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Tips for Recruiting and Training Pharmaceutical Representatives

Is Biopharma Missing the Mark on Recruiting and Training Sales Representatives?

In 2011 81% of physicians surveyed said they wanted Higher Quality Sales Representatives. Higher Quality means sales representatives who were better educated and trained, more experienced and consultative and competent when discussing clinical studies. This issue will focus on two things you can do to improve the perception doctors have of pharmaceutical and medical sales representatives, Recruiting and Training.

Recruiting
Over the past decade biopharma has been focused on recruitment of new sales representatives with the objective of winning the “share of voice” or “arms” race. Many people believe we have sacrificed quality for quantity. Years ago we used to hire nurses, pharmacists and nutritionists as sales representatives who had extensive clinical backgrounds.

Now that the “Arms” race is over, it is time to begin to hire representatives with more clinical expertise. There are a lot of reps with prior pharma experience to choose from now so make sure you determine during the interview if the candidate possesses a knowledge of understanding and presenting clinical data and discussing evidence based medicine.

A good way to do this is to ask the candidate to speak extensively on their previous product and look for depth of disease state knowledge. Determine if they understand treatments other than their own and if they can discuss clinical data.

Training
While the biopharma industry is known for rigorous training, our current methods are lacking. Physicians are willing and eager to see representatives who provide value by expanding their focus beyond product to include disease state knowledge and clinical research.

It can be as simple as understanding clinical problems your products can solve and discovering which problems the doctor is experiencing. The percent of doctors wanting more discussion of clinical studies has risen from 80% in 2005 to 89% in 2011.

This leads us to believe that the industry has not improved on this measurement, rather we are getting worse. I suggest a return to the basics of presenting clinical studies the way they are set up in the study abstract. Each study abstract is organized according to the SOAP communication format.

Biopharma may be missing the mark on recruiting and training sales representatives who are competent at discussing clinical studies and evidenced based medicine, but this can be reversed by improving the way we recruit and train new sales professionals we hire into this industry. It is up to us to give doctors what they want and need in industry representatives.

Field Museums Educate and Entertain

If you are into serious discovering, and I hope you do, because once you stop learning, there really is no need to continue existing, then there will be plenty of museums around about Seattle, Washington that will feed the mind while entertaining your family. The vast number of museums in this field makes it a very interesting place to visit. There are museums here that cover everything from the Klondike Gold Rush to Log Houses and many, many things between.

Additionally the pair museums mentioned above there are several interesting museums to visit while in Seattle. The first is the Museum of Flight. This is likely one of the museums that Seattle is most pleased with. It is consistently voted one of, if not the optimal of its kind in the country. Find the history of flight and even take a ride in a flight simulator or tour the original Air Force One. Irrespective your feelings about flying, I’m almost certain that someone in your group ( in particular when there are any boys) will see this museum to be of great interest.

The Northwest Railway Museum is another museum that is not just educational but also fun for the whole family as well. Visit the Depot, which has been fully restored to its originally splendor or take a ride on one of the trains. Whatever you fancy, your little guy’s (even your not so little guy’s) eyes will illuminate at the concept of riding the rails. The mission of this museum is to educate the public on the vital role that railroads have played in the growth of Washington State throughout history. I think they are attaining their goal quite nicely and am happy to be able to make more of the public aware of them and their mission.

The next museum that is a little from the ordinary and yet vastly interesting and educational is the Whale Museum. This is of particular interest if you are planning to do any whale watching although many people are visiting the fantastic city of Seattle. Whale watching is always a fantastic deal of fun and it is even more fun if you are armed with the knowledge that can be gleaned by spending a little time discovering about whales at the Whale Museum before you go any further your whale watching excursion.

The Odyssey Maritime Discovery Middle is another of the truly great museums that can be found in Seattle. This museum not just offers great resources and info about the maritime history that is so essential to Seattle these days but interactive displays that encourage children to learn and explore by doing. This is a great place to spend the day, but pay close attention to their hours for the day you are organizing to attend as this center has shorter weekday hours than most museums.

