School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Dr. Stuart Young – PhD Queen's University

Medical Affairs Intern at Sanofi Pasteur

Why Queen’s? What drew you to the PHMI program?

The PHMI program was a unique opportunity that I had not seen offered at other schools. Although it was a new program, I was confident in its value because of the industry partnerships and Queen’s academic reputation.

What were you doing when you entered the program? Why did you choose to apply when you did?

I had completed a PhD in biomedical engineering and was working as a research associate and adjunct lecturer when I applied. My goal was to apply my degree in industry, but without industry experience or a business background, the path into industry was unclear. The PHMI program offered not only an academic background in the business of pharmaceutical commercialization, but also an opportunity to get relevant experience and build a network of colleagues in the industry.

What has been your favourite experience so far? Perhaps an “ah-ha” moment that has changed your view on something?

I think my greatest revelation (and relief) was how relevant my PhD has been in the Medical Affairs department and the pharmaceutical industry in general. The skills I’ve developed during my PhD, for example performing literature reviews, critically appraising research, and presenting complex technical topics, have all been extremely valuable in my role within Medical Affairs.

If someone was considering taking the PHMI program, what advice would you give them? 

Do some preliminary research into what departments exist within pharmaceutical companies, and specifically into Medical Affairs. Understand what roles are out there and specifically which roles are available to new grads. Then, try to determine if your interest and skill set align with them. It’s been a rewarding experience so far, and I feel it has helped prepare me to reach my goal in industry, but that’s because I went into the program with a specific goal in mind.