Career Paths - From Dentistry to Data Intelligence
Transition from clinical dentistry to the field of data and intelligence
Growing up in a lower middle-class family where making ends meet was a continuous struggle, I was able to break through otherwise insurmountable social barriers by virtue of education.
Although securing admission to one of the top dental institutions in India was a joyous moment, seeing hundreds of patients unable to afford dental care soon dampened my enthusiasm.
I have always loved to practise dentistry but the notion of assuming that healthcare is a privilege rather than a basic necessity, made me reflect on the need to restructure healthcare. Right now, the whole healthcare system is a conundrum with redundant and sub-optimal practices at every level, and a big fraction of our resources are getting allocated towards cure and treatment rather than prevention.
The scarcity of professionals who truly understand these intertwined technical challenges pushed me to go beyond the traditional route of delivering care as a healthcare provider.
After graduating from one of the top dental institutes of India, I decided to take the less obvious path, turning down a lucrative offer to join an established dental hospital and instead founding a non-profit organisation to provide free treatment to the underserved - the only dental non-profit from South East Asia to be recognised by the American Dental Association - treated more than 4,000 patients in the first two years of its inception.
The organisation received the coveted Rotary achievement award for its social impact in healthcare but despite receiving accolades, I was unable to secure funding from the Indian government funding for Aarogya.
I worked tirelessly and explored different options to find secure funding. However, without adequate funding for my startup, I decided to put my passion of providing affordable healthcare to all on hold.
Determined to succeed and with the desire to make an impact, I shifted gears from a caregiver role to one where I could pursue my dreams through the use of technology in healthcare. With a peek into the future, I pursued my Masters to bring technology and healthcare affordability under one roof.
Management consulting as a career
Over the last few years, I worked on several projects that laid the foundation for understanding the complex healthcare environment and ignited my passion to engender disruptive change in the current healthcare landscape.
These work-life life experiences have not only shaped my character forever but have also helped me learn about myself – who I am and what I can become.
I have been fortunate to work in healthcare consulting with a focus on pharmaceuticals and payers. I collaborated with internal teams, multiple pharmaceutical clients and engineering teams to create many robust data products over the past four years.
The past few years have helped me gain not only technical acumen but also tailor my communication-style to fit the expectations of diverse audiences.
Advice to the readers
The transition from a dentist to a management consultant has given me an opportunity to learn the perfect mix of freedom and rules, of dedication and focus.
I aspire to continue working for/with pharma-biotech firms and create strategies for their new product development initiatives. Ultimately, I see my role in leading new drugs to market and making decisions about capital allocation and drug commercialisation while leveraging operational and marketing efficiencies. I see myself as a leader in this space where I can become a part of the force to make tangible changes to healthcare.
About the author
Inderpreet Singh Kambo is a qualified dentist who now works for a life-science economic consulting firm, Charles River Associates, based in Boston, USA and is actively involved in developing various research ideas/concepts into product solutions while currently leading major patient level pharmaceutical data products for the firm.