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What are the roles and responsibilities of a Medical Director?

Posting date: 16/06/2022
Author: Inside ICON

The book - 7+ Habits of Highly Effective Medical Directors - explains that Medical Directors are known to be the 'scientific expert, conscience keeper, and people leader, as well as being the external face of the organization’.

The role is wide-ranging, but essentially, you’ll bring life-changing and life-saving drugs to market. R&D amongst the top 15 pharmaceutical companies totaled around $114bn, highlighting just how much is happening in drug development. And you can be a part of it.

We’ve broken down the roles and responsibilities of a Medical Director at ICON into three areas. Read on to find out what those are and why a job in clinical research could be the right career move for you.

Medical monitoring

Medical Directors are key players in the medical monitoring of a clinical study. When assigned to a clinical trial - whether that’s in oncology, neurology, internal medicine, or another therapeutic area - it’s their role to ensure that every study is safe and effective. Working alongside medical monitoring associates, project associates, and other support staff, Medical Directors oversee a number of things, including:

  • Answering dosing questions

  • Reviewing electronic patient information and assessing their safety

  • Analyzing charts to ensure what’s happening to the patients should be happening

They are the key link between sites and sponsors and with that comes a lot of responsibility. Our Medical Directors choose to take on this responsibility because they care about improving and saving lives. These are the people that we want in our team

Act as an educator

Away from the hospitals and wards, Medical Directors work on a regular schedule where they can find a better work-life balance. The time that you’ll spend at work will be split across several duties, training being one of the core areas.

52% of life sciences c-suite executives revealed that talent shortages had an unmissable impact on their business in 2021. Like any good leader, you’ll help drive your organization towards success by ensuring that your colleagues have the right training. Not only that, you’ll ensure that external teams are trained in the right areas also. Within clinical research, all personnel must understand what a drug does and what effect it should have.

Be the expert amongst stakeholders

As investment in the clinical research industry ramps, so do the career prospects for clinical staff. Stakeholders, whether they are regulators, key opinion leaders, senior management, or clients, will rely on Medical Directors for their expertise. Take a bid defense process as an example. The business development team will propose a new clinical trial and during the vetting process, the Medical Directors are brought on board to offer guidance. Their role is to mediate a consultative conversation around the trial design and protocol. Perhaps the client wants to recruit 1,000 patients but the Medical Director knows this is not feasible because the disease or condition is rare.

At ICON, it's our people that set us apart

With our vision to be the partner of choice in drug development, we hire only the best and brightest in the industry. Our people are the main driver behind our success in being named the Best Clinical Research Organization.

And what do they get from a career with ICON? Our Medical Directors are part of a global team, meaning that you can find yourself working on large trials and partnerships with colleagues around the world.

We are growing our international footprint, and you can play a part in our expansion. Explore our current medical director roles and be part of our success story.

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