Mary Pinder-Schenck MD went from being a busy academic oncologist to developing clinical research infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa. A clinical research director at Glaxo Smith Kline, she started as an oncologist specialized in lung cancer. For 6 years after her fellowship training, she was extremely busy with patient care and tried to squeeze in clinical research projects – with scarce support in terms of funding, clerical help and administrative staffing. A successful doctor and a mom of 2 young boys, she had a breakthrough moment when she couldn’t make it to a party at her son’s school- a party that was very important to him and that most other parents were able to get to. She realized that since she wasn’t doing as much research as she wanted to do and since she wasn’t available at home as much as she would have liked, that she wanted to make a change.
Recognizing that she held an esteemed and valued position, and having developed strong years-long relationships with many of her patients, she carefully and meticulously looked for a job at pharmaceutical companies that she had worked with, waiting to find something that was really right for her.
She did find the perfect fit. She found a job at Glaxo Smith Kline, working on funding research projects and helping emerging researchers in sub Saharan Africa build the capacity for clinical drug testing, with the plan of developing new drugs to treat chronic diseases endemic to the region. Her day-to-day work involves reading research proposals, meeting with investigators, training researchers and teaching the facilities how to ensure quality in clinical trials. She schedules Skype meetings to stay in contact and doesn’t travel often, but has a trip to Uganda coming up to visit a research site. She loves her new work culture, explaining that is ‘normal’ to work regular hours and that her colleagues, male and female, acknowledge that everyone need work-life balance.
Dr. Pinder-Schenck says that is was tough for her to leave her patients and describes some of her patients as being anxious about what would happen to their own health care once she was no longer their doctor. But after she had developed such a caring rapport with her patients over the years, they were sad to see her leave, but supportive of her new opportunity and the fact that her new job would give her more time to spend with her family.
Dr. Pinder-Schenck says that the medical students and residents are not aware of the multitude of jobs available in the pharmaceutical industry. She explains that there are jobs for all specialties, including primary care and anesthesia, not just specialties that use complex medications in patient care, like oncology. There are even positions for doctors who do not consider themselves ‘research people.’ Jobs are listed on the career page of pharmaceutical company websites and recruiters are always looking for doctors to fill a variety of roles. In fact, Dr. Pinder-Schenck advises that once you start applying to jobs or contacting recruiters, you should be ready for many interviews, so she suggests waiting to make that initial contact until you are really ready to make the move.
Carlos M Barroso, MD
10/23/2017 12:00:42 pm
Retired MD with 23 years experience in Surgery, ER Medicine and General Practice, looking for non-clinical work on-line from home. I am 63 years old and fluent in both English and Spanish.
12/6/2019 11:54:49 pm
30+ plus of experiences in Surgery, Neuro-surgery, Medicine and Clinical research. Looking for Associate Director position in Drug Development, Pharmacovigilance
Heidi Moawad MD
12/11/2019 09:01:47 am
Dr husna Banu
12/29/2019 10:56:11 pm
I've done MBBS DLO from india looking for placement
1/6/2020 01:16:51 am
11/21/2020 03:40:58 am
I am an ENT surgeon with 10 years looking for a non clinical position.
11/27/2020 02:24:42 pm
11/29/2020 04:39:14 pm
Hello Pinder,I am Dr Akuma Ogochukwu a foreign medical graduate from Nigeria. I am thinking of moving to the US but to work on non-clinical jobs on other to have a work life balance. I am wondering if pharmaceutical companies have slots for doctors who are fresh out of medical school and have done only one year mandatory internship. If they do what are these positions and also the entry salary. Thank you so much and I await your response.
11/30/2020 07:24:54 am
2/25/2021 01:15:20 pm
Hi! Im 32 years old certificated psychiatrist in EU with wider experience in psychodermatology, woman mental health, depression and anxiety disorders interested in non- clinical position.
2/25/2021 02:51:09 pm
With these trials, there is sometimes little difference between the standard and the experimental treatment. The clinical trial drug is probably relatively safe having gotten to this point, but there is not necessarily a great chance that it will work significantly better than the older treatments.
9/27/2021 12:26:14 am
I would like to know the source of all information you provided!
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