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  1. FDA Science Jobs and Scientific Professional Development

Mary Doi, MD, MS, Lead Medical Officer

“FDA provides a variety of onsite training opportunities and well-organized curricula to gain the specialized expertise necessary to perform our unique regulatory work. Continuing education and professional development opportunities are highly encouraged.” —Mary Doi, MD, MS, Lead Medical Officer, Office of Translational Sciences, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

Photo of Mary Doi

Q: Why did you seek a career at FDA?

Mary Doi: I was drawn to working at FDA because of its critical mission of promoting and protecting public health at the national and international levels. I switched from my clinical career in internal medicine to work at FDA so that I could focus more on the prevention of illness and disease on a wider scale.

Q: What does FDA offer that you can't find elsewhere?

MD: FDA provides a variety of onsite training opportunities and well-organized curricula to gain the specialized expertise necessary to perform our unique regulatory work. Continuing education and professional development opportunities are highly encouraged.

Q: What do you value most about working at FDA?

MD: I enjoy working with highly motivated and intelligent colleagues with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Everyone is genuinely interested in "getting it right" and have the safety and health of patients and consumers in mind for every analysis, review, and decision.

Q: What surprises you most about working at FDA?

MD: I am surprised by how approachable everyone is—from senior leadership to internationally renowned experts. Right from the beginning at FDA, I was able to meet with anyone and everyone to ask key questions to gain important knowledge and understanding to perform my job well.

Q: How is the science conducted at FDA different from science conducted at NIH (or other federal agencies), academia, or industry?

MD: The science conducted here at FDA is unique in that it is mainly applied and can have a quicker impact. For example, extensive data analyses performed for clinical reviews of drug marketing applications can lead to the approval of that drug within 6 months - and then obtained by patients soon afterwards.

Q: What piece of advice would you give to an FDA job seeker?

MD: The FDA.gov website has a wealth of information. I would advise every FDA job seeker to scour our website for any and all information about FDA's mission, regulated products, and organizational structures of the many different Centers and Offices within FDA.