Calling the Pharma Industry! This is Why You Need to Hire More Doctors: Insight from Doctors Who Have Transited to the Industry

Two doctors tell us how the Pharma Industry is benefiting from doctors entering the field. Dr. Suraj Wilson served as a medical doctor for 10 years before transiting to the pharmaceutical industry in Malaysia. He has been with the industry now for over 15 years in the field of medical affairs.

According to Dr. Suraj, transiting to any new profession especially in an industry different from one’s experience is never easy, but adaptability is the key to success. Although doctors will experience some culture shock when they first enter the pharma industry, quick adaptability to a contrasting work culture is essential. The ability to be pliable and flow with the work culture is an important quality that will help doctors succeed in the industry. As there are many marketing and commercial colleagues in the industry, embracing their new colleagues and accepting the corporate culture is also essential.

The stellar thing about the pharma industry is that it’s not the color of one’s skin or one’s connection but rather, one’s performance that counts. The industry recognizes and duly rewards doctors who perform well in the industry. According to Dr. Suraj, many Malaysian doctors are now regional and global heads of pharmaceutical companies because of their outstanding performance in the industry.

Doctors who transit to the pharma industry contribute so much more to public health than is possible when one is in clinical service.  As a medical affairs practitioner who serves a bridge the gap between the company and the doctors, Dr. Suraj has educated many groups of doctors on life-saving research and new medicines. These doctors in turn, have been able to help many numbers of patients under their care. He points to the multiplication effect of his work on society.

Medical affairs practitioners educate both the internal stakeholders of a company such as those in sales and marketing and also the external stakeholders who are comprised of doctors, hospitals, the relevant ministry, the regulators and others about new medical discoveries and their benefits. In addition, the medical affairs division also serves as a “conscience” of the company to ensure that the industry stays true to always putting the patients first in all the decisions they make.

Dr. Janice Chevrier-Lee is an orthopedic surgeon who also transited to the medical affairs division of a pharma company. She found many similarities between her clinical life and her job in the pharma industry. Both are fast-paced environments, dependent on collaborative team efforts, focused on teaching and training, require leadership skills as well as constant keeping up with advancement in medicine.

As a medical affairs practitioner, she knows first-hand the clinical needs and wants doctors have when it comes to interpreting data and choosing what’s best for patients.

She notes that her insight as a doctor is helping her immensely in her current work. As a surgeon, she needed to be calm in emergencies and this trait has helped her in the face of challenges in her pharma career. As a clinician, she needed to keep abreast of developments in her speciality and she has needed to do the same in medical affairs.

Her most prized import from her clinical life is her teamwork spirit which her pharma colleagues greatly value as she collaborates on projects and assignments involving internal and external stakeholders.

There are many similarities between clinical life and work expectations in the pharma industry that would make transiting easier for doctors compared to the other industries. This probably explains why many doctors do indeed transit into the industry.  In an industry that is stable, where performance is highly valued and salaries are good, a doctor who is willing to work hard, is dedicated, and has grit, is sure to succeed.

If the Pharma Industry is looking for experienced and qualified doctors to serve in your industry, do contact us at Disruptive Doctors.


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