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Biomedical Science to Pharmacovigillance Specialist

  • Name : Chude Obuaya

  • Job Title: Pharmacovigilance Specialist

  • A levels/ equivalent :Biology & Psychology (A level), chemistry, English lit & Lang, BTEC Science (AS level)

  • Graduate degrees

  1. Bsc Biology

  2. Biomedical Science (PGDip)

  3. Biomedical Blood Science (MSc)

  • Favourite science fact

Induced pluripotent stem cells have been reprogrammed to behave like embryonic pluripotent cells, enabling the development of an unlimited source of any type of human cell for treatment

  • Journey in 3 Words

Long but rewarding
  • Briefly describe your role

I manage pharmacovigilance (drug safety) cases through intake, documentation, case processing and submission. I determine the seriousness, expectedness and causality of each case and perform follow-up if required.

  • What motivated you to pursue a career in science

I want each individual to be able to receive and access the best healthcare possible

  • Given your Msc the "lab " would be the expected route , how did you end up in pharmacovigilance ?

In my masters, we didn’t just focus on lab/clinical based skills we also branched into ethics, project management and case studies. The role I’m in found me, as I actually applied to a different role. But in this role I get to see how medicine impacts people and the way in which we can work alongside different healthcare industries to ensure patient safety.

I didn’t enjoy it, so I decided not to pursue it.

  • How did you decide “the lab” wasn’t for you?

I didn’t enjoy it, so I decided not to pursue it.

-whilst every part of science is important and impactful, I think some of the frustration when it comes to science/healthcare innovation can be the lack of public input. I enjoy interacting with people and I want to be in a role that allows me to interact with patients and clients to ensure that healthcare/science innovation is driven by the real needs people have. Also I believe that your work should be enjoyable and quite frankly, I find the lab boring.

  • How has your perception of “healthcare” changed over the course of your career?

So much bureaucracy. It’s clear that people aren’t always at the forefront of healthcare.

  • What advice would you give on picking universities

A Russell Group is nice on paper but it might not necessarily be the best place for you to go. Ensure the university degree suits the requirements you need to enter the world of work or apply for a PhD. For example, questions to ask may be is the course IBMS accredited, do I do research project or a dissertation in my final year.

  • How do you maintain a healthy Work- Life Balance?

I don’t allow my work define me. Work is what I do, it’s not who I am. I’m a Christian, so I believe God defines and gives me my worth. I live life more freely as a result.

  • Given the lack of adequate career advice, what advice would you give someone wanting to follow the same path ?

Use the platforms that are available to you e.g. Twitter, IG etc. don’t be afraid to reach out to those of us who’ve gone before you. If you don’t ask you don’t get.

  • How have internships helped you navigate your career path

I did a consulting internship in my undergrad and it reaffirmed my love for research and people-facing roles.

  • No career journey is a linear path, What are some hard truths you have had to face along the way?

There’s always someone with more experience and when applying for jobs there’s a lot of no’s before you get that yes. Sometimes you have to do a job you don’t like in the industry to get where you want to go.

  • What is your biggest pet peeve about how the world perceives science

That anyone can understand it to a professional degree. The world of science is large, with many different disciplines. There are niches that people dedicate their lives to. Reading a couple of blogs doesn’t mean you know what you’re talking about.

  • When considering your career path, how much has your potential salary affected your decision?

Job security and satisfaction are more important to me than pay, but I want to get paid my worth. But if the opportunity is good and progression is clear, then I can consider taking a bit of cut temporarily

  • Outside science how would you describe yourself

Funny, sporty and easy-going

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