The Wing Luke Asian Museum is the only museum of its kind in the U.S. This museum is devoted to preserving and promoting Asian Pacific American culture, history, and art. This museum has a permanent exhibit that is prepared to remind us of the internment camps that were employed for Japanese American citizens during the Second World War. I feel like this, to a greater extent anything else is an essential reminder and worthwhile the visit and there are more exhibits that offer entertainment and education.

I hope that you will visit one or more of these great museums. I think you will be amazed to find how educational and fun they are actually for the complete family.

Career Training Through Online Education and E – Learning by 2010

The appeal of an online education through distance learning as an educational alternative is ever increasing. “Its presence will continue to grow”, say curriculum directors, who expect that by 2010 nearly a fifth of students will be taking some of their career training coursework through online education or E-learning at an online university or college.

Technological advances in medicine, aerospace, agriculture, the environment, communications and education permeate the world we live in. We have new drugs and vaccines, new ways to strengthen the immune system, the International Space Station, alternative crop and livestock systems, renewable energy sources, personalized information technology and E-learning, online education and distance learning.

oWith the introduction of $100 Laptops by MIT, E-learning will reach millions of children in developing nations like Brazil, China, South Africa, Egypt and others.

Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is working on a plan to distribute the laptops to schoolchildren. A goal of the project is to make the low-cost PC a grassroots movement like Linux or Wikipedia. The laptops will have a 500MHz processor, 1GB of memory and an innovative dual-mode display that can be used in full-color mode, or in a black-and-white sunlight-readable mode. Power for the new systems will be provided by electric current, batteries or by a windup crank attached to the side, since many countries do not have power in remote areas. The systems will be Wi-Fi and cell phone-enabled and will include four USB ports for connectivity. “The idea is simple. It’s an education project that will make online education a simple reality.”

Research has predicted that in the future more people will complete their studies at home as distance learning concepts continue to evolve. Over two million students enroll for online university and online college courses each year. Just as the world continues to change so must the conditions in which we live and learn. In a fast paced society we will see E-learning designed to accommodate busy students – time flexible, geographically independent, competitive cost and value and learner-centered. E-learning offers both synchronous and asynchronous modes of learning thus enabling a student to access information anywhere and at anytime. The numerous features and benefits of an Online Education and E-Learning will play a major role in post secondary career oriented education.

o E-learning is self-paced and gives students a chance to speed up or slow down as necessary

o Geographical barriers are eliminated, opening up broader education options

o 24/7 accessibility makes distance learning easy and allows a greater number of people to attend classes

o Travel time and associated costs (parking, fuel, vehicle maintenance) are reduced

o Online education fosters greater student interaction and collaboration

o E-learning is self-directed, allowing students more control over their learning process, leading up to a 60% faster learning curve.

o Web-based products allow instructors to update lessons and materials across the entire network instantly.

o Develops knowledge of the Internet that will help learners throughout their careers

o Exposure to resources not commonly found in standard classroom settings

Wireless technology has paved way for Mobile Learning, where one can easily access learning materials anywhere and at anytime. Instructional and communication techniques create an interactive online education environment including case studies, demonstrations, role-playing, simulations, streamed videos, online references, discussion groups, personalized coaching and mentoring, chat rooms, bulletin boards, tutorials, FAQ’s and wizards.

Collaborative education will play an important role in developing future Online Education and E-learning strategies. Almost all Learning Management Systems (LMS) conforming to E-learning standards offer collaborative networks, enabling students from remote areas to share knowledge and communicate ideas with fellow classmates from around the country and the world.

Virtual and Augmented learning will gradually replace existing scenarios thus giving a new dimension to knowledge management. Certain concepts which are difficult to imagine or simulate can be implemented using augmented learning.

As we make our way into the future we can appreciate and embrace the way technology has created education options that give us the flexibility to balance our lives. The future is upon us and it is up to each one of us to take advantage of what technology has to offer!