A Day In The Life Of...
Each month, we interview a member of the team about what they do at Mendelian. This month, we’d like to introduce you to our Health Economist, Sneha Shankar.
Q: When did you start working at Mendelian?
S: June 2020
Q: What does your role at Mendelian involve?
S: I am responsible for measuring and showing the costs Mendelian can save to the NHS by helping physicians diagnose patients faster. This also involves showing how we can improve the diagnostic journey for the patient by helping them get a diagnosis faster and avoiding any unnecessary diagnostic tests, physician visits, referrals etc.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your role?
S: I enjoy the fact that I can apply my clinical knowledge and modelling skills in my daily work. It's very hard to find such a role and I enjoy this combination. As it is quite a niche area, a lot of the time I read up on what is available in the literature and its exciting to replicate these methods in your own research.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
S: Quite often, the role requires me to be extra creative and come up with ways to analyse and present findings and these differ from one disease condition to another. It's challenging to find the best way to show our impact. The hidden challenge is juggling work and caring for my baby girl :)
Q: What does a typical day look like for you?
S: I start my day with a hot cup of coffee and small dance to the 'nursery rhyme' of the day (totally dependant on my little one's mood!) Once I login, I looking at our Trello board to see what's the list of tasks for the week. We have a daily stand up call at 11 am and the rest of the day is spent finish up the daily tasks, calls with colleagues etc. On Fridays, I usually catch up with Orlando from the clinical team where we review the week's work and plan for the next week. The quizzes/ talks on Fridays are also something I look forward to every week.
Q: What is your background before joining Mendelian? What made you pursue a career in this field?
S: I am a dentist by background and I practiced for 3 years in India where I also did some work in diagnosis and oral health promotion. I then got a masters degree in Global Health and Policy from Queen Mary University in London which helped me understand the different dynamics in healthcare. My first role in health economics taught me a great deal and when I found out about the role at Mendelian, I thought this was a great opportunity to get into the diagnostics and digital health space. The team's goal towards improving rare disease diagnosis aligned with my interest in diagnosis and health promotion and also provided the chance to do economic modelling.
Q: What advice would you give to others that are looking to move into this field?
S: Digital health is currently thriving and quite competitive. It's a great place to be if you want to create a change in the way healthcare is accessed or provided, however small the change might be.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to add about your job that makes it more interesting/special than others?
S: As I said earlier, this is one of the few jobs that is suited for people having both a clinical and non-clinical background. Working at Mendelian is special as I get to work with clinicians, data scientists and various other departments all at once.
If you want to learn more about Sneha, then connect with her on LinkedIn here