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After completing five years of medical school, I was intrigued that I would soon be prescribing medications on a daily basis, with a limited understanding of how they were discovered and entered into clinical practice. The modern medical curriculum unfortunately contains very little information about the drug development process and the role of the pharmaceutical industry within global healthcare. My time spent at Boyd Consultants was therefore an eye-opening, informative experience and has inspired me to one day join this revolutionary industry.
I initially met Professor Boyd through the University of Birmingham’s Alumni Leadership Mentorship Programme. Through this programme, Professor Boyd generously offers his time to mentor University of Birmingham students interested in the fields of biochemistry and medicine. For the past year, Professor Boyd and I have had regular meetings, and he was able to provide me with some valuable advice pertaining to the worlds of medicine and pharmaceuticals. Through this mentorship, Professor Boyd kindly invited me to spend a week at his offices, so that I may gain a deeper insight into the pharmaceutical industry.
Seeing the global impact that the pharmaceutical industry has on healthcare has […] inspired me to think about joining one day.
During my time at Boyd Consultants, I was able to learn about the pharmaceutical industry through a variety of different lenses, and get a real insight into the industry’s role in modern-day healthcare. A significant proportion of my time was spent meeting with various senior executives in the company, including members of the Product Development team, the Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) team and the Medical Monitoring team. Seeing these smaller groups come together to achieve a greater outcome was fascinating and reflected the foundational importance of teamwork within the pharmaceutical industry.
I was also fortunate enough to speak to a current Pharmaceutical Medicine trainee, where I gained a much deeper appreciation for the role of doctors within the industry. Prior to this, I did not realise how varied this role could be, from working for a Contract Research Organisation as an investigator, to aiding medical monitoring in clinical trials or even developing a novel therapeutic product themselves. A key learning point that I gained from this week is that a career in pharmaceutical medicine is limitlessly varied!
In addition, Professor Boyd had very kindly arranged for me to spend a day at a Phase 1 clinical trial unit in South Manchester. It was truly intriguing for me to see the inner workings of First-in-Human studies, including the types of data collected on each participant, how this data is analysed and how volunteer and patient safety is maintained at all times. I was also fortunate enough to receive one-to-one teaching from Professor Boyd himself (whenever our schedules permitted!). During these sessions we covered a variety of topics, including an overview of the drug development process, how to analyse adverse events, how to interpret different regulatory documents and even some important lessons when it comes to running your own business.
Overall, I have had a tremendous experience during my week at Boyds! The team there had a huge wealth of experience, were passionate about their work and were keen to teach future generations of pharmacologists and drug developers. Seeing the global impact that the pharmaceutical industry has on healthcare has further inspired me to think about joining one day. Particular fields that caught my attention during my work experience included gene-therapy, novel surgical devices and the field of healthcare economics.
I would like to specifically thank Professor Boyd for organising this work experience, for teaching me about the industry and for providing me with the opportunity to explore the different angles of drug development. I would encourage any student interested in the pharmaceutical industry to reach out and gain some real-life experience – it really could be a career-altering moment.
I have just completed my Medicine degree at the University of Birmingham. During my time at university, I completed an intercalated degree in Pharmacology with Basic Medical Sciences at King’s College London. I am now due to start working as a Foundation Doctor in Birmingham.