Rahul's Blog

Random thoughts

MBA after MBBS

Since joining ISB I have received a lot of queries from other doctors and healthcare professionals about healthcare management, the opportunities for doctors after an MBA and getting into a b-school like ISB. The following is an attempt to write about all that I know on each of the above points. I’ll keep adding stuff here in bits and pieces so its not going to be really organised. Leave me a comment if you want more info and I’ll try and write about it.

Disclaimer: This info is not officially from ISB and is what I understand of the admission procedure here. If after reading this, you don’t get in, don’t blame me!!

Q. What are the opportunities available to doctors after an MBA?
A. After an MBA a doctor could get into one of the following industries:

  • Healthcare services delivery (hospitals, hospital chains)
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Biotech companies
  • Healthcare consulting
  • NGOs

The functional areas where you could get in are (by industry):

  • Healthcare services delivery (hospitals, hospital chains)
    • Marketing and customer relations
    • Sales
    • Operations – This is where I’ve got a job now with Apollo Hyderabad
    • Business development
  • Pharmaceutical and biotech companies
    • Marketing and customer relations
    • Sales
    • Operations
    • Business development
    • Licensing
    • Discovery project management and evaluation
    • Medico-marketing

Q. How should I prepare to get into a B-school?
A. I’ll concentrate on how to apply for ISB. These points would generally apply to most US & European B-schools. IIMs is a different ball-game and I suggest talking to a current student or alum from an IIM. Send an email to one of the IIM’s alumni association. I had a pleasant experience there and got a lot of responses.

ISB will look at the following parts of your application to decide whether you fit in or not:

  • Essays
  • Work Experience
  • Recommendations
  • GMAT
  • Interview

Your application will most probably be compared with people from similar backgrounds, for e.g. techies will be compared with other techies and doctors with other doctors.

At the outset let me clarify that GMAT is not the only criteria for admission. Each of the above points will be weighted more or less equally, so concentrate on all of them!

ISB will ask you to write 4-5 essays as part of your application. The topics vary from year to year so take a look at the application and write. Ensure that there are no spelling or grammatical mistakes and above all be honest. An interviewer can usually find out if you are dishonest! I guess it might be OK to discuss the essay with family and friends, but its definitely not OK to get a professional to write it for you. ISB will definitely find out if its written by a pro.

Work Experience
Here you tell ISB about what you’ve done in your career till now. On the basis of this ISB assesses what skills you possess or have acquired. Tell them all that you have done, don’t be shy, but don’t write anything you have not actually done!

ISB requires you to send 2 recos with your application. According to me the best recos would be from your supervisors/bosses at work. It’s a pretty comprehensive document. Make sure the person who writes the reco knows you well. Don’t try and fudge the reco or fill it up for the recommender! Ask the recommender to fill it up, sign it and give it to you in a sealed envelope, with their signature across the seal.

Last, but not the least, the GMAT. ISB’s average GMAT score has been rising and our batch (2007 batch) has an average of 706! If you get anything below 650, then you might wanna retake the exam, unless you have something exceptional in your profile, essay or work experience.

While I was preparing for my MBA admission, I was also taking coaching for CAT. This helped me a lot with the Maths. Then, I took a short course at Kaplan for the GMAT, did some questions and full-length tests, and went and gave the exam. Got decent marks and that was the end of it.

You should also read this excellent article – 10 secrets for getting into a top B-school
I agree with all the points in this article, except point 4. I agree with the part about not rushing your application but not with the part about round 1. I think you should apply for round 1 only, but ensure you start your preparation and application process well in time so that you do not rush the application. This will especially be true for MBBS grads since they might take more time preparing for the maths parts of the exams.

Q. Does ISB consider my MBBS internship as work experience?
A. Yes! (IIMs don’t) Not anymore.

Q. Does ISB consider my 3 years of MD/MS as work experience?
A. Gray area-ISB did not consider it till now, but that seems to be changing. Call or write to the admissions office for clarifications.


