u-turn

What if I Make the Wrong Choice by Leaving?

Medicine to Investment Banking. And back again.

Dr Richard Weiler

A year after qualifying Richard set on his path to become an Investment Banker. He soon realised that this was not for him and returned to practice Medicine. Here he explains his journey.

Medicine to Investment Banking

After my House Officer year I secured work experience with Alchemy Partners and Sinclair Montrose working primarily on healthcare related businesses. I read the FT and several business books (including ‘The 10-day MBA’ by Steven Silberger).

I gained a place on the Royal Bank of Scotland graduate Training Scheme working in credit. It was a great starting point and I was invited onto the ‘Gold Programme’, a fast track for talented juniors to get senior positions.

I used the programme to get out of Credit. I started a job trading on the european Median Term notes (bonds) desk. It was great fun, on the trading floor, up early for markets, working closely with the Syndication team, who worked hard and played harder. After 2 weeks I was told I had to pass the Securities institute exams to continue working there. I passed!

I was offered a job in Bond Origination, but having seen how expendable staff were and the fact that the money and job did not press the right buttons, I moved to leveraged finance. This was a lot of fun but demanding. I was fast realising that I could not see myself happy in this kind of job.

I went for other interviews at different businesses and mulled it over. I quickly realised I had no interest in the jobs and there was little truth in what I was saying at interview. So I decided to go back to Medicine, where I knew I would be happier in the long term.

Investment Banking back to Medicine

It was the right decision. It has not been easy. I convinced a geriatrics Consultant to take me on for a 6-month SHO post having had 4 years out of medicine. After 6 weeks close supervision and a lot of work I was back up to speed and working independently.

It took time to build my confidence up. My CV had a gaping hole and I had no track record in medicine. I was an interesting candidate but perceived as a loose cannon. Why would anyone want to employ me rather than a career medic?

Conclusion

Now it does not matter what I did, if anything it adds to the interest to my CV. I am still involved in business albeit from a distance and grateful of the opportunities the experience offers me in my current role.

Richard’s Tips:

  1. Consider your responsibilities before taking the leap!
  2. Be aware of the risks!
  3. Have an insurance policy – work out how you can come back to medicine if you change your mind
  4. Read up about what you want to do – don’t do it if it doesn’t interest you
  5. Talk to as many people as you can so you know exactly what you are letting yourself in for. not many people love their work!
  6. Be realistic & don’t do it for the money
  7. Job security – there is much less in business & finance
  8. Think about it for a long time before doing anything rash
  9. Get work experience before you commit to anything – you might hate it!
  10. Nothing ventured, nothing gained
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