Robin Robinson, Kim Ribbink, and Taren Grom, Editor
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Mentor, Expert, Leader
Driven to innovate by Possibilities
Last year, John White ran 60-kilometers (37 miles) to celebrate his 60th birthday. Not only did he complete the race, but he used the event to create a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society (ACS). Called the 60 for 60 Race, it took place in July 2013, in New York, beginning in Mr. White’s hometown of Hauppauge and mapping through parts of Long Island to Crab Meadow Beach in Northport and back. The race raised more than $10,000 that day, 100% of which went directly to the ACS for cancer research. Mr. White hopes to run the Boston Marathon someday, and everyone who knows him believes that he will.
He brings the same determination, strength, and passion to his role as director, field based medical programs, at The Medical Affairs Company, where he has held a leadership position since the company’s inception. Colleagues say they are continually amazed and inspired by his enthusiasm, integrity, and his sincere love of the industry.
A natural leader and teacher, he knows exactly how to bring out the best in those he supervises; he uncovers the strengths of those on his team and is genuinely interested in mentoring others and helping them to succeed. His can-do, always-positive attitude is contagious to his colleagues and others around him. When a roadblock comes up, Mr. White is the first to suggest an alternate plan; he sees the silver lining, even in the worst circumstances, and somehow finds a way to make things work.
One of his career highlights occurred as a field-based clinician in his first industry job working on a GSK HIV contract. Starting out as a member of the field team, he was quickly promoted to Program Director and says growing and managing that program from six to 49 people over a seven-year period was rewarding; he introduced “newbies” to the pharmaceutical industry and watched them grow in their careers.
Serving as a tireless mentor to his medical science liaisons and clinical health educators, he has shaped countless careers. His leadership, professionalism, expertise, motivational style, and most importantly, his caring and compassion for all whom cross his path continue to inspire and motivate those around him.
Mentoring comes naturally to him, he says, and probably stems from raising two children and his work with scouting and a youth ministry.
“Mentoring is essential to help many of our tenured medical liaisons have a better understanding of how and why they do things — not necessarily what they do — as well as to advance the overall skills of those MSLs who are industry newcomers,” he says. “Additionally, mentoring is essential to improve the coaching capabilities of those who are ready to take on management responsibilities.”
His management strategy is to try to do less telling and more showing, and to lead by example through modeling behavior. One of the biggest rewards of his job is watching his teams succeed at their goals.
In his role at TMAC, Mr. White is the primary point of contact for his assigned clients, and he coordinates all recruiting, training, and activities of the field-based personnel, including liaisons, educators, specialists, and others in conjunction with respective clients and TMAC management. As director, he is responsible for the success of the program and he clearly identifies the goals and objectives to the field-based personnel and provides the tools necessary for them to achieve their goals.
Mr. White has led his MSL teams through the most difficult of external circumstances with quiet, calming, and effective confidence.
Several clients have requested Mr. White for additional assignments after working with him on a program. They are impressed with his knowledge and experience and the time he takes to become familiar with the science and technology behind the product to be supported. He is noted for his effective interactions with thought leaders in the medical field and he is a very effective communicator and, more importantly, listener.
In addition, Mr. White is well-respected in his community. He continues to be an active leader with the Boy Scouts of America, fund raises for cancer research — beyond his own race — and participates in many philanthropic endeavors.
Getting to Know…
John M. White
Title: Director, Field Based Medical Programs
Company: The Medical Affairs Company
Education: R.Ph., M.S., Pharmacology, St. John’s University
Family: Married; two children
Hobbies: Running, reading, music
Bucket List: Attend a concert a month; run the Boston Marathon; more travel
Social Media: LinkedIn, Facebook