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Bill Laughey

Senior Medical Scientist


Bill joined Reckitt as Senior Medical Scientist and Nurofen In House GP in 2021 as part of the Pain Team based in Hull, UK having had a long interest in pain as a junior doctor and then as a community GP. He is also a medical educator and clinical researcher at the University of York, and earlier this year was awarded a PhD by publication of his thesis on empathy in medical education.

Freedom to succeed for me means there is always the opportunity to keep learning and developing. It’s never too late to learn or make an impact. I made the transition to working in Reckitt in my mid-50s, with only a clinical and education background and little experience of working in a commercial setting. Prior to working here, I was a GP with a special interest in headache and I have been writing papers on empathy in my university role for the last six years.

At Reckitt, you can make your own way.

It has been a steep learning curve to understand how the company works but in Reckitt you can make it your own. When I first started, I got good advice to reach out to people and establish what path was right for me. Nobody was saying to me don’t do this or don’t do that. It’s very much ‘go make it for yourself’.

And the culture really supported that. When I reached out, people were happy to help.

Continuous learning and sharing knowledge is just how we do things. My colleagues and managers have been so generous in sharing their knowledge. I became better faster because people were willing to share, and I could share as well, and that’s how I began to learn what the company does and what the opportunities are for me and my expertise.

The potential for my own growth and impact seems limitless now. When you’ve done clinical work in my case for 25 years, it’s really the same job. Currently at Reckitt my day-to-day work ranges from research and external partnering with universities and businesses, to education campaigns for pharmacists and consumers. I’ve kept learning new parts of the process because it’s what I like to do and I’ve been able to craft my role to give me that, but also, I’ve had the chance to contribute from my years of clinical experience. I’ve used my experience in pain management and expertise in empathy in Reckitt’s research on pain biases

Bill 3 (1)
Bill Laughey with his family at his graduation

Seeing more of the process means I can have a greater impact. Choosing my journey here has meant choosing the impact I can have. If you’re a doctor, the difference you make is one person at a time. When I help to research pain bias and develop education campaigns, the difference I make can be whole populations of people. In the case of gender pain bias, we can get the right educational messages across about pain.

The impact is just on a different scale. On a much bigger scale I can bring the same kind of benefits to people. I think there are a lot of medics who get a little bit more mature like I am with lots of experience and interesting insights who don’t realise there is this sort of opportunity because it’s difficult to connect these two worlds without the right environment.

Although working in a commercial environment was unfamiliar to me, it’s been an amazing learning experience. I have appreciated being part of a team of people – commercial and R&D – who are playing a key a role in relieving everyone from the burden of pain.

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