NEW PROGRAM: Medical Science Liaison Mentor / Mentee Program

NEW PROGRAM: Medical Science Liaison Mentor / Mentee Program

The MSL Society is excited to announce and launch the first of its kind Medical Science Liaison Mentor / Mentee Program. This program is complimentary for members of the MSL Society.  

The MSL Society is dedicated to helping MSLs advance in their careers and the program pairs new MSLs with more experienced MSLs on an informal basis for the purpose of providing one-on-one guidance and advice to the newer MSLs (mentees.) An experienced MSL will volunteer to serve as a mentor to a less experienced MSL (mentee) for at least a period of one year, during which time the mentor and mentee are encouraged to communicate on a monthly basis for discussions on mutually agreed topics.

The mentor will be encouraged to share experiences, feedback, and provide insights related to career guidance or career advancement. The mentee should enter into the mentor relationship with the goal of career enhancement and professional development. The program is not designed to be a substitute for internal management, HR, or other services offered through the mentee’s company. 

Both mentors and mentees must be current members of the MSL Society in order to participate and the following guidelines must be met:

•     Mentors must have at least 5 years of MSL experience

•     Mentees are those recently hired MSLs with less than 1 year of experience

•     Both mentors and mentees must be current members of the MSL Society in order to participate

•     This program is not available for aspiring MSLs (those interested in becoming an MSL)

The program is being managed by highly experienced MSLs who have extensive experience in managing mentor programs:

Christine Vaupel, PhD – MSL Mentoring Program Director,  Sr. Medical Science Liaison, Genoptix, a Novartis Company

Jinah Lee, PharmD – ‪Sr. Medical Science Liaison, GSK

If you are interested in participating in the MSL Mentoring Program or for a list of FAQ-see here: https://www.themsls.org/msl-mentor-program 

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

 

Dr. Samuel Dyer is the Chairman of the Board of the MSL Society and the author of “The Medical Science Liaison Career Guide: How to Break Into Your First Role“, the first step-by-step guide ever published on how to successfully land your first MSL role.

Robert Groebel Explains the Importance of Stakeholder Engagement for Organizations

Why is it so important for organizations to reconsider their approach to stakeholder engagement?

In today’s evolved healthcare landscape, the success or failure of a new therapeutic intervention is dependent on how effectively an organization is at engaging a broadening range of stakeholders. While access to physicians continues to diminish, companies are now tasked with understanding the needs and impact of hospital administrators, payers, policymakers, advocacy groups, and patients themselves. Companies must accurately identify this evolving group, and then reach out using aligned channels and data appropriate to the products current life cycle stage.

What are the limitations to current approaches?

The life sciences industry faces a multitude of new stakeholders, who have new ways to consume information about emerging products. Companies who fail to proactively seek out opportunities to educate physicians, health system executives, payers, patient advocacy groups, and patient-consumers, risk ceding the conversation to competing information sources. Many struggle to create comprehensive, up-to-date profiles of stakeholders, which is an important step towards enhanced engagement.

New approaches to stakeholder identification should give companies access to a wide array of data sources to help build a stakeholder network, such as surveys, expert interviews, claims data, unique affiliations, and sentiment data. The result is a rich stakeholder profile that conveys brand sentiment and network of influence, along with traditional data points such as current contact information.

Are there ways to use this data in a more strategic manner?

Effective stakeholder engagement depends on creating proactive and reactive strategies unique to the scientific needs of each stakeholder.  At the same time developing deep insights aligned to leverage positive scientific support and at times understand or neutralize negative sentiment. Best practices require proactive matching between the stakeholders, the phase of the product lifecycle, and the preferred communication channel.  Companies need new stakeholder engagement approaches that will help them learn from each interaction and help define engagement opportunities. Finally, the industry must leverage metrics to convert meaningful engagement into better outcomes for patients.

How can organizations create competitive advantage relative to the therapeutic landscape?

Life sciences companies have the opportunity to learn from and leverage a wider group of stakeholders than ever before. Understanding the scientific sentiment of an entire landscape allows organizations to gauge their individual scientific share of voice and determine accurately how it compares to their closest competitors.  This level of visibility will reveal strategic opportunities as well as illustrate the impact of their scientific efforts.

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

Dr. Christine Vaupel explains Why the MSL Mentoring Program is important to the MSL Career

Why is the MSL Society adding an MSL Mentoring Program?

Over time there has been consistent feedback from members that has revealed a need for mentoring. The MSL Mentoring Program is designed to help new MSLs accelerate professional development and is not designed to be a substitute for internal management, HR or other services offered through mentee’s company.  

