Healthcare Consulting

Once you land a job in the health care consulting, what you can expect depends largely on the type of firm your choose. At large management consulting firms, it's relatively hard for college graduates to specialize by industry. However, graduate degree holders with health care-related degrees or those who have substantial experience in the health care industry prior to attending graduate school are usually pegged early in the recruiting process to the firm's health care industry practice.

Experiences in health care-focused firms also vary by the firm's size and business focus. At one firm that specializes in strategic and management support to hospital systems, newly hired college graduates are not expected to do much more than provide non-substantive administrative support to senior consultants on the road. At smaller boutique firms competing largely with academic think tanks and non-profit organizations for public-sector work, the experiences of new consultants range from work as "data monkeys," who analyze large sets of information, to presenting results to clients.

New hires at larger firms are more likely to have a standardized, predictable experience compared to their counterparts at smaller firms without formal internal processes for allocating work. But a "can-do" attitude regardless of the nature or size of the task is rewarded at all firms.

Exploring the Industry

Key Skills

Consultants typically do the following:

  • Gather and organize information about the problem to be solved or the procedure to be improved
  • Interview personnel and conduct onsite observations to determine the methods, equipment, and personnel that will be needed
  • Analyze financial and other data, including revenue, expenditure, and employment reports
  • Develop solutions or alternative practices
  • Recommend new systems, procedures, or organizational changes
  • Make recommendations to management through presentations or written reports
  • Confer with managers to ensure changes are working

Recommended Reading

Vault Guide to Healthcare Consulting

Finding Opportunities and Getting Involved

Preparing to Apply

Coming Soon!