Why MBAs are a Bad idea for doctors in business
As a Doctor, you’re a highly trained professional. You’ve spent years at university, followed by extra courses and further study and exams to get good at what you do. It makes sense that if you’re going in a new field, such as business, you feel the need to learn a lot about it to ensure your success.
Which is true. You need to develop a whole range of skills to be successful in business. Some you’ve already learnt throughout medicine, but many are brand new. So if you’re going to take it seriously then ongoing business education, just like in medicine, is going to be important.
Some doctors even consider getting an official degree such as an MBA. It’s a natural thought for people who are used to formal education, as mentioned above. However, if you’re waiting to learn all the skills and knowledge before you start in business, that’s a different story all together. If you first want to learn all about balance sheets, venture capital, management or anything else before you start, then you’re wasting your time.
And the worst thing to do is get an MBA before you get into business. The worst.
If you were asked to name 3 successful business people who have an MBA, you probably couldn’t.
Richard Branson? No. Steve Jobs? No. Bill Gates? No.
However, not everyone is going to be a Steve Jobs or aims to be. A recent article called, An MBA: The founder’s recipe for failure put it well when they said, “MBA programs are not designed to help students become better entrepreneurs.”
It doesn’t work the same way as in medicine – get your MD degree, work hard and you’ll succeed in medicine. Get an MBA, work hard and you will still have to do the same things an non-MBA does and you will be missing the essential practical business skills required to succeed as an Entrepreneur. These are things like finding potential clients, identifying what they need, offering them a product or service, being innovative and having the initiative to get it done.
MBA’s are great if you want to work in the corporate field as a doctor. However, even then, as a doctor in Australia (and likely, the rest of the world) you are already in high demand in the corporate world just the way you are right now. In Australia, companies are desperate for doctors to work for them. You don’t need an MBA for them to hire you.
When it comes to starting your own business, the worst part about doing an MBA is that after spending some $80,000 to do the degree, you still have to do the same things and have the same challenges as someone who doesn’t have one. In fact, you are on the back foot because the non-MBA would have spent that time and money learning the important skills by running a business and overcoming the challenges that everyone faces.
Instead, use that time and money to get started on the ground, by running a business and learning those skills as you go (below you will see exactly how to do this). If you ever need the skills of an MBA in your business, you can just hire them. Your time is better spent elsewhere. These guys are desperate for work.
Some doctors worry that they won’t be taken seriously unless they have some business credentials. There are two things to consider here:
1 – Want credibility? You’re a doctor, that’s enough. It’s huge. People will believe in you for no other reason than that.
2 – This point is even more important than the first because what your clients care about is not your credentials or your name or your degree. The only thing they care about is whether you can help them or now; will your product or service solve a problem they have?
If not, then it doesn’t matter how many degrees you have, you’re going out of business.
If yes, then you can be a hillbilly with no teeth and a primary school education, and you’ll do just fine.
So what is better than an MBA for doctors in business? What will improve your chances of success?
1 – Just do it.
Start something ASAP by finding someone to help and charging them for it. Just start.
2 – Get a mentor.
Someone who has been there before and can guide you through the practical aspects of starting and running a business. They will help you to shortcut your success and prevent costly and time consuming mistakes.
MBAs are fun to do. However for doctors in business, you’re better off using that time and money in more practical ways as described here.