There's a job post on LinkedIn for a Medical Communications Scientist at Genentech. The job requirements specifies a "Doctor of Pharmacy or equivalent with 3-5 years clinical pharmacy practice experience or prior industry experience." Now, when we see the word "equivalent," what exactly does that mean? An RPh? Would an MD or DO qualify? What about a nurse practitioner? A PhD researcher who has extensive experience with drug pharmacology?
In the world of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals (biotech and pharma), there are many job positions that may get filled by a physician, pharmacist, nurse practitioner, nurse, physician assistant, PhD researcher, etc. In other words, it's more critical that you have the necessary scientific and/or clinical knowledge to then translate that into the world of business. To have that level of scientific knowledge, you don't always have to be a physician. In some cases, they may be looking for a physician subspecialist (say an oncologist who has expertise in prostate cancer treatment). In those cases, it will be hard to find any other substitute or "equivalent." However, when you're dealing with more general positions in the biotech/pharma industry, then the requirements may not be so rigid.
After reading the job description on LinkedIn, my conclusion is that other healthcare professionals (beyond pharmacists) may also qualify for this job (remember, this is only my opinion). Maybe the folks at Genentech are specifically only looking for a pharmacist. I really don't know. However, I would not be surprised if the job gets filled by a physician instead of a pharmacist since quite a few physicians are out there looking for non-clinical career opportunities.
The job post is a "LinkedIn Exclusive — this job is available only on LinkedIn." To view the job description on LinkedIn, click here. Speaking of LinkedIn, I hope you'll connect with me: http://www.linkedin.com/in/drjosephkim