Dedicated to Healthcare in Developing Countries-By Hiroki Watarai, Alumnus of MID2011 Class
Let me be honest before I start my story and my relationship with MID, I'd like to explain three things. #1, I am a writer, specifically, a terrible writer. #2, this will be more of an op-ed piece, so it will be more than casual, and if I were allowed, it would probably have more than enough derogatory and explicit phrases from (one of my) native areas of New Jersey, but I will utilize my professional judgment and refrain from doing that. #3, most importantly, and all of my classmates from MID 2011 will remember (and forever hate) this, from a healthcare perspective…
It’s strange that it’s been over 2 years since I’ve lived in China and graduated from the MID program. When I first arrived to the program, I really did not know what I wanted to do or the direction I wanted to follow. However, shortly thereafter, with the help of our professors, and my classmates, I quickly picked up many life skills that I still use and continue to develop and grow everyday.
Working in patient safety and health has long been an important goal for me and it took my time at MID to figure out how to achieve my goals personally and professionally.
Most importantly, however, is what all the studies and experiences during my time at MID has led to. The program, not only taught me the history and framework of Chinese policy, but most importantly, learning true flexibility and adaptability, in any situation, by working with different types of people and cultures. Furthermore, my time at MID provided me with tremendous, unimaginable opportunities, such as the World Health Organization and Inter-Korean Projects, that healthcare professionals would not normally experience.
I currently work with Takeda Pharmaceuticals, as a medical science liaison, in the area of obesity. My main responsibility is to bring my company the latest research and knowledge in the therapeutic area of obesity to my medical affairs team. As obesity is a growing worldwide health problem that leads to other mortalities and morbidities, I have the opportunity to spearhead the transition between clinical research into real world experiences.
Last year, my career took an interesting path, when I had the honor of being approached by a start up, non-profit organization, Vennue (vennue.org), to be one of their founding board member. In fact, as I write this piece, today is the one-year anniversary of the organization. As a start-up organization, we have presented at the annual FIP (International Pharmaceutical Federation) World Congress, we have advanced the healthcare services accessed by approximately 500,000 patients by completing our first pharmacy education program in Bangladesh, and we are on the verge of expanding to 5 other Asian and African countries. This is where I can share a lot of my experiences and knowledge I learned during my time at the MID program because of my unique background, with healthcare experiences in a developing countries, and the unique opportunities to work on a grassroots level.
When I look back at what I have accomplished in the last 4 years, it would not have been without all the memories that I created at MID. It’s because of the professors, the education, and most importantly, the friendships that were created during my time there.
If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn. Feel free to check out The Vennue Foundation at vennue.org and follow us on our Facebook page as well! Thanks!