Dr. Andy

Reflections on medicine and biology among other things

Monday, November 28, 2005

Recruiting drug reps

This is too funny
Anyone who has seen the parade of sales representatives through a doctor's waiting room has probably noticed that they are frequently female and invariably good looking. Less recognized is the fact that a good many are recruited from the cheerleading ranks.

Known for their athleticism, postage-stamp skirts and persuasive enthusiasm, cheerleaders have many qualities the drug industry looks for in its sales force.
I don't want to minimize the problems with drug reps, free gifts, etc. but I'd say the reps I deal with don't necessarily fit this stereotype. Roughly half of our reps are men and they range from attractive to regular guys. Of the women, many are married with kids (many of the men are too) and while not unattractive I don't think they were selected on looks alone (with possibly one exceptinon). Without exception, however, the good reps do have a cheerleader's personality. They are persistent, enthusiastic, and always upbeat, which I find unbearable.

Also note that the article is pretty light on actual data. They talk about several individual cheerleaders who've gone on to be drug reps, then quote someone who started a company to match cheerleaders with drug rep jobs saying he knows of hundreds of examples. Of course, he is not exactly neutral on the issue


At 4:48 PM, Blogger Barbados Butterfly said...

Where I work the drug reps are *always* youthful and attractive. When dressed in civilian clothes they are the people in new suits with fresh, stylish haircuts, cheerful smiles and no bags beneath their eyes. When dressed in scrubs they wear their hat like a fashion accessory; the drug rep women in the OR stand out for their full face make-up, tans, long painted nails, straight teeth, push-up bras and gold earrings/bracelets/watch/necklaces.
Of course, one of my favourite Gary Larson cartoons involves cheerleaders in the OR. It depicts a group of young cheerleaders in short skirts waving pompoms at an old surgeon standing at the operating table. The cheerleaders are chanting "Stitch Him Up! Stitch Him Up!" and the caption, if I remember rightly, was something like: "Productivity in the OR increased three-fold with the improved staffing arrangements".


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