When I started working at Bristol Myers Squibb almost a decade ago, I was motivated by the mission to improve patients’ lives. I was satisfied with my career path in Procurement, which gave me the chance to work closely with many areas across the organization.
Yet, on a sunny day in Mexico City in 2018, I realized I wanted to do more to connect and help patients directly.
In my role at the time as global procurement lead for Latin America, I was meeting with the medical staff from one of the largest social security hospitals in Mexico, a healthcare center that every day receives thousands of patients to treat serious diseases, like cancer. The visit was part of a tour to better understand the reality of what physicians and patients across Latin America face daily.
What I saw opened my eyes. For one thing, the hospital was overflowing with people waiting patiently in line to enter the building, many of whom had been there since the night before. Situations like that are not isolated, but unfortunately are very common in public and social security hospitals across the region.
Later on that same visit, during a conversation with an oncologist, he said something I’ll never forget: “What you are doing with your new therapies is really encouraging. I just wish more people would have the chance to access these kinds of treatments.”
That comment made an indelible impression on me and, on that day, I made a decision that changed my career plans: I wanted to get closer to our patients and do more to help them. One year later, I applied for an open position as Access, Policy & Advocacy Director, which was a non-traditional career move into a core business area. I believed it was a risk worth taking, and I drew inspiration from this quote: “Leap, and the net will appear.” I was honored when the general manager took a chance and hired me.