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The Diary of a Medical Device Sales Person

by Lisa M Manley

posted in Business

Syndicate This Article
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Many people dream about jumping into the lucrative world of medical device and pharmaceutical sales. Although it is rewarding, it's also hard work and not for everyone. As those sales reps who work in operating rooms (OR) are at the top of the sales food chain we asked a successful medical devices sales person to share a week of his life on the road, meeting with physicians, in and out of the OR, traveling, so you could get some insight into what the job entails and see if you are up for the challenge.
5:30 am - Leave house to get to hospital for OR case
7:00 am - Arrive at hospital, prepare for OR case
7:30 - 11:30 am - Work in OR
12:00 pm - Leave hospital to travel to another hospital for in-service on company products
12:30 pm - Meet with surgeon over coffee
1:05 pm - Meet with purchasing department ensuring product has been approved
2:30 pm - Check in with OR team making sure everybody is educated on product
3:30 pm - Meet with surgeon on phone regarding case for Tuesday
5:00 pm - Call from OR team regarding surgery time and procedure details
7:00 pm - Drive to UMass, drop off instrument try for case inventory set with SPD
10:00 pm arrive home
4:30 am - Get up to get ready for day
5:30 am - Leave house to drive hour ' to UMass for a case
7:00 am - Sign into hospital
7:30 - 10:30 - Work case
10:45 - Meet with surgeon to debrief case and go over what product was used
11:00 am - Get instrument try into SPD (STERILE PROCESSING DEPT) wash schedule. submit PO with OR team
12:00 - Working lunch make calls to new and existing accounts. Confirm appointments for next few days
3:00 pm - Pick up instruments from SPD
3:30 pm - Leave UMASS arrive home at around 5:00
6:00 am - Leave house
6:45 am - Pick up coffee and donuts for OR In service
7:30 - In service Neuro OR staff on cement mixing and proper handling procedures
8:30 - 12:00 - Neuro case with cement, submit PO with OR administration
12:15 - Have sandwich with surgeon and de- brief case and implants
1:30 pm - Leave hospital, travel to other hospital
2:30 - 4:30 pm - Arrive at Children's hospital for a meeting with surgeon
4:45 pm - Drive home make calls to OR in NH
6:00 pm - Arrive home grab some food
7:30 - 9:00 pm - Home office work prepare for next day trip to New Hampshire
6:30 am - Get up and get ready for day
8:00 am - Leave house for 3 hour drive to Lebanon, NH, make work calls during drive
11:00 am - Drop off instrumentation at SPD
11:30 am - At hospital prepare for luncheon
12:00 - 2:30 - In service/ working lunch with OR team
3:30 pm - Meet with surgeon in office
5:00 pm - Check into hotel
6:00 pm - Working diner with key OR personal
8:00 pm - Check in hotel room
6:00 am - Leave hotel for hospital
7:00 am - Arrive in OR suite for 8 pm case
7:45 am - Meet with surgeon for pre- op discussion
8:00 - 10:30 am - Work case, get instruments down to SPD
11:00 am - Confer with purchasing on case in order to get PO approved
12:00 - 3:00 - Drive home
3:00 - 5:00 pm - Home office paper work and wrap up week
Total hours worked 60 hours
Our sales representative adds, "There is no typical day and certainly not a 9-5 type schedule. You work until the job is done and it's always best to start early. The middle of the day surgeons are seeing patients so you try and see surgeons before or after patient visits. I can always track them down in the OR if the situation warrants." He also added as a tip to aspiring salespeople out there, "Sales relationships are based on the 'top of the food chain' but in order to get things done you need to be respectful of the entire team."
What we can determine by looking at this rep's week, is this is a job for a hard working person, with a typical work week being 60 hours. A OR rep must be ready to leave the house early and get home late. You also need to be a road warrior. This rep drove as much as 3 hours for appointments. OR reps must understand clinical and hospital protocol and present technical information to surgeons and other clinicians.
About the Author: For career advice on the medical field and breaking medical news visit For all the tools you need to get the job in the medical field
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