Healthcare Research in the San Francisco Bay Area
Name: Shaun
Career: Research Associate
Company Field: Healthcare
Located In: San Francisco Bay Area, California
Grew Up In: San Francisco Bay Area, California
Graduated From:
Majored In: Finance, Psychology
Graduated In: 2011
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After College Lifestyles

Shaun is a research associate at a healthcare company in the San Francisco Bay Area. On a daily basis, he does research on people with kidney disease and spends time on site checking in with patients at the clinic. Shaun mentions that his job requires a lot of detail-oriented work as healthcare calls for a lot of paperwork.

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Name: Shaun
Career: Research Associate
Company Field: Healthcare
Located In: San Francisco Bay Area, California
Grew Up In: San Francisco Bay Area, California
Graduated From:
Majored In: Finance, Psychology
Graduated In: 2011

Quick Stats on Being a Healthcare Research Associate

Work Hours/Week: 40 hours
Work Hour Flexibility: Medium
Quality of Lifestyle Outside of Work: Medium
Work Stress Level: Low
Level of Routine Work: Medium
Interaction with Co-Workers: Medium
Pay Level (out of 5): $$

Life of a College Grad Healthcare Research Associate


I coordinate clinical research for patients with kidney disease, and work on quality improvement projects to help provide better care to patients on dialysis.

Research Associate's Daily Routine:

7:00 AM Wake up, make breakfast, drive to a dialysis clinic

8:00 AM Arrive at dialysis clinic, check email

8:30 AM Talk to a few patients in the study I'm working on. Do some basic procedures with the patients

10:00 AM Have a snack and read some medical articles

11:00 AM Fill out some forms to document study data

1:00 PM Eat lunch

2:00 PM Meeting with the nurses/doctors I work for

3:00 PM Data Analysis

4:30 PM Go to the gym or class

7:00 PM Make a big dinner and eat while watching sports/tv shows

11:00 PM Bedtime

Healthcare Research Associate College Grad
How To Get Into The Field
I studied Finance, Psychology and pre-medical sciences in college. I started studying business because I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life when I was 18 years old, and it seemed like a manageable major while I played college golf. I figured out that I wanted to go into medicine after my junior year in college, and I’ve been working towards medical school since then. I’ve taken classes at night for most of the last two years since I graduated from Santa Clara University.

What Do You Really Do?
I do a fair amount of documentation of medical procedures and other patient data, but I also work directly with patients a few days a week. My co-workers are mostly physicians and nurses so I learn new things all the time, and I get to write up our research and publish our findings in a journal when we’re finished with a study. I have quite a bit of discretionary time that allows me to read about new developments in the medical field.
Pros/Cons of Your Job
It’s a cool opportunity to work in research but not stand over a lab bench all day before going to medical school. I like that I’m always learning new things and I’m around cool people that generally care about what they do and who they do it for. The biggest con is the amount of paperwork I have to do to keep up with study documentation. Most people don’t realize that paperwork takes up a lot of time for most healthcare professionals. I think you have to be detail-oriented to enjoy this job and to be good at it; it’s pretty numbers-oriented and people don’t like it when you make mistakes in healthcare.

Golfing in My Free Time:

College Grad in the San Francisco Bay Area

Quick Stats on The San Francisco Bay Area

Job Opportunities: High
Competition for Housing: High
Housing Cost: High
Population of Young People: Medium
Nightlife: Medium
Safety: High
Biggest Industries: Technology, Online, Finance

The Life of a College Grad The San Francisco Bay Area


Living in the San Francisco Bay Area

What's it Like to Live Here?
The Silicon Valley offers a lot of opportunities to work hard and have fun. There are tons of technology startups and everyone seems to either be a programmer or entrepreneur. There’s plenty of diversity of people and small towns surrounding San Francisco that it’s tough to get bored here. The weather is usually pretty nice and the ocean and mountains are never too far away. It's awesome that there is such a diversity of environment from city to countryside in such close proximity.

How Did I End Up Here?
I grew up in Saratoga (South Bay - about an hour south of San Francisco) and currently live there. I went to college about 20 minutes from where I grew up. I’ve lived with my parents off and on since graduating college, which obviously has its downsides, but it’s a nice option to have while I save money for school.
My Set-Up
I’m living with my parents for about one more month before moving to attend school in a different state. My parent’s house is a quite a bit nicer than the 2 bedroom apartment I shared with a friend in Palo Alto a few months ago.

Closing Advice


Get really good at something useful and enjoyable to you, and never stop learning about it.

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