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How to Progress Your Medical Affairs Career

Posted on December 2022

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As an essential part of medical device and pharmaceutical companies, Medical Affairs is the link between the industry and the greater medical community. The sector offers a variety of roles that offer challenging and exciting opportunities to progress your Medical Affairs career in the mid-senior level stage.

Medical Advisor roles

Medical Advisor roles are mid-level positions on the Medical Affairs career path. This is an ever-growing sector, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s expected to experience 28% growth between 2021 and 2031. It’s estimated that for the full decade there will be around 56,000 openings for this role annually.

Medical Advisor roles are often the next step on the path for those in Medical Science Liaison roles or Senior Medical Communications roles. They’re also a potential starting point for experienced physicians who choose to enter the Medical Affairs sector.

Medical Advisor roles require a medical doctor qualification (MD) or an advanced degree such as a PharmD or a PhD. They also require excellent communication and presentation skills and the ability to think strategically.

Medical Science Liaison

Medical Science Liaison Managers are one of the more senior-level roles on the Medical Affairs career path. These jobs are a good option for Medical Affairs professionals at mid-senior level stage who are looking for career progression as they are in high demand, but they have extremely stringent requirements. Currently, 77% of MSLs globally have a doctorate degree, making this qualification almost imperative. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 13% annual growth in MSL jobs between 2016 and 2026. However, opportunities for qualified or experienced candidates are likely to be even greater as the demand for suitable candidates is high, and the talent pool is small.

Medical Manager/Medical Director

The most senior positions on the Medical Affairs career path are Medical Managers and Medical Directors who oversee all the company’s Medical Affairs activities in a specific region, such as Europe. Employment growth of 32.5% for this group of professionals is expected between 2020 and 2030. This is another area of Medical Affairs which there are plenty of opportunities.

Here too the requirements are stringent, and most Medical Managers or Directors are medical doctors, as the qualification gives them the authority to act as final signatories. In addition to this qualification, Medical Managers and Directors have advanced scientific knowledge and experience, and they can network with other pharmaceutical industry Medical Managers and Directors. Becoming a Medical Science Liaison Manager requires an extensive understanding of the role and of liaisons’ needs. You also need to have proven your leadership skills.

Take the next step in your Medical Affairs career

EPM Scientific has helped experts across Medical Affairs find their next role. Take a look at our latest Medical Affairs jobs, offering different work arrangements available from on-site to hybrid to fully remote, and find out how we can how we can help you advance your career.

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