What is a Medical Representative?

A medical representative is above all a provider of information to make doctors and other medical professionals more knowledgeable. Medical reps bring new products, devices, and drugs designed to cure and aid a multitude of illnesses and ailments. Without medical reps, doctors would not become aware of new advancements in treatments, more effective drugs, and devices that provide enhanced treatment opportunities.

Medical Representative Job Description

Medical reps are usual assigned a geographical territory in which they operate. This can be as small as a few city blocks and as large as a country. Most territories are sized so that you can drive to most of your sales locations in less than a day.

A medical representatives job description may include the following:

  • Develop and manage an assigned territory with the goal of maximizing sales
  • Achieve quarterly and annual sales goals
  • Meet target call goals with a focus on top customers
  • Host product presentations to designated customers
  • Understand and address both business and scientific needs of healthcare professionals
  • Engage in meaningful dialogue with customers

Medical Representative Pay and Benefits

Much of the compensation for working as a med rep does not come from an annual salary. Instead, bonuses and awards are given out for sales performance. Additionally, there are many perks to being a medical rep, which can include:

  • Company car
  • Company gas card so you never have to buy gas
  • Company laptop and cellphone, usually one of the newest models (iPhone, Galaxy SII, etc.)
  • Expense account for your daily meals, as you’ll be on the road a lot
  • Opportunity to travel frequently
  • Corporate retreats where you may visit exotic location and dine on fine food

Types of Medical Representatives

The most common type of medical reps are pharmaceutical sales representatives, also known as “pharma reps” or “medicine liaisons.” These professionals sell, market, educate, and deliver samples of pharmaceuticals to doctors and other healthcare professionals.

There are also medical sales device representatives, or “med device reps.” These individuals sell the extremely expensive equipment (often millions of dollars) to doctors, hospitals, and other medical professionals and facilities.

Qualifications to Be a Medical Representative

Most of the training to become a medical rep is provided by the company that hires you. A willingness to travel is also essential, as much of your work is done on scene with doctors. Sales experience, especially in pharmaceutical sales, is desired by most companies, but for entry level positions you can still be hired without the experience. Some specific requirements that many corporations require are:

  • A Bachelor’s degree
  • Strong clinical skills
  • Sales ability
  • Strong work ethic and customer focus orientation
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
Most countries require some licensing of pharmaceutical reps, but this is usually taken care of by your company during your initial training.

Companies that Employ Medical Reps

Many companies employ pharma reps including:

Astrazeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Roche, GlaxoSmithCline, Novartis, Sanofi, Abbot Laboratories, Merck & Co., Bayer Healthcare, Eli Lilly, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Companies that employ medical device sales reps include:

Johnson & Johnson, GE Healthcare, Medtronic, Baxter International, Carndinal Health, Tyco Healthcare, Siemens Medical Solutions, Philips Medical Systems, Boston Scientific, Stryker