Career Development

What Does a Medical Representative Do?

Find out what a medical representative does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a medical representative.

Medical representatives are the liaisons between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers. They work with doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals to educate them on new drugs and treatments that may be available.

Medical representatives commonly give presentations about these new products or services in an attempt to convince doctors to use them in their practice. They may also visit doctors in person to answer questions or provide additional information about a product.

Medical Representative Job Duties

A medical representative typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Educating the public about new treatment options or practices in the field of medicine
  • Identifying and contacting potential clients to determine their needs and interests
  • Maintaining a current knowledge of new developments in their field of specialty to help them provide informed advice to patients
  • Meeting with physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals to promote products and services 
  • Preparing product demonstrations and presentations to educate customers about new products or treatments
  • Developing marketing strategies and plans to promote products or services to doctors, nurses, hospitals, clinics, or other health care facilities or organizations
  • Coordinating with internal staff members to ensure that the sale is completed successfully
  • Explaining medical procedures or treatment options to patients who are unfamiliar with them
  • Making recommendations to physicians regarding equipment purchases based on their knowledge of the latest developments in the field

Medical Representative Salary & Outlook

Medical representatives’ salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $70,500 ($33.89/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $162,000 ($77.88/hour)

The employment of medical representatives is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for healthcare services will increase as the large baby-boom population ages and people continue to live longer. As a result, more medical products and services will be needed. In addition, technological advances in medical equipment and pharmaceuticals are expected to increase demand for these workers.

Related: Medical Representative Interview Questions and Answers

Medical Representative Job Requirements

A medical representative typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Medical representatives are typically required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Some companies prefer candidates who have a master’s degree.

Many medical representatives choose to study a pre-medicine program, which includes courses in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology.

Training & Experience: Medical representatives typically receive on-the-job training from their new employer. This training may include shadowing a current representative or a representative from another company. The training may also include learning about the company’s products and services, the company’s policies and procedures and the company’s sales techniques.

Certifications & Licenses: Candidates can improve their qualifications by earning a medical sales certification and completing additional training through an industry association.

Medical Representative Skills

Medical representatives need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Communication skills are necessary for medical representatives to have. They use these skills to communicate with patients, other representatives and supervisors. They also use these skills to communicate with insurance companies and other medical professionals.

Product knowledge: Medical representatives should have extensive knowledge about the products they represent. This ensures they can answer questions about the products and their uses. Medical representatives should be able to explain the benefits of the products and how they can help customers.

Time management: Time management skills allow you to prioritize your tasks and complete them within a certain time frame. As a medical representative, you may have many tasks to complete in a day, such as making calls, sending emails and visiting clients. By managing your time well, you can complete all your tasks and still have time to take breaks.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify and propose solutions to challenges. As a medical representative, you may encounter issues that require you to think of solutions to help your clients. For example, if a client is unsure about a treatment plan, you may be able to help them understand the treatment and convince them to try it.

Persuasive selling: Persuasive selling is the ability to convince a customer to buy a product or service. As a medical representative, you may be tasked with convincing doctors to use a certain product or service. You may also be tasked with convincing patients to try a new treatment or medication.

Medical Representative Work Environment

Medical representatives work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, and pharmaceutical companies. They usually work regular business hours, although they may be required to work evenings and weekends to meet with physicians and other health care professionals. Medical representatives travel frequently to meet with customers and attend conferences and seminars. The job can be stressful because of the need to meet sales quotas and deadlines.

Medical Representative Trends

Here are three trends influencing how medical representatives work. Medical representatives will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Technology in Healthcare

The use of technology in healthcare is becoming increasingly common, as it offers a number of benefits to both patients and doctors.

Medical representatives can take advantage of this trend by becoming familiar with the latest technologies and how they can be used to improve patient care. They can also work to develop relationships with companies that are developing new technologies, so that they can be the first to know about any new products that may be useful for their clients.

More Focus on Patient Satisfaction

As medical representatives focus more on patient satisfaction, they will need to find ways to better connect with patients. This means that they will need to be able to understand what patients are looking for and how to meet their needs.

In order to be successful in this area, medical representatives will need to be able to communicate effectively with patients and understand what they are looking for. They will also need to be able to provide excellent customer service and be able to handle difficult situations.

A Greater Emphasis on Preventative Care

Preventative care is becoming an increasingly important part of health care, as it can help to reduce the cost of treatment down the road. As a result, medical representatives will need to be well-versed in the preventative care products and services that their company offers.

This includes not only understanding the products and services themselves, but also how they can be marketed effectively to potential customers. In addition, medical representatives will need to be able to answer questions about preventative care and why it is important.

How to Become a Medical Representative

A career as a medical representative can be both rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to consider all the factors that will influence your success in this field, including your personality type, interests, and skills.

If you’re outgoing and enjoy meeting new people, then a career as a medical representative may be a good fit for you. You should also have strong communication skills and be able to effectively present information to others. Additionally, it’s important to be able to work independently and stay organized.

Advancement Prospects

Medical representatives typically start out working under the supervision of a more experienced representative. As they learn the ropes and prove themselves, they are given more responsibility and independence. After a few years, they may be promoted to senior representative or sales manager. The best performers may eventually become district managers, responsible for supervising a group of representatives.

With experience, medical representatives may move into other sales and marketing positions in the pharmaceutical industry or related fields. Some representatives leave the field to become pharmacists, nurses, or physicians.

Medical Representative Job Description Example

As a medical representative for [CompanyX], you will be responsible for promoting and selling our products to doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. You will be expected to develop and maintain relationships with customers, provide them with product information and samples, and answer any questions they may have. Additionally, you will be responsible for keeping up to date on new products and developments in the medical field, and communicating this information to customers. The ideal candidate will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and be able to work independently. Prior experience in sales, particularly in the medical field, is preferred.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand and keep up to date on the features, benefits, and use of all products in the assigned territory
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with customers, including physicians, nurses, and office staff
  • Educate customers on product features, benefits, and proper usage
  • Answer customer questions and address concerns in a professional and timely manner
  • Achieve or exceed quarterly and annual sales targets
  • Prepare and deliver presentations to groups of customers
  • Attend trade shows and conferences as needed
  • Maintain accurate records of customer interactions and product usage
  • Provide feedback to management on market trends, competitor activity, and new product opportunities
  • Stay current on industry news and developments
  • Adhere to all company policies and procedures
  • Comply with all applicable laws and regulations

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in science, business, or related field
  • 2+ years of experience in medical sales or customer service
  • Proven track record of achieving sales targets
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and presentation skills
  • Self-motivated with a strong sense of initiative
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with territory management and account development
  • Working knowledge of CRM software
  • Familiarity with the healthcare industry and regulations
  • Strong relationship-building skills


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