If you are a physician who would like to become a part of a pharmaceutical board, here are tips to keep in mind when pursuing your next step.
1. Find an area you are passionate about, whether it is psoriasis, eczema, actinic keratoses, acne, lasers, fillers, and then start to try and publish papers on the topic.
2. Submit abstracts and present your findings in that particular area at meetings. If you consistently participate, you will start to be perceived as an expert in this area.
3. Reach out to the director or vice president of medical affairs at a company you may be interested in and propose a study you would like to conduct. The company may be willing to fund your study or reimburse your expenses if you present your findings at a workshop or meeting.
4. If the company is not willing to fund your study, but you feel it is worth doing, try to do it anyway. Try to self-fund it, or apply for a grant. For example, if your study involves the treatment of actinic keratoses, there may be funding available through the Skin Cancer Foundation.
5. Reach out to your local pharmaceutical rep and express your interest in serving on the company’s speaker’s bureau. The local rep can put you in touch with the individuals in charge of the speaker’s bureau. You must be willing to undergo a training program that will prepare you to lead webinars and workshop that will disseminate information about a new drug or device or a new FDA-cleared indication.
6. Don’t sit in your office and expect the opportunities to come rolling in. Try to visit the exhibit booths at meetings and inquire directly about key opinion leader (KOL) opportunities. Have a current copy of your curriculum vitae (CV) available. The more you can position yourself as a credible expert, the more likely you will succeed.
7. Obtain an academic appointment at a nearby university. It is gratifying to “give back” and interact with medical students and residents. Not only will they learn a lot from you, but they will keep you challenged, engaged, and motivated. The academic title will go a long way in raising your credibility when looking to participate in pharmaceutical boards, as an advisor, speaker, or consultant.
8. Find a mentor. Through many societies you can be “officially” paired with someone who can help you climb the way up the ladder to success. But it doesn’t have to be anything official. If there is someone you admire, who you feel envelopes many of the qualities you are striving to achieve, don’t be afraid to ask them for advice. They undoubtedly “got to the top” by being “pulled up” by a mover and a shaker before them.
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