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Q&A about physician careers in the pharmaceutical industry

How much do physicians in pharma make?

How much does a physician in the pharmaceutical industry make? How does the salary compare to clinical medicine? Will you have to take a pay cut to transition to a nonclinical job in pharma? Are industry salaries comparable to clinical salaries?

 

These are very common, and very important, questions. Many doctors have considerable student loan debt, so salary is a key factor in determining...

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Do you need another degree to get a nonclinical job in pharma?

A lot of people think that physician jobs in pharma must require additional degrees. Some think you need an MBA to get a job in pharma. Others think you might need an MPH, PharmD, or something more than your medical degree to get a job in the pharmaceutical industry. This is a very common misconception. Just as it is not necessary to have prior experience to get started with a physician career...

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How to get a physician job in pharma without prior experience

This is a key question, because almost all job descriptions for pharmaceutical company roles will list a requirement of at least a few years of prior experience. But if you don’t have prior pharma experience, how can you get a job that would give you pharma experience?

 

The truth is that prior experience is generally not needed for the kinds of roles that would be considered...

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What do physicians in pharma actually do?

This is a great question. In medical school and residency training, we get so little exposure to the industry, so career possibilities seem very mysterious even to senior physicians. To simplify, you can consider three main ‘buckets’ of physician jobs in pharmaceuticals. The career buckets are generally the same for doctors working in medical device companies.

 

Clinical...

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Why should doctors consider a career in the pharmaceutical industry?

First, it’s important that physicians DO take leadership roles everywhere in healthcare – and that means with patients, but also in the roles that some see as ‘the dark side’ – healthcare system administration, or with insurance and pharmaceutical or medical device companies. We’re also needed in government and regulatory roles. As they say, if you’re...

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Nonclinical careers for doctors in the pharmaceutical industry - an overview

What do physicians working in pharma actually do? Would you enjoy a career in the pharmaceutical industry? How can you get a job as a doctor working in pharma?

 

These are extremely common questions that I’m asked all the time. After a decade of a successful career as an academic anesthesiologist, I transitioned to a position as a Medical Director for a large pharmaceutical company....

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