Doctors are leaving Britain’s NHS to work in business

Thousands of young doctors are on strike this week over low pay and poor working conditions in Britain. National Health Service.
Many picketing doctors are considering leaving their careers altogether, and the world of finance and business offers an unexpected but increasingly attractive opportunity.
Jae-Young Park spent six years studying for a doctorate at Oxford University, but dropped out after five months as a medical graduate. NHS to work in investment banking. He has more than tripled his salary overnight.
“I think it was definitely the NHS that got me out of there,” says Park.
It is not an isolated case. A survey published by the British Medical Association late last year found that 2 in 5 doctors plan to leave the NHS when offered another job, with 79% “often thinking about leaving the NHS”. Pay, worsening conditions and increased workload were the main complaints, according to the survey.
Among those actively planning a new career, the most popular option was management consulting, with the pharmaceutical sector also a key target.
Health unions have accused the government of imposing years of real-time pay cuts on NHS staff, demoralizing staff and creating high levels of vacancies.
After a series of alarming strikes by nurses, ambulance workers and other workers since December, health unions recently called off further action to reach a pay deal with ministers, but junior doctors are not involved in the talks.
“Thanks to this government you can give patients more coffee than they save,” argues the BMA in a new campaign. His survey showed that the majority of junior doctors found it difficult to pay their utility bills last year.
Jobs website Indeed says doctors are 20% more likely to explore opportunities outside their field than the average job seeker, adding that interest in banking and finance has increased.
Pressure, not stress
The emotional toll of working in the NHS alienates doctors, according to Mark Jenkins, who left medicine to become a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group.
“As a doctor, there’s a personal concern: Is someone going to die because I made the wrong choice and I don’t have enough resources,” says Jenkins, who has since switched jobs again to become director of health app Oviva. .
“In consulting, yes, a client will be very upset with you if you don’t make a presentation by 9:00 the next day, but at the end of the day, you’re concerned about your personal success. I call it pressure, not stress.’
Some management consulting firms such as BCG and McKinsey offer medical students the opportunity to work outside the healthcare sector, with an internship that can be part of their training.
At Carnall Farrar, a boutique management consultancy specializing in healthcare and life sciences, the proportion of applicants from the year to 2022 almost doubled. The company says that many doctors want to be fairly rewarded for their work.
The war for talent
The UK economy is suffering from a tight labor market and a war on talent, with companies keen to hire bright graduates. Doctors have many desirable skills, such as the ability to absorb and apply new knowledge, according to Ian Dougal, dean of academic affairs at Hult International Business School.
“I think very few professions will teach you how to work under pressure like a front-line doctor,” says Dougal, who focuses on aspiring doctors in his MBA program.
Doctors often lack knowledge of the financial system, but they can catch up quickly and compete in the city, according to Park, who joked that he didn’t understand the term Ebitda when he first came to the bank.
Maura Jarvis, UK head of workforce transformation consultancy Mercer International Inc, says that ultimately financial reality bites. Many junior doctors “went into those roles because it was a calling and a purpose,” he says. “But if you don’t pay the bills, that creates very different possibilities.”

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