Dr. Michael Oldani, PhD, MS, is the Interprofessional Practice & Education Director at Concordia’s School of Pharmacy. Dr. Oldani is a Medical Anthropologist, who studies human health, diseases, and healthcare systems. Read below to learn about his experience in the pharmacy industry and how he helps students.
What field within pharmacy interests you the most and how did you discover this?
I worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 10 years. During that time I became fascinated with the ethics of sales and marketing prescription drugs. In particular, I wanted evidence-based prescribing to counter or balance all the marketing claims that sales reps and advertisers make. Eventually, that led to doctoral fieldwork in Manitoba, Canada to work with Aboriginal groups on psychotropic prescribing as well as psychiatry.
Finish this sentence. I work in a pharmacy school because…
I want to help train future PharmDs on the frontlines of patient care. My goal is for them to bring a rational, evidence-based approach in order to counter the marketing claims of big pharma (when necessary).
What advice do you have for current pharmacy students?
Really maximize your time in pharmacy school. Ask yourself: in addition to a PharmD, can you enter a career that allows you to work in underserved communities? Or can you continue your education in a specialized area as a pharmacy resident? Can you add a certificate to your training (like an interprofessional certificate)?
Can you add a degree – like an MPH (public health) or MBA or Master’s in Natural Products? And finally, are you thinking about the marketplace?
Focus on medications that are popular, like biologics, and learn the medication class while you are in pharmacy school. Then plan on a rotation at a specialty pharmacy to learn more about that class of medications.
What do you love about working in pharmacy?
The combination of scientific/pharmacological interests with advocacy for patients and other causes – such as mental health, underserved populations, deprescribing, and opioid use disorder reduction.
What keeps you engaged in pharmacy?
It’s an ever-changing field that impacts so much – never dull! The intersection of patient care, insurance, pharmaceutical industry, health economics, and interprofessionalism. This nexus requires much attention from pharmacists.
Within pharmacy, what is your area of expertise?
Sales and marketing of Big Pharma, the mental health of vulnerable populations, interprofessionalism, and working with Native Americans and other vulnerable groups (e.g., seniors, mentally ill).
Are you involved in any current research projects?
Currently, I’m working on a manuscript, based on my dissertation, related to pharmaceutical sales and marketing (Tales from the Script) as well as other research into team-based care with refugee communities, like the Rohingya in Milwaukee.
I also like taking on Research Assistants to help with various projects and to help them with their own research work in order for them to keep thinking about their futures.
Looking for a student’s perspective? Check out what a recent grad enjoyed about the program.
Do you want to know more?
We are proud to have such knowledgeable and passionate faculty, like Dr. Michael Oldani. If you’re interested in learning more about the pharmacy program at Concordia University Wisconsin, visit below.