  1. Hello sir,
    I am pursuing my internship in pune after finishing my final year. I got 86% in ssc, 77% in hsc and 63% aggregate in mbbs. i want to know what sort of work experience is required after mbbs to pursue mba and during the process should i work in any regular hospital or government? Also what did you do after your mbbs? did u prepare for gmat during your internship or afterwards? I am confused about whether to pursue mba or md/ms because everyone keeps telling me that mba is a good option but no one is able to guide me

  2. hi rahul,
    i came across ur blog as i was researching for alternatives between MPH,MBA,HSM.
    it was enlightening to know that its possible to switch from medical field into management field. and people like u have done it quite successfully.
    i was preparing for md/ms exams, and today when the result came negative , i was quite depressed.
    my bro’s been encouraging me write gmat or cat exams n pursue a degree in heathcare management. i dont know much about the career scope.
    i was good in maths n still enjoy it. but i am sceptical whether i should go and prepare for gmat , after giving so much in pg exams. i dont have clinical exp. although i am working as a demonstrator in community medicine in a private college past 6 months.
    Can u please tell me whether it will count towards work experience if i complete 1 yr.
    or should i drop it and join in clinical field.
    thanks. And keep up the good work.

  3. hi rahul ,

    i am preparing for md/ms exams. I came across ur blog as i was researching the sites for info about MPH,MBA,HSM. it was very enlightening to know that its possible to switch from medical field to a management field.people like u have made a successful career in it.
    i was quite depressed after the pg exam result came negative.after giving in so much into pg preparation,i am a bit skeptical about preparing for a different career streamline.
    my bro's been encouraging me to write GMAT or CAT exam and go into heathcare management which is a booming branch.i was good in maths n still find it interesting.

    i dont have the work experience much .i am currently working as a demonstrator in community medicine in a private college for past 7 mnths.do u think it would help if i complete 1 yr in this . or shd i switch into clinical to gain the experience.

    thanks. n keep up the good work.

  4. Hi Rahul…thanks for all the info.
    I am an ENT doc, with 9 years post MS experience in India as well as the UK. Have been working in Malaysia as Assoc Prof for 2 years now.
    Graduated from Pondicherry, worked in PGI , Chandigarh but am disappointed with Private Practice ethics and feel that I have skills that are being underutilized and that might be useful in a more Corporate Business setting. Hence, my thoughts of doing an MBA.
    Q1) Are Distance Courses of any value in the industry?
    Q2) Am I at a disadvantage post MBA if I want to move to Finance or a non-Health related field?
    Q3) What are my options in the Pharmaceutical Industry after an MBA?

    I am currently in the range of 20-25 lakhs per annum. Can I expect a significant jump in salary/perks after an MBA?

    Thanks a lot…


  5. hii..i have done my MBBS and i don’t want to continue in clinicals. could you suggest me what all options do i have after MBBS.

  6. Hi Sir,
    Does I.S.B consider M.D. as work experience?

  7. prashant mahajan

    March 11, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    i have done my 10th and 12th above 80% marks and my mbbs with 65% marks do i have a good chance of selection in any iim or other b school with 1 yr work exp. and is there use use of ambbs to do mba from bschool like simbiosis

  8. hi rahul,
    I am working as medical officer in CISF and has working experiance of 3 years i want to do MBA from ISB ,how much period is needed for GMAT prep. to get call from isb for 2013-14 session

  9. Manvendra Singh

    March 15, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Dear Sir,

    I have done my MBBS from a college in Nepal. So can i get addmission for MBA courses in India. and also guide which MBA in which stream is good now adays.(with no field job.)

  10. HELLO

  11. hi sir, saw ur blog sir i have done BAMS, wats the scope of me doing MBA, or is it better to do MHA.

  12. your blog is great…its one of the thing which inspired me to pursue management studies..now i am just in a weird situation at the moment and was wondering if there was any solution to that…
    .i was a cat 2011 and xat 2012aspirant..scored around 96%in xat…cat score was not worth it….currently pursuing my BDS internship…this year i managed to convert GIM and TAPMI calls..now the problem arises wid my internship completion…its due in august 2012 and both these colleges commence their academic year by end of june….though the last date to produce degree certi is on 30th sept ..after speaking with my college authorities they ve agreed to grant me 15 days leave after 2nd of july but nothing beyond that…and both these institutes i can not join late …i have given up my hopes of joining this year because of this fix…the internship had started a month late due to university’s delay in publishing the result…but in the end hope doesn’t die..so if anyone of you cud suggest me a way out or a possibility to join one of these converts it wud mean a lot…thanks 🙂

  13. Dear Rahul,

    Wanted to know about the opportunities of an MD with MBA from U.K.

  14. SIR,



  15. Im Dr Srujan V recently completed MBBS from Hyderabad. I got selected into United India Insurance Company Ltd for the post of Administrative medical officer Grade 1.My basic query is after 2-3 years of work experience in Health insurance,what are my chances of getting into MBA at ISB. Whats the role of health care provider post MBA in Health Insurance.Any placements there for the people with the above mentioned profile ( MBBS+Administrative medical officer in health insurance). I hope you will throw some focus on my doubts. Thank you..

