Earlier this year, FCB Health (then Draftfcb Healthcare) introduced a new internship program labeled the “PharmD Internship Rotation.”
PharmD translates to a doctorate in pharmacy. Part of the six-year program is a nine-month clerkship that sends students to rotations in different institutions and fields within healthcare. The internship program at FCB exposes students to the full spectrum of medical communications with both internal teams and clients. Each student is given opportunities to develop and demonstrate skills in written communications, public speaking and analytical thinking.
The program has been a huge success and its second round of students — Tracey Li and Henry Lam — share some stories from their time at FCB Health.
Henry Lam, PharmD Candidate, St. John’s University
As a student, the corporate office world was foreign to me. I knew office jobs were possible as a pharmacist, but at an advertising agency? So when my school offered to send me to FCB Health for my experiential rotations, I was genuinely curious. Stepping out of the elevator onto the seventh floor, the first thing I noticed was the coffee bar, which blew my mind. The next thing I noticed was how open and spacious the office was. I couldn’t believe this was an office. FCB Health replaced any notions I had of what working in an office was going to be.
The next two months were a wondrous and eye-opening experience as I worked on various projects and products that introduced me to the many aspects of medical communications, helping me gain valuable insights on the process of strategic medical planning. (And after years of schooling, it felt satisfying to be using my knowledge for something other than exams.) The people of FCB Health are amazing to work with— smart, talented, and genuinely happy to be working at the agency. I want to especially thank Daniel Chang and Lisa Varghese for setting up this wonderful program, giving pharmacy students like myself an opportunity to experience a career path so different from the norm.
Tracey Li, PharmD Candidate, St. John’s University
The past eight weeks have been the most out-of-the box, unparalleled experience I’ve had as a PharmD student. The first day of my rotation started with news that the company name and logo were changing, as well as the massive bagel spread. Many would think the endless variety of bagels was what made for a memorable first day (who doesn’t love free bagels?) but it was my initial entrance into FCB Health that was unforgettable. A big smile and excitement overcame me when I first stepped off the elevator, a feeling that has stayed with me throughout my time here.
The structure of the PharmD program provided the opportunity to learn about the medical role in the advertising agency, FCB Health, as well as the medical education agency, ProHealth. ProHealth is a specialized agency and is an FCB Health company.
At FCB Health I worked with medical directors and strategic planners to conduct KOL (Key Opinion Leaders) and physician calls. I also saw firsthand how my insights were incorporated into a presentation. Then, I transitioned to ProHealth, where I worked on providing summary updates for a client, which encouraged me to stay on top of pharmaceutical news. ProHealth also brought me out of the office to MLB studios for the recording of a thought leader video that my ProHealth preceptor scripted.
Aside from the unbelievable projects I took part in, my experience in the program has definitely been shaped by both little and big things. The people I met and worked with are funny and lovable; the environment is open and inspiring; the couches and coffee bar are where some of the greatest ideas emerge. I am so grateful to my preceptors, Lisa Varghese and Daniel Chang, for creating and providing this opportunity and for their valuable mentoring. They went above and beyond.