Falling Into Planning and Landing in Medical School

Would you ever think that a career in planning could end with medical school? Well now you know it can!Doctors_thumbnail

I started working at Ogilvy Heatlhworld as a Science and Research Specialist within the Planning Department approximately four and a half years ago, right after completing my Masters of Public Health degree from Columbia University. One quick email of my resume to a craigslist post, and two weeks later I was working at Ogilvy Heatlhworld.

At the time, I worked with two other research specialists, one a scientist and the other a medical doctor. Our main function was to work with the planners who worked on healthcare accounts to provide scientific and strategic guidance that helped our clients achieve their business goals.

Over the four and a half years, it has been a very rewarding experience. I have worked on accounts across several therapeutic categories, including:

  • Depression
  • AD/HD
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Postmenopausal osteoporosis
  • Menopause
  • Nosocomial pneumonia
  • Complicated skin and soft tissue infections
  • Transthyretin familial amyloid polyneuropathy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Immuno-oncology
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia

One of the remarkable aspects of my trajectory at Ogilvy Heatlhworld was that I stumbled into advertising and planning as a career. However, over the past four and a half years I was able to learn about how to gather insights and translate them into best-in-class marketing strategy that has successfully created excellent creative that has transformed our clients’ business. One of the biggest challenges I had as a planner was taking the science and transforming it into something conceptual that helped the creatives develop campaigns across these therapeutic areas. Ultimately I have decided that, like fine wine, planning is just something you get better at with time. Today I can now say I see science differently.

My career plans were to eventually matriculate into medical school. It is with great pleasure, but sadness at the same time, that I share that I will be leaving Ogilvy Heatlhworld this year to attend medical school. My years of listening to patients in market research will definitely help me to be a much keener physician who will take a more holistic approach to treating my patients. But in retrospect, as I look back at my time at Ogilvy Heatlhworld, my experience as a science and research specialist has definitely equipped me with the right skills to become a key opinion leader (KOL) in the future. Outside of the obvious—that is, learning and understanding scientific content at record-breaking speed and simplifying it to a third-grade level—I am now able to:

  • Relearn how to pull an all-nighter to get the job done
  • Critically review fair balance for potential adverse events
  • Think of objections to challenge sales rep when they attempt to detail me about a product
  • To say declaratively…I know Ogilvy Heatlhworld did not produce that creative

Finally, without my experience as a planner, I would not have received my acceptance to medical school. It certainly provided me with great conversation points to discuss during my medical school interviews, which ultimately made my interviews stand out amongst other candidates. For that, I am grateful to Ogilvy Heatlhworld.

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