SEAK faculty member answers the question:  How should physicians go about getting their first non clinical job?

The first job is always the toughest. I basically recommend that people start networking with either friends or colleagues or friends of friends who are working in industry to understand what other job opportunities there are, what the roles are like what they involve so that they have an understanding of maybe the area that they would like to go into from a job perspective as a medical director, medical science liaison, regulatory affairs, or maybe as a scientist. Once they know that, then they can start looking at companies that maybe they can best apply their existing knowledge and skills. Usually, that’s in the same therapeutic area that they are looking at, one that they’ve been practicing in for years. That way they can offer the company their knowledge and expertise of a given therapeutic area while the company will offer them an opportunity to learn how to work within the company and to fulfill their day to day job requirements.

Besides networking, going online to sites like, reading industry publications such as The Pink Sheet or The Gray Sheet, or Fierce Biotech, and give people inside knowledge of what the industry is involved in so they sound credible when they go on their first interviews. Also, taking a number of courses, say in regulatory affairs or new product development, again, so that they are familiar with the language of the industry so that when they go in to an interview they sound credible and knowledgeable, even if they don’t have a lot of industry experience. Once they get that first opportunity, then it will be easier to parlay that into the next opportunity and start looking at growing up in their career ladder.