From the clinic to the company
Although I am on a different side I work on the same goal.
You were in clinical practice as surgeon for seven years and had just completed your specialist training. Then you became medical manager at Roche. How did it come to the change?
Being able to help patients is a multilayer process. In everyday clinical life one often encounters boundaries through the structures and the practical environment, especially in relation to new forms of therapy. In the pharmaceutical industry we specifically attempt to break through these boundaries. We are able to re-conceive therapies and bring them to the next level. This was a great motivation for me.
Was it difficult for you to leave clinical practice?
In part it was. I really liked working in my profession. Nevertheless: after a while the everyday life as physician, in my case at a large university clinic, showed itself with other facets than I had wished for myself at the beginning. In the decision the private perspective was also very strongly involved. As a young physician one usually has a limited employment contract or also overall legislative conditions apply with regard to the academic development, so that the own development is not only influenced by the performance of the individual, but also depends on restrictive external factors. This is different in the pharmaceutical industry and this also contributed to my motivation to aspire for a change.
Was the transition from clinical practice to office work easy for you right away?
Through the clinic rhythm I was initially tempted to do everything as fast as possible largely within the specified framework. I first had to learn to handle the flexibility in my new job. Just because I carry my office around with me all the time in the form of my computer does not mean that I automatically have to work everywhere and the whole time. The current situation gives me more autonomy and self-determination, which I had often lacked previously.
Do you rather work more or less today?
The work volume is similar. But I can organise my everyday working life much more flexible. There is no such strictly regulated working procedure like at the clinic with surgery, ward rounds, writing medical reports or similar. Through this the work also does not weigh so heavily in relation to the time within which I should complete the tasks, and I have the feeling of having more control.
In what way?
I no longer have any on-duty shifts and also my weekends have become more plannable. This has a positive effect on my private life. Instead more travel activities for congresses or medical events have been added. But I look forward to this because especially here it comes to extensive exchanges with the physicians. I find the view beyond the tip of one's own nose and the international environment to be very enriching.
Until now you have above all spoken about the scope of your work. Are there also differences in the type of work?
The high phases of severe physical and mental exertion, as for example occurs with emergency operations on-duty are no longer present. This does not mean that there are no high phases for Medical Managers, but I no longer have to perform any critical operations in the early hours of the morning. As trained surgeon this possibly weighed especially heavily with me. But this type of burden however applies for all physicians that need to take far-reaching decisions within a very short time. For a while I was happy to do this. But I could no longer imagine this being a permanent thing for me.
Are there any further advantages in a company?
I enjoy working together with colleagues from so many different disciplines. Through this there is much less competitive thinking; one is more prone to working constructively on the execution of exciting and meaningful projects. The goals are more long-term and everyone pulls together. This makes working together very enjoyable.
Do you still have contact to the clinic?
Of course I now no longer stand at the surgery table, but in my current function I still remain associated with the clinical side. As Medical Manager I review clinical studies or effect mechanisms, engage in exchanges with physicians and patients and intensively consult with them about new therapy options and the scientific data. Although I am on a different side I work on the same goal. I still have a lot of contact with my former colleagues. The mutual interest is very large.
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