Dr Janise Chevrier-Lee is a Medical Director at Astellas Pharma responsible for the Prostate Cancer portfolio for International Markets and Greater China. As part of the regional leadership team, Janise develops and leads medical strategies, in close collaboration with her commercial counterparts.
Trained as an orthopaedic surgeon, Janise joined Bayer in 2017, as Medical Advisor managing the Oncology portfolio for Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei. Her work involved developing medical strategies for the colorectal, prostatic, and hepatic cancer assets. Recognised for her outstanding efforts, she was tasked with fronting the Prostate Cancer portfolio as Asia- Pacific Lead.
Having undergone Singapore’s most rigorous training in Orthopaedic Surgery positioned Janise ideally for her career change to Medical Affairs. The fast-paced environment, collaborative team efforts, teaching & training, demonstration of leadership, and constant keeping up with advances in medicine are some of the many similarities between her previous and current careers that keep her motivated to face tomorrow’s challenges.
What keeps you excited/motivated/driven in your role?
There is never a dull moment in Medical Affairs! I thrive on challenges and there are new things to learn on the job daily. Most importantly, knowing that my work contributes positively to patients and their loved ones inspires me to want to do better.
How does your clinician skill sets and knowledge help you in Medical affairs?
Experienced clinicians are highly sought- after in Medical Affairs and there are many reasons for this. The most obvious of which would be that we are trained physicians/ surgeons with medical knowledge. We are able to understand disease states and treatment modalities in a professional capacity. Indeed, my clinician skills and knowledge help pave the way to my career in Medical Affairs. Firstly, I know first-hand what clinicians need and want when it comes to interpreting data and choosing what is best for patients. The insights that I have as a clinician has helped tremendously in my current course of work. Secondly, doctors are required to keep abreast of the latest updates in their specialities. It is a skillset that all clinicians must acquire. This has allowed me to constantly update myself. Thirdly, surgeons need to remain calm in the face of all types of emergencies. This has empowered me to thrive in the midst of challenges from the different facets of my new-found career. Lastly, I would think the most valuable attribute is the spirit of teamwork. Surgeons work as a team in the OT- with other surgeons, nurses and assistants etc. My colleagues in pharma highly value this attribute of mine. I am able to positively contribute to all types of projects and assignments through collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, both as a leader and as a team mate.
What were the differences you encountered during your transition to the pharma industry?
One big difference would be that I no longer treat and operate on patients. That took some time getting used to. The other big difference would be having to understand the business. When I first joined, I had to learn and understand the business lingo so that I can collaborate better with my commercial colleagues.
What attracted you to join medical affairs?
Medical affairs is dynamic and constantly evolving. I love how I am able to still use my knowledge and skill sets from my previous career as a clinician to help patients. I may no longer treat patients directly, but I am able to contribute to healthcare on a different level. Working on clinical trials and research, identifying knowledge gaps and data generation, collaborating with regulatory bodies and clinicians – these are just some examples of my day-to-day work.The immense gratification from knowing that the work I do improves and prolongs the lives of patients motivates me!
What pointers will like to share to doctors who are considering a career in medical affairs?
The most important trait that you must possess in Medical Affairs is the ability to collaborate and work in a team. You will need to lead at times and at other times, be a positive contributing team player. Also, never be afraid of challenges! The transition into a new career may be daunting at first. However, with hard work, dedication and grit, one will be able to do well in a career in Medical Affairs.
If you are looking to progress your career in Medical Affairs then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.