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What residency to pursue in order to work in the pharmaceutical/clinical trial industry?

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Lavender213

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I have a strong interest in working in pharmaceutical development/clinical trials after residency. I hope to be involved in the clinical testing, translation of drug research into new medicines, safety of patients and research participants in clinical trials.

I am at the end of my 3rd year and I am trying to decide on a specialty that would put me in the best position to go after this. Anyone have any advice? I loved psychiatry and family medicine, not as fond of internal medicine.
 

candbgirl

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I know an Infectious Disease doc that does mostly this. She does tons of research and is heavily involved in clinical studies usually as the lead investigator. I should add that she had a Pharm.D. Before going to med school.
 

GoSpursGo

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Honestly, the answer is internal medicine-->heme/onc fellowship. You can get into pharma from other routes for sure, but onc is easily the area where they are most actively creating new drugs and will have a need for study physicians.

EDIT: you can also do it via peds—>heme/onc fellowship if you really want to. I mention this only based on your aversion to IM. But if your endgame is pharma I’m not sure that here’s any advantage to the longer fellowship training.
 
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hamstergang

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Wouldn't the answer depend on what type of pharmaceuticals you are interested in? You can go into pharma from any field. If Psychiatry interests you, you can go into that and be involved in psych med development, for example.
 

GoSpursGo

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Wouldn't the answer depend on what type of pharmaceuticals you are interested in? You can go into pharma from any field. If Psychiatry interests you, you can go into that and be involved in psych med development, for example.
Sure, but pharma has a greater need in some areas than others. Onc is a major money maker for pharma, and is an area where new drugs are constantly being developed—thus the need for medical directors to help run these trials. Frankly, simply graduating from an arbitrarily good fellowship program is probably good enough for an oncology medical director job, while you’ll probably need additional qualifications in other fields that are in less high demand.
 

gutonc

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Wouldn't the answer depend on what type of pharmaceuticals you are interested in? You can go into pharma from any field. If Psychiatry interests you, you can go into that and be involved in psych med development, for example.
Yes...but as @GoSpursGo mentions, if you want to be in pharma, you have to follow the money...and the money is in oncology (and rheum to a lesser extent). So you could choose based on interest, and work your a** off to get into drug development in diabetes or psych or what have you. But if you want a more or less "sure thing" Med Onc is as close as you're going to get.
 
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