Click here for the video of conversation with Dr. Karan Madhok.
Hi, I am Dr. Karan Madhok, a dental graduate from Manipal College of Dental Sciences. I currently work as a Healthcare Management Consultant, with Prescient Healthcare Group, at the post of an associate.
When people ask me, how and when did I choose to walk away from the clinical world, I always tell them about my first experience of treating a patient. As fulfilling as it seemed, I just knew that I couldn’t do this for a living. It just wasn’t something I felt so passionately about. And that is when I decided that I had to come up with something that I really felt driven by. I knew it wasn’t gonna be that easy- after all I was putting in 5 years of my life into something I knew, I wasn’t going to carry forward. Plus, in my case, I had already dropped before, so that apprehension was constantly there at the back of my head. But I remember, I had this conversation with one of my cousins, who told me that after the age of 24/25, one spends about 60% of their time at work, up until the age of their retirement. And if one is not happy and satisfied with that 60% of their lives, then it automatically takes a toll on the other 40%. And that thing, just stayed with me and I knew I had to find out a way.
That is when I started talking to people, anyone who could present me with different options, people who had followed a similar career trajectory of switching, just so I could find an answer. After scouring through various options like hospital administration, marketing, hell even UPSC.. I finally came across the field of management consulting. And I instantly knew this is where I wanted to be.
Now, I knew by the end of my third year itself that I wanted to get into healthcare consulting,
because this way, not only I get to switch to the corporate side of the world but also, get to stay true to 5 years of hard work I was putting into my dental school. But then came the next big question, how would I go about it? For all I knew, healthcare consulting was still not something huge in our country and the only way of getting there would be going through a B-School. So, with that thought in the back of my head, I started preparing for CAT. But one thing I kept trying to do, was just trying to reach out to people (cold messaging/emailing), seeing If any sort of opportunity could be extended to a fresher, looking to switch. I finally lucked out, one day in September 2020, when one of my second cousins reached out to me, asking me if I’d be interested in such an opportunity, as she was already working at Prescient. I knew this was my chance, and I left no stones unturned to make that happen. That is how I landed at Prescient, and I couldn’t be more glad about that!
Now, when I first interviewed for Prescient, it didn’t work out too well (at least, that’s what I thought), since the questions that were asked, I was able to answer the clinical questions, but when the scope shifted to the commercial and payer side, I had no clue, what were they talking about.
I have added few of the questions that I was asked, in my interview
- Describe the different stages of a clinical trial
- Describe the patient population enrolled at each stage
- What are some of the leading drug regulatory bodies across the globe?
- What is a therapeutic landscape?
- Can you describe the process of the regulatory approval of a drug?
- What are some of the different payer organisations in the US?
- What are patient support organisations?
After getting done with my interview and having been offered an internship to begin with, I started my journey at Prescient in October 2020, and I can say that it has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Getting into the corporate world, without getting an MBA, which up until a few months ago, had seemed impossible to me, was a real boost for my career. Ever since day 1, I have learnt something new, and to this day, my learning continues. I believe I have evolved as a management consultant, more capable of handling tasks and projects which once would have seemed so out of my league. Now I know, all I want to do is grow as a professional, get even better at what I do, take on bigger roles and responsibilities and excel as a management consultant. I do plan on going to a B-School, maybe some years down the line, but my experience sure taught me that, its not all about an MBA.
Tips for dentists planning to switch over to the corporate side:
- What we learn in dental school definitely comes in handy, so you need to work hard. Just because you want to switch, you should not take it lightly. Graduation scores are always looked at by recruiters
- Figure out what side you want to switch to, be it consulting, sales and marketing or something else.
- Do your thorough research about what attracts you the most
- Work on your LinkedIn profile, make it recruiter ready
- Cold messaging and emailing go a long way. Reach out to HRs and employees working in the companies you want to apply to. A referral always helps!
- Never say no to internships, they add valuable experience to your resume and help you get familiar with the workings of the said industry
- Good communication skills are very important in the corporate world
- In the end, what comes handy the most, is your hard work, dedication, and the will to always
- learn something new and be a better version of yourself each day
I really hope that reading about my journey helps you guys out there, who are going through the same ordeal that I once did, and really helps you make the right choice for your careers. I wish all the very best of luck, and you can always reach out to me on my LinkedIn, and I would be happy to help you out in whatever way I can.
Healthcare Management Consultant
Prescient Healthcare Group