Job Title: Director Data Management
Type of Company: A pharmaceutical company.
Education: BS, Biology, University of Massachusetts
Previous Experience: I worked in the pharmaceutical development field for a major biotechnology company.
Job Tasks: My job is extremely detail-oriented. As experimental drugs move through the development pipeline, there are strict regulations about data collection that govern every step in the process. Every medicine must be shown to be safe and effective and my job is to ensure that the data that is collected by the doctor (or patient) is accurate, so we can show whether the drug is effective or not. As an example: someone in a clinical trial claims he took a medication for a headache, even though headache isn't listed as a side effect or in his medical history. I have to make sure there is a match for all medications, side effects and medical history. This helps determine if the drug causes headaches or if the patient had a headache prior to taking the drug.
In addition to accuracy, you need to be able to understand medical terminology and contact the doctors who are involved in collecting the information. This requires an extensive knowledge of medical information and the ability to communicate it clearly to medical professionals. Most of the communication is in writing, since the FDA requires it and in order to write clearly you have to know grammar and spelling.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is developing medications that help sick people. Many of the diseases I work on are life-threatening and it is fulfilling to be able to make a difference in people's lives.
The worst part is dealing with medical staff who do not spend enough time or attention to the documentation I request, which requires extra work and frustration both for me and for them.
1. You need to be very organized and be able to multi-task.
2. You must be knowledgeable in the field of science and medicine.
3. Just get your foot in the door starting off and work hard to prove that you are dependable and a hard worker. This can offset any perception that you need an advanced degree.
4. Do not change jobs often, if you can help it. Even if a job is unpleasant you should stick with it to show that you can work under difficult situations
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