From California to New Jersey and back to California, Tobias “Toby” Damron ’14, PharmD has come full circle. “Following graduation, I joined Novo Nordisk as a post-doctoral fellow,” Dr. Damron said. “It was rewarding to grow as a professional and diversify my skills. I was really surprised by the number of doors that a fellowship opened for me in pharmacy. Roles that were traditionally not thought of as for a pharmacist, or that I had not thought were for a pharmacist, were available to me.”
He shares a memorable experience from his fellowship: “I gave a diabetes market overview presentation to the entire sales force of 3,000 employees. It was really awesome that they trusted me to do a presentation like that.” The experience gave him a sense of belonging and made a lasting impression. He remembers thinking that the opportunity to present to such a large audience showed that he was viewed as a contributing member of the company.
Despite facing a sharp learning curve at the start of his fellowship, he felt that his time at Pacific honed his abilities and equipped him with transferrable skills. “Pacific does a really good job of keeping their students well-rounded,” Dr. Damron said. “The program’s emphasis is on being well-rounded pharmacists, good communicators, being involved in the community and being leaders. Throughout the fellowship these were the things [Novo Nordisk] emphasized and thought were important.” As a student, he was the vice president of Phi Lambda Sigma, Rho chapter, and a member of Rho Chi, Beta Omega chapter. In addition, he was a member of the California Pharmacy Student Leadership team and a project manager for Operation Heart.
For students considering pursuing a fellowship he emphasizes that there are “so many opportunities that maybe you haven’t even thought about yet a fellowship can open doors to.” Given the competitive nature of residencies and fellowships, finding ways to stand out from the sea of applicants is essential. Dr. Damron recommends taking the time to research the company. He elaborates, “From first-hand experience those people who do well in the interview are those who understand the company culture.” His advice is to find out who oversees the fellowship and, if possible, directly contact the preceptor. He adds, “Collect as many resources as you can about the fellowship and connect with the current fellows.”
Following his fellowship, he accepted a position at Novo Nordisk as manager of health care professional relations. In July 2016, he transitioned to the position of regional medical liaison. His territory covers Northern California, including Stockton and Nevada. “In my new role, I share education and resources with health care professionals,” Dr. Damron said. “Building strong partnerships and relationships to enhance patient care is my number one goal.”
By Anne Marie H. Bergthold