26 May 2023

Fabienne Cotte: Managing Clinical Trials While Surfing in Asia

The first thing which struck me when talking to Fabienne was that she was currently working from Bali. She’s an avid surfer and she describes it as a dream come true to be able to surf everyday while working remotely. The second thing which I found really interesting was that Fabienne was the first guest ever on my podcast who considers going back to the hospital as a doctor at some stage. Not due to unhappiness in her current job but simply because she enjoyed working with patients.

But before I get ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning!

Fabienne Cotte is a doctor and now working as a clinical studies team lead at Ada Health in Berlin. She studied medicine in Berlin and started working at Ada Health as a medical student on the medical knowledge team. After that, she worked in the clinical evaluation team before joining Ada Health full-time after graduating as a doctor. Now, she’s working in the area of clinical studies, which I was quite excited to talk about with her because I could imagine that many medical students and doctors could be interested in working in a similar area themselves.

And that’s exactly why I think Fabienne is a great guest: While her career path is yet another one from those we’ve seen, it’s still something which seems viable for many medical students and junior doctors out there. After all, she still is working in a somewhat medical capacity as she’s dealing with clinical trials.

Things we talked about

  • How she got her first job in digital health already during her studies
  • Why she decided to continue working in digital health upon graduating versus working in a hospital
  • How it’s like to work from Bali: Surfing, productivity, time zone differences, coworking spaces
  • Why working in a different time zone makes her more productive
  • An example of a study they did in Tanzania which compared mid-level healthcare professionals using software versus physicians without software (with very interesting results)
  • How a typical work day looks like for her
  • How she had to start managing people a few months in to her job
  • Why she’s considering going back to work in the hospital to work as a physician in Dermatology some time in the future

Listen to the Episode

  • Fabienne on LinkedIn.
  • Ada Health: Where Fabienne currently works. A healthcare company in Berlin developing a symptom checker. Note that Matthew Fenech, a prior guest on this podcast, also worked at Ada Health, and I also worked there as Ada was my first consulting customer back in 2020.