My UMSOP Story – Juan David Rueda, PhD ’19, global value strategy director, AstraZeneca

Juan David Rueda is a 2019 graduate of the PhD in Pharmaceutical Health Services Research (PHSR) program. He now works as the global value strategy director for oncology for AstraZeneca.

What was your path to the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy?

I’m a physician by training, and it was through networking at a conference called ISPOR, International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research, where I met Professor C. Daniel Mullins, PhD. It was through that connection that I ended up in the program. I did some visitor research activities before joining the program to improve my CV.

Why did you want to come to this PhD in PHSR program?

When you look at different programs, this is more oriented to opportunities after graduating, to go to pharmaceutical companies. There are a lot of activities like internships, fellowships, collaborating with pharmaceutical companies that other programs don’t offer. It’s a program that has an international footprint and is very well recognized. This School is very strong in those conversations, and that also provides visibility that is important when you are trying to get a job. People will know the school you’re coming from but also the type of research that they’re doing.

We have Pharmaceutical Research Computing, a center for data analysis in the Department of Practice, Sciences, and Health Outcomes Research, and that has very important capabilities for the type of data analysis that we do.

The location is very important. Being close to Washington, DC, being close to some pharmaceutical companies, to the FDA – gives you a flavor of what the opportunities are after you graduate and what are all the possible paths. That’s another a reason why I chose this program.

How did the PhD in PHSR advance your career?

The PhD helped me in different ways. The first way is a credential, and a lot of people look for credentials when they are looking for candidates. The second way is the PhD gives you the capability of solving problems in a different way where you are completely independent, and you need to find the solution to your problem. That’s a skill you learn in a PhD and you can apply to anything in life. PhDs have a different mentality on the way they solve problems and I think that’s why they are so important. The way we approach uncertainty is different too and is more rational, more structured.

What advice would you give to a prospective or current student?

The program gave me a lot of tools, from technical tools to soft skills. I think that’s important because in my naive perception when I was picking a school, I was picking a school that would just provide technical skills. In retrospect, I did a great job joining this program because it also taught me soft skills that are very important to survive in the corporate environment.

About the PhD in PHSR program: The widespread use of medications in society has created a demand for individuals skilled in the evaluation of pharmaceutical services and interventions. The PhD in PHSR program provides graduates with the theory, practical experience, and decision-making skills they need to become expert researchers and address a wide range of pharmacy-related problems. Learn more and apply today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © 2016 University of Maryland School of Pharmacy