🎉 Welcome to Elemed Inspired part 2 – where we share inspirational stories from MedTech professionals like yourself! 🎉
Instalment #2 features Michael Campbell – Head of Regulatory Affairs & Quality at Quotient
Michael Campbell joined Quotient (NASDAQ:QTNT) as the company’s Head of Regulatory Affairs & Quality in February 2019.
He has over 25 years of experience in quality and regulatory roles in medical device and in vitro diagnostics manufacturing. Prior to joining Quotient, Mr. Campbell worked at Occlutech Group, Maquet Cardiopulmonary, Beckman Coulter and Olympus in various leadership positions, providing leadership during development projects and external evaluations, regulatory agency interactions and authorizations and market entry/commercialization activities for products including blood grouping analyzers and reagents. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology & Chemistry from Berry College, Georgia.
What attracted you to a career in the healthcare industry? 🤔
I was not attracted to a specific industry. I was suddenly a college graduate with no plans for what to do next. Prior to graduation, my plan had been to join the Peace Corps. However, when I was asked to send my dental records so my remains could be identified if necessary, I changed my mind. I eventually found a job in manufacturing at a small IVD manufacturer (that happened to be making the first rapid US licensed screening test for HIV) and from there, I drifted into Quality. I then worked in various Quality roles in other industries (I was a taste tester for Ice Cream Production), before I found my way back to Medical Devices (where it is unfortunately, much cleaner), and have been happy ever since.
What do you love most about your job? 😊
The fact that no two days are the same, and that each day enables me to challenge a different aspect of my knowledge and to pass it on to others.
What challenges do you face? 🧐
While the whole Quality and Regulatory realm makes complete sense to me and clearly brings value to any organization, not everyone sees it that way. What drives me every day is to help other people in the organization (and beyond) realize the importance of the Quality and Regulatory role. I do so by focusing on my part of the task in a way that makes sense, contributes to – and does not hinder – success.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from working during the pandemic? 👉
I learned that while many of us can work just as effectively, if not more effectively when working from home, those 5-10 minute chats in the hall are more valuable than we think. Direct interaction can often solve small issues or resolve unclarity much faster than any formal online meeting.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in working in your specialism? 👍
Find a knowledgeable guide and jump in the cold water. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, talk them through with your guide and learn from them. Don’t be afraid to say “I do not know”, but then go and learn all the details so you can be successful next time. I would also advise to never think that there is only one way to meet compliance requirements. These are minimums. Get help from your guide and whenever you can, tailor the solution in a way that integrates seamlessly into normal practices.
How did you bounce back from a low point in your career? 😎
I took a break and some distance from the industry for a while to reflect on what had happened. When I discussed it with my guide, it became clear that I was being harder on myself than necessary, so I just jumped right back into the cold water and kept going.
What excites you about the future of MedTech industry? 💫
With technology advancing fast, the resulting capabilities are quickly evolving. It is exciting to adapt methods and strategies to align with these advances while maintaining performance and compliance. For example, the primary product that I currently support will be consolidating multiple testing methods (some of which are manual test tube-based) into a single automated system that provides 20+ results at once using a single patient sample.
What has been the most important moment in your career to date? 📢
When I began what has become the longest time I spent in an organization (16 years), my manager met me at the door, welcomed me, and showed me to my desk. He then said: “I am not sure what you are here to do, but I was told I needed you and that you know what to do.” I was actually hired to establish from the ground up a Quality Management System (QMS) for the entire North American Operations with only myself and a half-time colleague. Nine years later, I was sent on a mission in Europe. As I was saying my goodbyes to my American colleagues, that same manager said: “When you joined I had no idea what I was going to do with you, but now that you are going I have no idea what we are going to do without you.” These few words made the long hours and difficult conversations over many years more than worth it.
Who do you admire in the MedTech industry and why? 👀
Rather than one specific person, I admire my colleagues who are just joining the industry, and especially those who are joining from completely unrelated fields. Each of them brings alternate understandings and viewpoints. They have the drive to learn and succeed and will ultimately be part of the positive changes that we will see as the industry continues to adjust to change.
If you were reincarnated as an animal, which animal would you be and why? 🐐
I would hope to be able to come back as a dog at my house. I sleep whenever, wherever and for as long as I want, I just give one look or make a noise, and food is brought to me (people’s food of course), and any time I am not satisfied, others do whatever they can to change that unbearable situation.
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