  16. hi rahul
    i am mbbs with 2 year exp.
    can i do mba in iim??

  17. Hi Rahul,

    This is praveen I have completed my MBBS this year and I am Interested in management , so can you provide me with all the info regarding this study

  18. Hi, Dr. Rahul,
    I have done my MBBS .I want to do MBA from ISB .Will my one year internship be included in work experience?

  19. Hi.
    Im done wid mbbs curently doin my internship. To be frank i was forced into medicine, i thought by the time im done wid mbbs ill hav generated some interest in patients. but thats far from being true. so practicing medicine is out of the equation for me. as of now my position is, my dad is planning on starting a polyclinic n i hav to be the managing authority. so wud it be beneficial for me to do an mba or do pg in some field n den do an mba n manage the hospital. n ya my dads a businessman, n i hav no medical background whatsoever.
    thankig you.

  20. Hi,
    Thank you for the excellent posting and information!

    I graduated from MBBS in India, in 2007 and I am working in clinical research in the US. I am pursuing an MBA, part-time and I am planning to specialize in Health-care management.

    I would like to know more about job prospects and the direction of my career, 5 years down the lane, if I come back to India, after 2 years of work experience in the US, on completion of my MBA degree. I understand that the field of employment would be corporate hospitals, interested in medical tourism and other similar corporate hospitals. How about the pharma and research industries? What kind of an employment position will it be with what kind of growth in career and what kind of money?

    Please throw some light on it. Thanks in advance.

  21. Hi, I am currently pursuing MD(Anesthesia) in Delhi..
    I would like to know, if I plan on applying for MBA after my residency, what sort of jobs will I be offered?


  22. Hi,sir i hav completed my mbbs in china but i hav not qualified for mci test which will b conducted in india and i hav attempted for many times .so i want to pursue mba wit that china mbbs degree.kindly giv me the details wheather i`m elgible or not here.if elgible wat r the colleges that are offering

  23. Dear Rahul,

    I am standing in a middle of road where after 16 years of my MBBS, I want to do something more. Being working in field of public health for last 14 years, I am pretty frustrated now while seeing my MBBS friends climbed the ladder so fast while i am still in the first ladder because of not able to do postgraduation. Tell me , is it a good idea to think about per suing MBA at the age of 41 and are there online/distant education courses available so that I can persue the course alongwith my small job.Kindly guide me.

  24. i an mbbs graduate form kerala, i wrote my cat 2011 during my house surgency, i had calls form iim k,l ,i and the 6 new iims. But i attended only iim i interview due to some family reasons. My results came, i am wait listed, i don’t think i have a chance to convert. I am in confusion wat to do this year. Since i think getting into pg seat in medical field is a very difficult task and i have aptitude towards an mba. Currently i am working under NRHM as a medical officer in a health center. Should i go for CAT once again. I am really doubtful of the sort of job tat a doctor with mba is offered. does mba add to your merit, does it give the stability on the long run.please guide me, i am attempting some mock cat exams now too. Can i have a full go at CAT . Wat puts doubt in my mind is when all my friends study for gettting into pg seat i dont study for it. And i am not in touch with people who had done MBA form IIMs or like vice institutes after MBBS.Please guide me as i running out of confidence and my decision is still not clear.

  25. Hi..sir…i have just completed my BHMS , and i want to do MBA health care management, can you guide me for future after doing MBA, i want to do from sumendeep vidhyapith Vadodara, Gujarat, is this institute were good???

  26. dear rahul i was really inspired by you and couldn’t help asking you a question.
    ia want to do mba in finance but iam not very good at maths will i face problems pursuing an mba

  27. Hi Rahul,
    Thanks for this informative blog. Im planning on pursuing an MBA in the US or as a second option in ISB. Is there any particular kind of work experience that is necessary or is any decent job enough. One option I see is as a health claims investigator. Will this look sufficient on my profile as it is mostly an outsourcing kind of job. As a second option im considering clinical trial coordinator. Anyways please give me your opinion on the relative merits of these jobs in view with the potential they have in helping me get my MBA. Thank you for your time.

