Drug Safety Physician

Test new medicines for side effects, reactions, and interactions.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
~ $172,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Drug Safety Physicians do?

Got a cold? Can’t sleep? Going through radiation treatments? Whatever the ailment, it seems there’s a drug for it.

Although medications endure rigorous testing before hitting the market, their true test often comes after large numbers of patients begin taking them. That’s when new side effects emerge, sometimes resulting in the drugs being taken off the market. To avoid this financially perilous and life-altering situation, drug safety teams work to make medications as safe as possible, both before and after they’re released for public sale. Drug Safety Physicians work as part of the drug safety team, evaluating drug performance and making recommendations about their futures.

As a Drug Safety Physician, you’re a Doctor. Because you hold a medical degree, you understand how drugs affect the body and different types of diseases. That gives you a unique insight on what effects the medication has.

To understand your role as a Drug Safety Physician, you must first appreciate the process of drug safety. Drug Safety Specialists gather information about patient reactions. If any effects fall outside the norm, they’re reported immediately to the governing department.

That’s where you come in. You wade through piles of adverse reaction reports in order to identify patterns. After evaluating the evidence, you make a judgment as to whether the medication causes adverse reactions. If necessary, you recommend discontinuation of the drug.

Thanks to you, available medications do the job with minimum side effects.

Should I be a Drug Safety Physician?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Drug Safety Doctor

    How to become a Drug Safety Physician

    We recommend at least a Doctoral degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's. Check out these schools offering Drug Safety Physician-related education!
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