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How is it transitioning from a patient care setting into the pharmaceutical industry?


Lireika Cabello Colon Georgetown, TX

I am preparing for my transition out of the military service as well as out of the direct patient care and hospital settings. I intend to seek employment in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically as pharmaceutical sales representative. I would like to gather knowledge on how to make this transition and how I can translate my skill sets. Additionally, I would like to gain some insight on what working as a pharmaceutical sales rep entails.

28 January 2020 4 replies Career Exploration



Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Here is a great contact who has worked in the medical/pharma sales for years.

Contact Info
Carl Meyer
Carl’s Profile

262-966-0191 (Work)

N68 W303930 Club Circle East Hartland, WI 53029 USA


January 22, 2013

He has a huge passion for veteran employment. He has fund raised by playing a 100 of Holes for Heroes on July 4th for many years. He does this all on one day and has raised close to $750,000 for Hire Heroes USA, an non profit veteran transition program. He will be very happy to assist you. Tell him Jerry Welsh gave you his name, I have know Carl for 25+ years. Good luck.


Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

1.)Get your tag line on LinkedIn to reference your are a psych RN, keep in mind this is what search engines will find when looking for you. 2) start connecting to folks in the psych pharma industry, connecting with existing sales and experience sales folks 3) seek informational interviews, seek information about the career, how people choose it, let them tell you about themselves, great way to learn about the industry, make connections and not tell people out the gate you want their job. 4) it is a "small" community, you will see people have bounced around from one company to another, also a lot of consolidations down sizing's after a merger. The first lie in a merger is nothing will change, the bottom line is looked at at high tenured, high salaried sales folks go first. 5) also network once you get your foot in the door, for the above reason. 6) the average 30 year old has an average tenure of 3 years, so you do not see lifers in the health care sales industry. 6) do your research on Glassdoor, as I departed the industry I saw certain medical sales markets not paying what they used to. Hec they market the psych drug to the patient and they go ask for it? Why do I need sales when I can market directly to the patients???? Worst decision the FDA ever made was opening RX to direct to consumer marketing. Enough old dog complaints. Do your research on the companies, find a good one to work for, know who they are and what they are like. Glassdoor is great and very accurate source.
Thank you for your service. God Bless Here are a couple of things that might assist.
Good examples of “to the point” profiles are Mark Broc, PMP, SSGB, SrumMaster, Domonick Steward, Information Technology Specialist | ISSO | Security+ and Jack Eisenhauer, Global Supply Chain. All have had long careers, but emphasized experiences and accomplishments that offer examples of the career they are searching for.


Steve Adolt Lancaster, PA


I've worked in the medical device, pharmaceutical and OTC industries and have contacts that could help guide you.

If you send me your resume to take a look at in advance, let's set up a short call to make sure I'm framing the discussion correctly and getting you in touch with the best possible connections for success.

Looking forward to hearing back from you!




Luke Thomas Redman Austin, TX

Hi Lireika, fellow CTX resident here. I have never worked as a pharma rep however I've been in healthcare a while and have a good idea of the role. Basically you do a lot of visits to physicians and NPs/PAs. From there the experience really depends what drug you are repping. As a psych RN you would be well positioned to rep for psych meds and so a lot of your calls would be to psych hospitals, SNFs, memory cares, etc. Sales calls can be actual presentations in offices but are frequently dinners or lunches that you organize and sponsor. A lot of what you are presenting is: symptoms your drugs treat, the mechanism of the drugs, and considerations for prior auth or other funding. All are practical considerations for your providers as they decide what to prescribe. Because you have to be able to get technical with the providers almost all pharma reps have hard science or clinical backgrounds.

In terms of transition the key is how to position yourself in the interview. Draw on your experiences as an RN, demonstrate knowledge of the relevant symptoms patients exhibit when needing the drug you are repping, and focus on your dedication to patient care. Like a lot of jobs your experience as a drug rep will depend a lot on what your manager is like. HTH!

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