Career Advising for PharmD Students by AstraZeneca

As a part of GMU College of Pharmacy’s ongoing Career Advising Sessions, a seminar titled ‘Careers in the Pharmaceutical Companies: Focus on the Medical Department’ was held on January 29th, 2019. The presentation was given by Dr. Hisham Farouk BCPS, Medical Affairs Manager, Respiratory Therapy Area, AstraZeneca, UAE. GMU PharmD students across various semesters, along with their Faculty Mentors participated in this event.

Dr. Hisham began his presentation, highlighting his personal career path starting from Pharmacy School to current Managerial position in AstraZeneca, and mentioned various

challenges and risks taken by him to achieve his career goals.

He classified the options other than Production and Research and Development (R & D), available for Pharmacists in the pharmaceutical industry as ‘sales’, ‘marketing’, ‘medical’, and ‘regulatory’ and explained the role performed by pharmacists in each of these job areas. He also highlighted the various skills needed for pharmacists to be successful in these job areas.

He further said, “I have seen a huge shift of more pharmacists occupying key positions in Medical department in pharmaceutical industries in the recent days”. He elaborated on the trainee/intern opportunities available for PharmD graduates, which can often lead to a permanent position for deserving candidates. He also stressed upon the rising numbers of opportunities for pharmacists in the area of Pharmacovigilance.

Dean Khalifa commented: We are happy to see multinational pharmaceutical companies discussing career options with our students. As PharmD students, their clinical knowledge and skills place them at an advantage as compared to their peers and make them more fit for Medical/Scientific roles within the pharmaceutical industry.