Summer Intern Perspectives: Alin Kalayjian, AMCP Foundation/Pfizer Inc. Managed Care Summer Intern
I am very grateful for my experience in the AMCP Foundation/Pfizer Managed Care Summer Internship for Priority Health, where I spent ten weeks learning and exploring a regional managed care plan. It was a humbling experience to meet supportive, kind, and dedicated preceptors and lifelong mentors. Although I have participated in the Pharmacy & Therapeutics student competition through my pharmacy school, this internship was my first real step towards an immersive experience of understanding the structural approach of applying managed care concepts in a real-world setting.
One of my most important necessary internship experiences is the capstone research project that Ipresented at AMCP Nexus 2022. Since my first week at Priority Health, I was involved in getting the project up and running by writing the project proposal, submitting it to the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and finally obtaining the data. As a retrospective claims data analysis, it was necessary to spend significant time trying to manipulate and analyze the data. Along the way, I gained valuable technical skills, strengthened my critical and clinical thinking processes, and enhanced my presentation abilities.
In addition, I worked on many smaller projects. These include writing a drug monograph for Amvuttra while analyzing its clinical and financial impacts, defining quantity limits on tier 4 and 5 specialty drugs for the commercial team, working up prior authorization second-level appeal cases, presenting at journal clubs, and joining professional and personal development meetings. I have not only extended my knowledge of understanding different plans (Medicare, Medicaid, Commercial) but also grew professionally and personally. I became more comfortable networking and connecting with people in the industry by being emotionally available to my preceptors and equally comfortable asking their advice about my future goals.
This internship was unique because it had a managed care component, and weekly industry meetings with Pfizer added another layer of thorough understanding. The series of presentations and sessions gave me a deeper insight into a pharmaceutical company’s relationship with the payers, members, and stakeholders, where there are much more significant impacts and actions at play. Thus, I was able to see all sides of the turning wheel.
I am grateful to those who helped me throughout this internship, including Dr’s Christie Van Dyke, Travis Macfarlane, and Joy Wahawisan at Priority Health, who guided me through my project, supported me professionally and encouraged me to keep pushing forward. I also want to thank Dr. Tom Heard and Dr. Kevin Lynch at Pfizer for introducing me to the industry, guiding me through data manipulation on my project, and their forever support. Lastly, thank Ebony Clay and AMCP Foundation for giving me this fantastic opportunity.
Support managed care research and the cultivation of tomorrow's leaders by making a gift today!