Global health: not just for doctors

Students entering the world of global health often times have one pretty obvious trait in common: they attend, have attended or plan on attending medical school. Makes sense, right?

Ananth Bhogaraju, the managing director and the head of Healthcare Services Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank Securities, told students last Thursday that the academic and clinical sides of healthcare are only half the battle. Instead, Bhogaraju put another option on the table: business.

“Healthcare is really a growth industry worldwide,” he said. Students with a background in medicine, who possess analytic minds and the ability to communicate well, would have a competitive edge entering in on the business side of things, he said. “Ultimately, I think the opportunity and challenge to [students] is to transfer the skills and knowledge [at Northwestern] to non-traditional career paths.”

Bhogaraju was invited to speak by the Northwestern Public Health Club, the Global Health Studies Department and the Department of Economics.

The president of the Public Health Club, senior Carolyn Huang, said she thought students would benefit from hearing about the business side of public health, a topic that most undergrads don’t learn much about during their studies. Huang said she hoped the talk would also attract students in the economics department to public health.

IMG_0831Holding a B.A. in economics and political science from Northwestern himself, Bhogaraju began his career in the healthcare industry at Salomon Brothers. He said he was hesitant to work in healthcare until he realized it would allow him to fine-tune his interests more than entering other industries, such as technology or media.

At Deutsche Bank Securities, Bhogaraju said he focuses on capital formation, or raising money for clients, who can be businesses, governments, or individuals. He also advises on mergers and acquisitions, which involves thinking through the social and economic implications of big business deals.

Students also picked Bhogaraju’s brain on a variety of public health topics, including the consumerization of healthcare, the place of telehealth in the future, and the role of grassroots research companies in the pharmaceutical industry.

Bhogaraju left the group with a last piece of advice: “If you haven’t thought about opportunities in the business of healthcare, put that in the spectrum of things you’re thinking about.”

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