Government Medical College Chandigarh Old Students Association
MANAGEMENT (MBA) AS A CAREER POST-MBBS
Ravi Kant Gupta (’98) discusses career options in management after MBBS. He is currently pursuing an MBA at the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow.
Traditionally, after finishing MBBS, most medicos either plan to pursue post-graduate training (MD or MS) or go into practice (private or government). But in the recent years, there has been a boom for non-conventional career options for physicians. Management is one such avenue that can be satisfying as well as challenging. In this article, I will discuss the prospect of physicians in this field and describe the admission process for MBA.
§ Should I really go in for an MBA?
This is the first, the most important and the most difficult question that one needs to answer before you start preparing for the Common Admission Test (CAT). Physicians in general tend to be respected & relatively well paid professionals, and changing career to MBA will largely make you forfeit contact with direct patient care. So, you should be doubly sure that you are ready to leave it for good. Consult your family & friends and take some time to make this decision. Consider all the pros and cons as this decision is very individual and once you steer towards management, it might become difficult to get back into hard-core medicine (though of course, you could still stay in the management aspect of medicine). Now if you are sure that you want to go for a MBA, and then enter the next step, i.e. start preparing!
§ Where should one do an MBA from?
As a medico, you should ideally join one of the best business schools to pursue an MBA; MBA done from a not so well known institute does not help much and you might rather just stay in medicine itself. There are around 10 very good MBA programs/institutes in India. These include the six Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) at the University of Delhi, Xavier Labor Relations Institute (XLRI) Jamshedpur, SP Jain Institute of Management Mumbai & Management Development Institute (MDI) Gurgaon. FMS & XLRI conduct independent entrance tests in January while the rest admit students based on performance in the CAT held on the penultimate Sunday of November. And then there is the Indian School of Business (ISB) Hyderabad which is a very reputed business school and offers a one year MBA for people with at least one year of previous work experience (internship does not count). ISB loves diversity and entry is through the GMAT.
§ How do I prepare for the CAT?
One thing should be clear in your mind; all of us enter medical college after going through tough PMT competition, so cracking the CAT, though not cakewalk, should not be very tough. If you are familiar with solving MCQ’s, then you just need to apply your aptitude for clearing the exam, because the CAT is nothing but an aptitude test.
I will discuss the CAT paper in detail; other exams (GMAT, XLRI etc) essentially have the same format. All tests are MCQ type with progressive negative marking. One needs not more than 4hrs of regular study for 6 months to crack the CAT.
CAT has three sections and the exam typically contains 150 questions:
Verbal: This section contains questions dealing with normal spoken English. There are questions regarding vocabulary, reading comprehension, logical reasoning and deductions. This section is really a “Cash Cow” for medicos as we generally have a good command over this language. The aim of this section is to test the speed and accuracy in comprehending spoken and written English, and believe me, having spent so much time reading in medicine really hones these skills. You still need some preparation though and books by Normal Lewis (‘Word power made easy’ and ‘30 days to a more powerful vocabulary’) are good starters. You can add on to this by studying notes of any good coaching institute.
Quantitative (Mathematics): This might be the most dreaded section as most of us have not touched maths for the last so many years. But rest assured, this is not a very difficult section. There are about 50 questions of the 10th class standard. You will always find 17-18 sitters, i.e. very very easy questions, which can be easily solved with a little bit of application. Don’t worry even if you don’t get the other questions right as our main aim here is to clear the minimum cut off which is around 11. If you can score something like 17-18 in maths, you will be in the top 10 percentile.
Data interpretation: This section has graphs that can be solved with practice and a bit of deductive reasoning. You don’t need much knowledge of mathematics except simple stuff like calculating averages.
Thus with the right preparation and plan one can crack the CAT. To get a call from the IIM, you need to score more than the 98.5th percentile as a general category candidate.
The next step is the group discussion and the personal interview. The personal interview in our case will largely revolve around why we want to leave medicine and join the corporate world. I will be available to personally guide GMC graduates who receive calls for interviews.
§ Should I join a coaching institute?
I don’t think it is a must to join coaching classes. But for increasing your personal confidence (to make sure you are doing the right things) and to remove the enigma of maths, it may not be a bad idea. You can join any institute and PT/ Bulls Eye/ Omega/ IMS/ CL are among the more well known ones in Chandigarh.
§ What is the future for medicos in the corporate world?
We belong to a very unique category. There is huge demand-supply gap for doctor MBA's and this especially pertains to the health care sector (hospitals, pharmaceuticals, health care organizations, etc). Currently I am pursuing my summer internship at Wockhardt (a pharmaceutical company) and I can tell you that our need is very much there. We can also switch to non-medical jobs, for example, last year a doctor from IIM Bangalore joined Deutsche Bank.
So guys & gals, the corporate world gives you quick money and very nice cities to live in and enjoy…so come and join the club.
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