  28. sir,
    i M MBBS grad. sir i use to read ur blog since my 3rd year. i hv read that time residency is counted as work-ex, so i hv prepared for pg entrance a complete year aftr my intrnship, but i couldnt get good marks that i will get medicine. thru dnb i m getting admission in hospital administration at yashoda hospital secundarabad. as mba give more prospect than mha, so i m confused abt taking it. but preparing for mba would reqr 1 more year. sir i m also a bonded candidate of govt for doing m.o ship for 1 yr. so shud i go for hospital administration whch is 3 yr course or shud i prepr for cat or other exams. plz do reply…

  29. hi rahul,
    I am presently working in a hospital as anaesthetist and at present i am able to get some time for studies too. I want to do mba distant education from icfai. So can you tell me i i am making a right choice with the course as well as university and can you tell me how may i be absorbed in companies like ge, philips?

  30. i am an mbbs doctor. currently i want to pursure mba. which would be better mbah or standard mba ? thanks dude!

  31. Dr. Rahul,
    hi. i know iam writing late, but its just that only recently i came across your blog.
    i need your help on deciding what next i should do. ive done my mbbs. recently joined plain postings in skin dept and not quiet liking it. i did have a fascination towards medical aesthetics..but i realise that’s just a part of md dermatology.and that its vast and is as good as reading medicine. i dont feel i want to go about reading all that. i was thinking i’ll do a one-year course here in mumbai on medical aesthetics and cosmetology and next year take up masters in health administration..(as in while iam doing the one year course,i thought il prepare for tiss/symbi pune/ihmr jaipur side by side). the mha course i thought i’ll do because i do need a masters degree and so far everyone says doctors do that course.
    now my questions: 1)is that one-year cosmetology course good? do doctors do it? what is the scope after doing it?
    2)for mha course ive spoken to students at tiss.my focus will be tiss. but only one inhibition i have..i havent been in touch with the current affairs nor the health policy and PSM kind of topics are pretty boring..moreover i have no clue of the management world..all my life ive read medical related topics and nothing to do with the management world or economic times kind of news… will that create problems during me pursuing the course??? i understand il have to start from ABC if i take mha. (i decided on mha because i dont want to be a clinician really)
    what should i do? how to go about deciding??
    (P.S. the one-year course i only want to do as a backup plan.and also because iam only interested in that part of dermatology)

  32. Hello Rahul
    Thanks for all the info you are providing us with. I shall disturb you often now that I am in my final year MBBS and the field you chose fascinates and interests me. I am not the kind who would want to go on studying . I feel Hosp management suits me best .

    is work experience required for MBBS Graduates too? If yes then approx how long should it be for ? And also can you suggest what sort of work experience can a MBBS graduate go for soon after internship in order to meet the eligibility criteria ?

    Thanks !

  33. Hi Rahul
    I am a MBBS student doing my internship now in china …..well i am in a dilemma weather to continue in this field or not more over not much interested bcoz it takes lot of time to settle down in this field .due to some other pressure i was into this well i am much more interested to go for MBA in hospital management ,could you plz suggest me how to go abt and is it a gud idea going for MBA in hospital management which b school i should prefer in india .what is the procedure and exams to apply for this course. what is the score i need to get if i prefer to go for isb and the fees structure
    how much salary will i be paid if i choose this field ……..my question might b a little stupid but what to do confused plz suggest me .i also have a little bit of ex in trading field too…….for about a year and a half

  34. Iam in an MNC india mumbai after my MD.I am paid 20 lakhs.Is it worth for me to do an MBA?

  35. Dear Rahul,
    I have completed my MBA(Mktg & HR)-regular after my BAMS in 2010.
    I m wrkg as online freelancer(health care) .But the job is not secured & I want to do physical job now(not online).

    What will be my job profile & package can I get ?


  36. Hello Rahul sir..First of all thanx fr starting such an informative blog….
    i m doing internship from gov college in mp..sir my question is if one doenst get into iims or isb instead got some lower ranked college than these then what are his prospects in hospital administration and salary ahead..

  37. dr. rahul,
    iam dr. bhavna, and i would like to clear few doubts about doing masters in hospital administration after mbbs.
    about me, ive done my mbbs with internship and as of now working as a resident in the skin department.
    althought ive been working in the hospital, a number of times ive felt i dont want to be a clinician. so i started looking out for things other than md that i could do and still be in touch with the hospital.ive spoken to few mbbs grads who're doing mha in tata instt mumbai.. i sort of know the procedure of the admission and all that happens after completing the course. now for my doubts:
    1) do i have to study for cat/gmat?? how do people from medical field adjust to such a drastic change in what you read?? how did u manage it??
    2) if i say i havent been in touch with the current affairs, health sector etc. are my chances to get through or be a hosp admin bleak?
    3) what is the kind of aptitude or knowledge that anyone doing this course required to have?

