Owen Tan, IMNIS mentee in the 2017 MedTech-Pharma program in NSW (Macquarie University) [Image: Macquarie University]

“…through participating in the IMNIS program, I have gained skills and a network that are invaluable for my career.”

I am a PhD candidate (part-time) in the field of health economics research. At the same time, I am working as a health economist at Macquarie University. Prior to commencing my PhD, I was a research assistant at the Children’s Cancer Institute, and contributed to eight research articles on characterising the carcinogenesis (the origin/initiation of cancer formation) of childhood cancer. I also completed a Master of Commerce at the same time.

My PhD research focuses on studying the economic costs of childhood cancer and rare diseases, and assessing the economic values of new health technology. As the study involves the evaluation of personalised medicine, a microsimulation model, that simulate effects and outcome at individual level, is primarily used in the model development. I am also developing the model via analysing large health-related administrative data collections, and linked data collections, to investigate health outcomes following diagnosis of cancer.

Why did you participate in the IMNIS program?

I joined the IMNIS-NSW program in 2017 with the aim of understanding more about the consulting and health outcome/market access industries, and also building a professional network with the experts in this field. Through IMNIS, I was introduced to my mentor, Sarah Griffin, founder and principal consultant at MedTechnique Consulting.

How often did you meet with your mentor and did you prepare for these meetings? What was the best piece of advice you received? What was the most important aspect of this professional relationship for you?

We meet approximately once every 2 months. Through the initial meeting, we have discussed various prospects of career in consulting and the challenges that I need to overcome to achieve my career goal. Sarah has always made herself available for our regular meeting, and she has been encouraging me to step out of my “comfort zone” and engage with industry leaders. I am also very thankful that she always makes herself available for our regular catch up despite her busy schedule.

Would you recommend participating in the IMNIS program to your peers?

Yes. I found the experience very relevant and rewarding. The program is especially helpful for PhD candidates that aspire to seek career options beyond the academia.

What was the most rewarding aspect of the IMNIS program for you?

Through each meeting, my mentor would introduce me to her colleagues, and leading experts in the industry. I am very grateful for her willingness to help me expand my professional network.

Did IMNIS help you get to where you are now?

Although I am still in progress of completing my research project, through participating in the IMNIS program, I have gained skills and a network that are invaluable for my career.