Translated from Ruoxian Jiang’s article published on the Global Health Program Official Wechat Account
Translator: Xingqi Dai
On January 17th, 2020, DKU’s Office of Career Services, the Master of Science in Global Health Program, and the Global Health Youth Leadership Club co-sponsored a field trip to health-related organizations. 30 undergraduates and graduates learned about future trends in medical research, technology and innovation through visiting several companies in Shanghai. The event’s aim was to open students’ minds to opportunities and career paths of global health students.
In the morning, the students visited the Institute of Parasitic Disease Control and Prevention of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Firstly, Director Xiaonong Zhou introduced the work and responsibilities of the CDC. Later, the students visited the exhibition room and gained a preliminary understanding of how to control the diseases.
Brief introduction of CDC: The Institute of Parasitic Disease Control and Prevention of the Chinese Center for Disease Control has 12 departments including schistosomiasis room, malaria room, vector-borne tropical disease room, drug room, and parasite pathogen room, etc. The institute is the national guidance center for the prevention and control of parasitic diseases. It is responsible for formulating laws, providing technical guidance and carrying out scientific researches related to the prevention and control of parasitic diseases and tropical diseases.
Will the center pay attention to addressing infectious diseases, such as the recent outbreak of coronavirus?
The center is focused on parasites and tropical diseases, and thus will not be responsible for infectious diseases for the time being. In the future, the direction of Chinese diseases research should be devoted to the study of the prevention of unforeseen tropical diseases.
Will you consider giving students in related majors some internship or study opportunities?
Actually, CDC has started to cooperate with some colleges and universities and has established a global health school in cooperation with Shanghai Jiaotong University. The cooperation covers three main aspects: 1. undergraduate courses 2. researches 3. international cooperation. There are also many cooperation researches and projects with Africa. We can also carry out similar cooperation with Duke Kunshan University in the future. We welcome undergraduates and graduates to CDC for internship and researches.
During lunch, Global Health alumni Jingyu Tong and Yunfan Ge shared with students their study and career path. They introduced IQVIA, giving students a deeper understanding of career options relating to global health.
Q&A Jingyu Tong
What kind of company is IQVIA?
IQVIA is a consulting company which provides third-party consulting services for pharmaceutical companies.
How is the working environment? Do you like it?
I like the working environment of IQVIA very much. The colleagues are very kind and friendly. We help each other and solve problems together. The common purpose is to make good projects. We can devote all the energy to the project.
What is your favorite project so far?
I am impressed with every project I have done, and I like all of them, because we spent a lot of energy on each project and learned a lot. There were many challenges in the whole process, but there will be a great sense of accomplishment after overcoming these challenges.
Q&A Yunfan Ge
Are there any connections between global health and consulting? Is it possible for us to work in the consulting field after we graduate?
Management consulting is a problem-solving task. Business management consulting mainly includes different types of work, such as corporate mergers and acquisitions, company listing, market research. The essence of consulting is to solve problems based on logical thinking, data analysis, and market insight. Common cases are divided into two categories: qualitative and quantitative. In healthcare consulting, quantification is very close to what we have learned about epidemiology and biostatistics. It mainly starts with researching about patients. Then, we determine the total number of patients and the final market size. The qualitative case is mainly based on questionnaires and FDG to determine the nature of things. In the learning process, especially the thesis writing, how to write a story based on our research, qualitative and quantitative data will be very helpful for one’s future participation in the consulting field. Especially, the curriculum of the medical and health system is very helpful to build our frame thinking ability. Fresh graduates are very welcomed in the consulting field. We recruit twice a year in spring and fall, and there are regular trainee internships. Welcome to join us.
I would like to ask you how we should prepare to enter this field?
Our summer fieldwork can be understood as the first part of a full consulting project. Consulting is divided into two main categories: primary market research (PMR) and marketing research. We are investigating a type of disease in the field, which is PMR. First, we need to do background research and formal analysis to determine the patient's blueprint, which is similar to the process of intervention and research of patients' medication. Our research on analysis is based on the quantitative data and qualitative reports we collect. Patient recruitment and doctor interviews are indispensable skills in consulting. Data analysis also helps us handle the raw data with a better logic.
In the afternoon, the students visited Medtronic. They learned about Medtronic's cutting-edge technology in the field of treatment and the revolutionary changes in the medical industry, which has provided new ideas for future practitioners. Then, students were impressed by the precision of medical devices as they visited Medtronic's Innovation Center.
Brief Introduction of Medtronic: Medtronic has operations in more than 150 countries and more than 350 locations, including cardiac and vascular businesses, minimally invasive therapies, restorative therapies, and diabetes. Medtronic uses biomedical engineering theory to research, design, manufacture and sell instruments or equipment that can reduce pain, regain health and extend life.