A Career in Pharmaceutical Medicine

The Melanin Medics Blog Series showcasing black Medical Professionals in various Medical Specialties. Sharing their journeys, challenges and life lessons. #RepresentationMatters. This week we're showcasing a career in Pharmaceutical Medicine!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your career journey so far

My name is Dr. John FW Ndikum

Medical Doctor | Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Class of 2010

MPH | Yale School of Public Health, Class of 2018


Like many Black children inspired by Dr. Ben Carson, I was determined to become a neurosurgeon and began actively working towards this goal from about the age of 13. After several years of discipline, focus and dedication, I was admitted to Barts and The London Medical School at the age of 18. This marked one of the greatest moments of my life, and the consummation of a dream I had harboured since the age of 3 following a visit to the hospital.  


By the time I had graduated from medical school however,  I felt very lost. It was tough - here I was at 23, unsure of what I should spend the rest of my life specialising in. I did eventually find my feet in General Medicine, which I thoroughly enjoyed. 


Working within the NHS was a blessing and a curse; I was blessed to be privy to the inner workings of Europe’s largest healthcare provider but frustrated by my inability to overcome the structural limitations that at times prevented the optimal delivery of care. This frustration eventually blossomed into a passion for Public Health, leading me to Yale where I graduated with a Master of Public Health degree in May 2018. 


Why did you choose this Specialty?

During my time at Yale, I explored several options post-graduation and was attracted by the prospect of combining my interest in organisational management, medicine and public health. After some thorough research, it became obvious that Pharmaceutical Medicine fit the bill; I could improve the health of populations at both the downstream and upstream levels whilst being training to add ever-greater value and make a wider impact to the global village. 


What is Pharmaceutical Medicine?

'Pharmaceutical medicine is the medical scientific discipline concerned with the discovery, development, evaluation, registration, monitoring and medical aspects of marketing of medicines for the benefit of patients and the health of the community.