AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) recently appointed a new CEO who, besides having a business degree and spending years working in the pharmaceutical industry, was actually trained as a veterinarian. This inspired our health care analysts to wonder whether the most successful chief executives in the big pharma space are actually scientists and clinicians.

In the following video, Max Macaluso and David Williamson look for correlations between professional backgrounds and stock performance at some of the dominant players in big pharma, including Merck (NYSE:MRK), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY).

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.