internationally.

NOTE: 90% of new MBA students have taken the GMAT exam.

This is the traditional route for anyone looking to marry a career in leadership or business with their medical practice.

Naturally, as it is a standalone course, not all of the course content will be applicable to those remaining within healthcare.

MBAs such as the MBA/MD and Healthcare MBAs could be a better option with their focus on specific healthcare perspectives.

A Combined MBA/MD

A great option for those who know they want to be involved in medicine and be able to navigate the wider healthcare system and bureaucracy.

Rather than being an MBA for medical students, this combined qualification is for applicants certain of their desired career path into healthcare strategy and management.

If you are unsure, and decide to pursue a career in medicine or surgery without leveraging your MBA, then you will have invested time and money for no return.

Finally, an MBA/MD should not be pursued in the belief that earnings will be higher. Purely from a financial standpoint, it would be more lucrative to pursue either degree independently.

Healthcare MBAs

These courses can either be standard MBAs with the option of specialisation, or be tailored specifically towards health.

Aside from the directed teaching, applicants should be aware of wider benefits of tailored courses, such as fellow students, networking events, lecturers and time-in-industry all relating back to healthcare.

This will give students a significant leg up when beginning their career as opposed to those with a non-specific course.

Executive MBAs

Executive MBAs, as their title implies, were originally intentioned for executives.

Today, they are geared towards anyone who has already embarked upon a professional career, and want to extend their learning whilst still retaining their full time job.

There is a common misconception, likely due to the name executive MBA, that these courses are somehow superior to a standard MBA.

In terms of course content, and recognition of qualifications upon graduation, there is no difference.

As applicants typically have years of business experience under their belt, there is less emphasis placed on GMAT results (a tailored version for eMBA applicants), if an entrance exam is required at all.

Finally, eMBAs are often a better financial option. While this is less likely to apply in the world of medicine, employers often cover the costs of an eMBA. There is also the opportunity cost as well – taking a full time MBA means you will not be earning any full time income.

Modern MBA Options

Digital education companies have been on the rise since the landscape has matured beyond the scope of MOOCs (massive open online courses).

These courses had very poor completion rates, with learning rarely interactive or supported.

Now, good digital education is a hybrid mix of view-anytime-anywhere and live tutor interaction.

If you are looking to move into corporate management, then a more traditional MBA will be of benefit. Digital versions include the Quantic MBA – the content of traditional MBA brought online – again for those looking to lead within the world’s top companies.

At The Medical MBA, we deliver business teaching aimed specifically at doctors and allied healthcare professionals. Most of us are not looking to move to Accenture or PwC.

For those that want to build their own business, become a solopreneur or explore a passion, a full 1-2 year MBA is a large waste of time and money.

Our core program, the 8 week Medical MBA, takes students with zero business experience from entrepreneurial idea (or no idea!) through to a functioning, profitable business.

Learn business fundamentals with no fluff, and build your business while you learn.

Our students study with weekly peer and mentor support, and benefit from effective teaching and streamlined systems to get them up and running as quickly as possible.

To find out more, register for our next cohort here to get the latest updates sent straight to your inbox.

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