Your Odds Of Getting Into A Top School

Mr. Surgeon

  • 730 GMAT
  • 3.9 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in pre-med from the University of Toronto
  • 3.7 GPA Med School
  • Currently in fourth year of surgical specialty training
  • Extracurricular involvement as a physician volunteer in an underdeveloped country and a couple of articles published in peer-reviewed journals
  • Goal: Big dream to apply business models to public health care in order to increase efficiency or to start my own consulting firm
  • 28-year-old Asian male, fluent in Cantonese

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 30% to 40+%

Stanford: 20% to 30%

Wharton: 50+%

MIT:  50+%

Sandy’s Analysis: Come on down, Doc! That is a hunk-a, hunk-a powerful resume, and while no one loves surgeons as much as they love marine biologists, well, they do respect them. The trick of getting into HBS or Stanford for you will be selling your BIG goals in some specific and supported way. As noted, most docs at HBS are from Harvard or Yale medical school, or Harvard teaching hospitals, but Toronto has some classy cred in these parts that might serve as a substitute.

What you really need to do is get powerful docs and profs to support you and your goals.  The one downside I see  is that none of your many powerful pluses synch up with reforming health care delivery, and surgeons are not known for thinking big. They are known for big egos, which is a different matter. I might say you want to reform surgery instead of healthcare, in terms of delivery of services, especially in under-served areas, which could mean areas of Canada or the undeveloped world. That way your volunteer gig “adds up.”

Becoming a consultant after all that training seems like a weak idea to me. You need to appear as a reformer and not a pre-mature burn out. Consulting would seem to throw away your surgical training. The docs I have known at HBS have used it as a career extender, not a blatant career change. You don’t list schools, but what I said for HBS would also be true for Stanford, Wharton, and MIT.  You can get a lot of guidance on this by checking out the Association of MD/MBA Degrees website—full of programs and developments.

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