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 not at the table, you’re on the menu. So doctors absolutely must fill this important need across the entire spectrum of our healthcare ‘system’ if we hope to influence it in a way that is good for patients.
Second, there are many professional benefits for doctors in nonclinical roles in pharma. It’s a very dynamic environment with endless opportunities to learn, grow, and do new things. You can use your skills in an entirely different way. And, you can make an enormous difference for patients on a macro scale – something that just isn’t possible in one-on-one clinical medicine.
Third, pharmaceutical careers can offer the opportunity to travel (or not), and to have much more flexibility with day to day schedules than clinical medicine allows. You can likely find a role that matches your interests, your personality, and your lifestyle.
So, by taking leadership roles throughout healthcare - administration, insurance, and pharmaceutical or medical device companies - doctors can shape the future of medicine for patients on a macro scale. A career in pharma is among those options, and should be considered by any physician looking to evolve their career or use their skills in a different way.