Oct 24, 2022

MHSc in Medical Physiology Pilots Mentorship Program

Physiology Meets Business kicks off its second successful year!

Photo of several students from the MHSc in Medical Physiology
Some of this year's PMB mentees

What is Physiology Meets Business?

The MHSc in Medical Physiology – our Professional Master’s program – continues to grow and evolve to meet the specific needs of these diverse and talented students. Motivated by feedback from our first cohort, Program Director, Dr. Helen Miliotis introduced a voluntary mentorship program called Physiology Meets Business (PMB) for the subset of students who are especially interested in careers in the biotech industry.

“The idea for the program came about in conversation with my friend and colleague, Thomasina Spybey, who worked as a Medical Science Liaison at Biogen last year and now works as a Medical Advisor at Alexion Pharmaceuticals,” Dr. Miliotis explained.

At this year’s kick-off panel, Spybey – who is also an alumna of Physiology's MSc program – told the group how continuous conversation with a mentor strongly benefited her career. “What we’re hoping to achieve with this program is to establish that continuous relationship with someone, to build a relationship that could lead to a mentor being a thorough reference for you, to support you in the future,” she said.

Helping Learners Craft Their Career

Last year’s pilot program saw eight of our students paired with mentors working for top organizations from Eli Lilly to Roche. Student mentees valued the opportunity to learn first-hand about various careers and the opportunity to privately discuss any concerns related to the job search. Participants came away with industry-specific tips on effective resume and interview strategies, as well as advice on maintaining work-life balance. Mentors benefited too, appreciating the opportunity to give back, as well as hone their mentorship skills with a keenly interested student.

Nine students from this year’s cohort are especially interested in a career in biotech and are excited to work with their mentors. “I feel like the hardest part of making these connections is the initial reaching out. So to have that facilitated for us is a really unique opportunity,” said Lauren Pace, a current MHSc candidate. Daniel Singh added, “It's nice to be able to talk one-on-one with someone who's in the field. You get a better idea of if that's something you can see yourself in or not.”

Opening New Doors

The program also exposes students to opportunities they may not have considered. Tiana Murray said, “There are a plethora of jobs in the healthcare field that I wasn't previously exposed to, so having this mentorship is really cool. Just to hear at the kickoff panel about their experience, their history and education and how they got into their line of work was awesome.”

“A big part of what we want to do with the MHSc in Medical Physiology is really open these skilled students’ eyes to all the things they might do – and might enjoy doing – with their physiology training,” Dr. Miliotis said. “This mentorship opportunity provides an additional way to gain insights that help students envision a career they are well suited to and will love.”

As the healthcare landscape rapidly evolves, so too does the Department of Physiology, continuing to develop programming relevant to our students' skills, interests, and career goals.