FDA Reviews in Silver Spring, MD | Glassdoor

FDA Silver Spring Reviews

Updated March 9, 2017
63 reviews

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Silver Spring, MD

63 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great people and work life balance (in 34 reviews)

  • It's fulfilling to go to work every day knowing you are helping support their public health mission (in 27 reviews)

Cons
  • Sometimes I felt as if I did not have enough work to do as an intern, as most full-time employees like keeping their work only to themselves (in 9 reviews)

  • As with any government agency, there can be a lot of red tape (in 9 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (1)

    "Biomedical Engineer at CDRH - Overall great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Biomedical Engineer At CDRH in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Biomedical Engineer At CDRH in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at FDA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    - Work schedules/hours are flexible.
    - Employees can work at home up to 2 days a week.
    - Great team culture in CDRH: I feel like everyone is dedicated to promoting public health, and people work together instead of trying to out-compete one another.
    - Work responsibilities feel important and gives a fulfilling feeling that you're making a positive impact on public health.
    - In my experience, management generally cares about individual professional development, is supportive of employees' education and supportive of individual projects of interest to them.
    - Can work on temporary 6 or 12 month detail assignments to gain experience in other functions of the FDA.
    - Get to work on a wide variety of important and interesting medical devices and collaborate with representatives from academia and industry to solve scientific challenges.

    Cons

    - Pay is low, even before accounting for the extremely high cost of living in DMV area
    - FDA campus is very nice and new, but location is awful: it is only accessible by driving, with horrible traffic in the area and on the Beltway.
    - Low pay leads to frequent employee turnover.
    - Workload can be very demanding.
    - Everything about CDRH is very different compared to CDER or other centers in the FDA, so communication among centers is difficult.
    - Advancement/promotion opportunities for engineers are limited which leads to lots of people transferring out of ODE review divisions to other offices in the FDA.

    Advice to Management

    Stop adding more and more diverse responsibilities to the ODE review divisions - it dilutes reviewer expertise/quality of work and leads to more burnout.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "Government Work with a Public Health Mission"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Compliance Officer in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Compliance Officer in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at FDA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Smart people,beautiful modern campus, government work with a real purpose in the goal of ensure the public health. If you are an ambitious driven individual with a scientific or legal background you will likely thrive in this largely collaborative environment. Government benefits, telework agreements in place for experienced staffers with reputable PMAPs. Great place to learn and grow.

    Cons

    It's the government things do not happen quickly. Inspections are managed by a group that does not typically communicate with the customers at headquarters. Training is managed on a first come first serve basis with no ready curriculum assigned to new hires to ensure an equal footing and therefore baseline performance proficiency. Needs modernize its paperwork-heavy quirky systems interfaces especially as it regards government travel; end users should be authorized to schedule their own basic travel arrangements. Approvals for these, supplies and training requests should be processed speedily and communication of any problems done immediately so there are no delays.

    Advice to Management

    Trust your people and invest in them to ensure that they are best prepared to deliver confidently and capably.


  3. "Good Entry Level Job"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Orise Fellow in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Orise Fellow in Silver Spring, MD

    Pros

    Important work, learned a lot about designing and conducting good research

    Cons

    Too much going on in my department to do good research--overwhelmed with review responsibilities

    Often moves very slow, even for a research department

    Very bureaucratic


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  5. Helpful (3)

    "Worst Work Experience of My Career"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Writer-Editor in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Writer-Editor in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FDA full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Stature of organization as the compliance body for drug and food safety. Federal employee benefits are outstanding. Great work facilities. Telework.

    Cons

    Given training only to be vilified for using it. Attitude of "we can't fire people," "that's the we've always done it here," is frustrating. Another former employee summed up the work experience well: soul-crushing.

    Advice to Management

    Stand behind you're employees who are actually following the guidelines set by the agency. Implement uniformity between the Centers, i.e., CBER should have the same processes as CDER.


  6. "data analyst ORISE fellow"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Research Assistant in Silver Spring, MD

    Pros

    good working environment and good co-workers

    Cons

    slow working pace, especially during snowing weather and holiday seasons


  7. Helpful (4)

    "CDER - Lots of Bull At Th is Ro DEO"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    Not many. Facility is nice I guess though very spread out. Takes forever to get to meetings and white oak is no where near METRO but campus is pretty.

    Working from home allowed but every agency offers that. Also FDA makes you wait months before you get to do that.

    At least Union membership is available.

    Parking is free but you will be very very far from your building unless you are a higher up. Add 10-15 min to your commute each way for the walk.

    Cons

    CDER has a few completely psycho managers - especially in the nonscientific divisions. Mine is a spiteful unpredictable liar who does not communicate, changes her mind constantly, plays favorites, does not back up her people to others. Regularly throws you under the bus. And has made her way by kissing up to other sad crazy women who have somehow risen to higher positions. Person has no skills required to be managing others and from what I have experienced and heard may have serious mental issues. DEOs mios - no wonder we have lost so many people. Morale is terrible, people have left or are interviewing, i hear there are EEO cases, lawyers and investigators poking around - not a good environment.

    If you are thinking of working for FDA or CDER ask about turnover. Find a way to ask others about the hiring manager. Working direct for an MD or PHD, you will probably be OK, most of them are nice. If hiring manager is anything else, keep walking, its not worth it.

    CRAZY number of meetings. As in constantly.

    No where near METRO.

    Parking is ridiculous, not enough spots somehow.

    Advice to Management

    Get rid of psycho managers. Stop tolerating the ones you know many have complained about and have tons of turnover.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "A great place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The work that is done at the various centers is very rewarding and ensures public safety.

    Cons

    Some employees feel a sense of entitlement to things that are contrary to public service. Such as automatic raises each year for just showing up to work.

    Advice to Management

    Be very careful about your selection of new employees. It is very hard to remove poor performing employees once hired.


  9. Helpful (1)

    "Chemist"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Document Reviewer in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Document Reviewer in Silver Spring, MD
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at FDA full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Lifetime job guarantee. They cannot retire you due to age. That would be age discrimination. It is almost impossible to fire a federal employee. If you are a deadbeat and do not mind collecting a paycheck for life, without doing anything, the FDA is the place for you! On the other hand, if you have any ambition whatsoever and want to make your parents proud of you, do not bother.

    Cons

    Nobody here cares about anything. Management does not care. D.C. stands for "Don't Care." The colleagues are deadbeats. The environment if hostile. Not just antisocial: hostile. People do not come to work. They stay home. Abandon hope all ye who enter.

    Advice to Management

    Management: please resign. All of you. Right now. You are no good. Oh wait! The Republicans are going to eliminate your jobs anyway. Never mind.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Great, fulfilling place to work"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Program Analyst in Silver Spring, MD
    Former Employee - Program Analyst in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at FDA full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    FDA has a great mission, great employees, and a good organizational structure. It's fulfilling to go to work every day knowing you are helping support their public health mission.

    Cons

    Management varies based on what group you're working for. Some managers are really bad. Make sure to get a good feel in the interview of who you'd be reporting to.

    Advice to Management

    Make sure everyone on the team is working hard and that there isn't any "government slack off" which is really frustrating for those who are working really hard.


  11. "Biological Tech"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Biological Scientist in Silver Spring, MD
    Current Employee - Senior Biological Scientist in Silver Spring, MD
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at FDA full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great work ethic; time management; technical analysis; troubleshooting problems;validations procedures; calibration equipment ; process reports and record management and team player and wellness to learn.

    Cons

    No advancement fast; pay is low.

    Advice to Management

    Interpersonal skills.



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