Alumnus Spotlight: Kai Yeung
Over the past 27 years, nearly 200 student pharmacists have taken part in our summer internships. We're pleased to highlight our intern alumni in this reoccurring feature.
Name: Kai Yeung, PharmD, PhD
Current Title: Scientific Investigator I, Kaiser Permanente
Internship Program: AMCP Foundation/Allergan Specialized Summer Internship Program in Health Outcomes
Kai Yeung, PharmD, PhD, is a pharmacist and pharmaceutical economist with expertise in patient medication-use behaviors, insurance design, and outcomes research. His objective is to develop and evaluate incentives to encourage high-value use of health care services. Dr. Yeung has conducted research evaluating policies focused on specialty drug access, value-based insurance design, the consequences of insurance switching, and financial incentives. He combines applied econometric and cost-effectiveness analysis tools with a clinical understanding of prescription drugs and health insurance design to gain new insights in these areas.
What does a typical day look like?
My work is primarily research. I spend my time thinking, writing research grant proposals, conducting analyses, interpreting and disseminating results. When I am not engaged in these personally, I am leading/collaborating/mentoring other research team members to do the same. In terms of setting, it looks like typical office work. In terms of hours, I have a highly flexible and but demanding hours. The flexibility comes from the fact that I can select my research projects and how I want to conduct them. The demand comes from needing to obtain sufficient grant funding to support my research and also since I find the work fascinating, I can spend many hours on my projects.
What types of managed care practices do you use in your work?
Having a deep understanding of benefit design, formularies and the pharmaceutical market overall is critical to my research.
How did the Foundation Internship prepare you for your career?
It was my first exposure to the managed care world and to pharmacoeconomics. In addition to conducting my project at Allergan, I spent time reading a seminal book in pharmacoeconomics “Methods for the Economic Evaluation of Health Care Programmes.” This gave me a solid grounding in how to think about pharmacoeconomics. I also spent time sharing our mutual learnings with the other Foundation intern.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Pharmacy school is a great time to explore different aspects of the profession. Try as many different things as you can. I encourage you to explore managed care; it is really fun and interesting part of the pharmacy world.
Originally published in the Nov. 2019 AMCP Foundation Insights e-newsletter.