Shadowing a DoctorMarch 31, 2015
Pharmaceutical medicine focuses on the discovery, testing, development, monitoring, registration and other medical aspects of the marketing of medicines. Professionals who work in this field may work with pharmaceutical industries, research organisations or medical regulatory bodies.
Work Life in This Field
Pharmaceutical physicians work with a team, on one or more compounds at a time. The team is responsible for the clinical development and assessment of benefits and risks of the compound/s they are working on. An average working day will often include a number of meetings, learning and teaching opportunities and a lot of interaction with colleagues. The exact role and responsibility of the pharmaceutical physician may differ based on experience and their position in the job. Activities can range from clinical trials to handling of the media or giving various inputs for different drugs.
The plus side is that most pharmaceutical physicians follow regular office hours. Since there is rarely any on-call duty, a person in this field does not have to worry about working odd hours or through the night.
Pharmaceutical medicine is great for those who want to work beyond patient care. You will be exposed to a team of specialists who come from different backgrounds. This gives you the opportunity to gain different insights from experts from different fields and interact with a variety of professionals. This field also allows you to explore areas like business management and can help you develop and hone leadership skills. A job in the pharmaceutical industry is never boring and there is always room to grow.
Essential Attributes To Succeed In Pharmaceutical Medicine
If you have decided to get into this field, it is important to check if you have the skills to be able to handle a career in pharmaceutical medicine. Some of the most important skills you need include in-depth clinical knowledge and clinical judgement, expertise of acute and chronic clinical management and care, the ability to work well as part of a team and excellent communication skills. While research skills are desirable, they are not essential as the role does not involve research. However, you should have a basic understanding of the principles of clinical research, scientific research and evidence-based medical practice, including an understanding of basic research methodologies.
Opportunities and Challenges in the Field of Pharmaceutical Medicine
The pharmaceutical industry is a booming industry that is always looking for talented individuals. As a pharmaceutical physician, one of the more exciting options is that of working in the research and development sector of pharmaceutical companies, where the focus is on the invention of new drugs. These projects are often well funded and they give the individual the opportunity to conduct extensive research.
If you want to get into a more academic field you can choose to teach specialist courses in universities or train company representatives, clinical trial teams, nurses, investigators and other scientists in different capacities.
With huge strides being made continuously in science and medicine, it is necessary for those in pharmaceutical medicine to stay up-to-date with the latest drugs and medical advancements. This includes participating in research projects to understand new inventions better. Since this is a highly competitive field, it is essential to work hard and stay ahead of the competition.
Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.