Written by: Irene Tsung
Dr. Kirchgraber is currently the Vice President of Global Laboratory Operations and Medical Affairs at Covance and husband to AMWA President Dr. Rohr Kirchgraber.
He graduated from medical school at Cornell University in 1988. Initially pursuing a career in internal medicine, he later transitioned to pathology and a nontraditional path in corporate medicine. He then obtained his MBA and became involved in management, global clinical trials, and pharmaceutical research and development.
He finds traveling and meeting people around the world incredibly exciting, as he has global responsibilities, often overseeing operations in the U.S., China, Japan, and Switzerland.
In 1988, he graduated in a medical school class of 38% women. Over the years, he has seen many changes regarding women in medicine. Specifically, more women are entering the field with some classes reaching up to 50% women. Fields traditionally dominated by men such as surgical subspecialties have more recently seen an increase in women as well. Lastly, women have helped shape, change, and improve policies regarding duty hours. At home, he and his wife split responsibilities taking care of their family.
Words of advice to medical students: Make decisions by following your heart. Talk to many people in different fields to get a better sense of what specialty will suit you best.