  38. P.S. ive always hated economics in 10th std and community medicine during mbbs was the most boring… also i've never made an attempt to read the economic times… does all this mean i'll have a tough time doing the course??
    Iam sorry if my questions are juvenile.but these are my genuine doubts, without clearing which i dont think i should venture into an entirely different course. Please help

  39. vishakha arora

    July 13, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    hey…hi m dr vishakha…m currently doing my internship frm nashik..m very much interested in MBA..i want to knw how to go about it..which exam i hv to give..wat r the colleges dat offer mba in our field n hw to apply…

  40. hi i have done my mbbs and ms in surgery,plz tell me wil ms experience wil be considered or not?how much time is required for prepration for gmat and admission process in isb,hyderabad,exclusively,how to start preparing for it?and how

  41. hi rahul,
    thanx for these infornations, made easy to excess by ur experienc n practical accent….
    myslf suhani ,studying mbbs pre final from bikaner,rajasthan……..
    m bit sure dt i dnt want to practice….even d basic medical subject like patho,micro,immuno,physio facinate me n m gud at them by aptitute….
    i was gud at maths n bio both in my school days(one never forget to swim i think)….
    it seems dt u can councel my prob well i hope…so here comes d traff!!!!!
    as at dis stage of my graduation i wana clear my mind for my prof life n wanna take step toward only to avoid d breaks n hustles on my path later…
    very confuse!!actually dnt knw d part coz i belong to narrow senerio of community…..
    plz guide me through dis……as u r out of sea with gold nw n knw d depth n shore well………
    at dis point m interested in sm clinical research or d same of u…….
    tell me d steps of joinin a b school,way to fullfill requirmnts as work xperienc sector,exams,options for coll……….
    on d other hand can u tell me d best of research streams n their scope……..n institute regarding…in wait for ur reply…….:)
    wana contact u for some of ur precious time…….

  42. I am a first yeat medical student from Chengalpet medical college,Tamil Nadu. I got in purely through merit. Got 96.4 % in my 10th and 96.5% in my 12th. I want to persue management studies after my mbbs. With regards to this… What are the colleges i need to look out for… Here and abroad. I wanna get into the best!

  43. What are the colleges that i can look out for with regards to MBA after Mbbs. I want to get into the best institute… What are my options and do i need a couple years of experince to stand a better chance?

  44. Hii Rahul , Hope ur doing great…………..

    Its a pleasure to read ur blog , i know i have come across ur blog late but i am glad i have come across at-least now ..

    I am an MBBS doctor with 7 yrs of experience in clinical field , i have worked in corporate /public hospitals since graduation . right now im working in ESI Hospital (govt. run)., after working for quite sometime i have realized that i am not cut out for practicing medicine.

    I want to do something more challenging/ innovative, i want to be in a place where i work in a team , learn new things be in a place which throws new challenges , Hence now the desire to do MBA from a reputed college.

    Could u plz tell me whether this experience of mine in govt. run hospitals be useful for a role in the industry -post MBA . and also can u plz guide me which are the colleges i should target , considering my work experience………

    I would be happy to learn from ur experiences and take inputs from a successful person like you, appreciate ur initiative in starting this blog and helping out hundreds of aspirants…..

    thanks n awaiting ur reply.

  45. Dr Atul Mishra

    April 2, 2013 at 12:43 AM

    Hello Dr Rahul,
    I am a Medical grad and after my internship I worked as a Medical Officer under the govt. of Maharashtra for one year. After that I am running my clinic as a GP and planning to pursue MBA. I’ll be writing CAT this year and GMAT in a few months. What I am really concerned about is that how can I enrich my profile as it seems to be the essential most thing to make it into a reputed B school. Also, will my work as General Practitioner in my own clinic be counted as work ex? I have all legal documents to prove that I am self employed. Kindly help..
    Thanx !

  46. Hi Rahul; i am in final year of mbbs.. I have plans to go to America.. I heard if we study mba health in India..that degree is not eligible in usa…can u please guide about this..

  47. Dr.rahul will mba in health or hospital makes us get job in America my future plans are going to america..i heard indian mba health is not eligible in usa.. I really want to make sure i get the best information

  48. Hello sir.. I wanna become a ceo of an mnc…. Like.. Very big companies… With huge sums… I m a ug… Mbbs… I wanna be ceo.. How.. Howwwwww :-/

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