Why does mentoring matter?

Mentoring is an extremely effective way for people to develop new skills, and understand how to deal with people and problems. Mentoring predicts career success.  In fact, research shows that mentoring is correlated with better performance, increased salary and more promotions.  Both mentors and mentees have higher job satisfaction, increased loyalty and lower turnover, and mentoring can provide social support that reduces employee stress.

What does research show a successful mentoring program incorporates?

Clear delineation of program goals and expectations for mentors and mentees.
• Careful selection and pairing of mentors and mentees.
• Both mentor and mentee held accountable for the relationship’s success.
• Recognition for mentors who make a difference.
• A timeline with a beginning, middle and end, so participants can end the relationship gracefully if it isn’t working.
• Organizational follow-up to measure success and develop best practices.

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

Dr. Ryan McClellan Speaks on How Technology can Help MSLs

How can technology best help MSLs collect insights?

Technology can help MSLs collect insights in a couple of different ways. The first way is hardware based. Mobile technologies such as tablets and smartphones have changed the landscape when it comes to the ability to access and gather information. No longer does one need to carry a laptop computer with them in order to enter information into a data collection tool or carry with them multiple physical references. Today, MSL tools can fit in a device the size of a small planner and supporting data used during stakeholder interactions can be accessed through a few taps of a screen. In addition, the format and types of data that can be shared is endless. From digital slides, to video, to even 3D applications, the MSL has many tools to enrich stakeholder interactions in an effort to gather quality insights and opinions.

The second-way technology can help MSLs collect insights is through the way information is captured and shared. The ability to take notes and directly capture information in ‘real-time’ is a reality. In addition, technology makes it easy to reference previous information gathered and other resources at the tap of a screen so the MSL can better prepare and conduct more robust interactions with thought leaders and other stakeholders.

How has technology evolved to support MSLs?

Technology has changed through the continual improvements in device size and capabilities which make it easier for MSLs to travel with the tools they need to have successful stakeholder interactions. In addition, technology has also gotten smarter with the improvements in predictive capabilities, deep learning, and analytics. The use of these cognitive technologies within the pharmaceutical industry is just beginning and will continue to develop and expand to improve and support the role of the MSL and the data they collect.

How can technology be used to support interactions?

Technology improvements in natural language processing, deep learning, data analytics, and others have increased the value of the information MSLs gather. These technology-based tools can be used by the MSL and other interested stakeholders to better understand the feedback provided to the MSL by stakeholders. In addition, these tools can be used to process large amounts of data from various sources to assist in identifying ways to improve strategy or other areas of interest in which the MSL is involved.

 

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

Dr. Jihad Rizkallah Shares Best Practices for MSLs to Develop Strong KOL Relationships

Dr. Jihad Rizkallah Shares Best Practices for MSLs to Develop Strong KOL Relationships

How as a busy MSL can you prioritize your responsibilities to ensure successful project execution?

It is very important to have a balance between your responsibilities as a field MSL and deadlines to execute projects assigned to you. We all are involved in many projects and pulled in different directions to provide input, share insights and be part of company work streams, but it is crucial to remember that our main priority is field time and KOL interactions. You need to leverage and align some of these projects with your responsibilities in the field as in many instances, it may involve your KOLs among other things. Also, you can work closely with your team members to coordinate priorities and to rely on them for execution while you are busy in the field. Sometimes it is ok to say ‘no’ to a project when you already have multiple priorities or getting input from others, including your manager, on how to best prioritize your workload and projects.

Please share some best practices for developing strong KOL relationships.

Leveraging your KOLs expertise, needs and wants with your organization’s needs in a genuine manner can lead to stronger relationships. KOLs strive for growth and development and be ahead of the curve in comparison to their peers. They also want to be respected, valued and engaged. One best practice I can share is utilizing a KOL by bringing him/her in, internally to present to your colleagues and educate them on a disease state. Giving the KOL an opportunity to meet with Medical Affairs leadership and your MSL colleagues to participate in a discussion and share their views/experiences ensures their perspectives are being heard and valued. Another best practice is to leverage your KOLs with opportunities and projects that they are very passionate about ( community education days, therapeutic updates at conventions, foundation involvement)

How should organizations utilize the resources that are generated from KOL relationships and interactions? 

KOLs insights on market trends, treatment guidelines, and real-world clinical experiences are important for organizations to guide current and future strategic plans. KOLs provide insights and understanding regarding treatment and support programs that are of most benefit to patients. Their insights also contribute at any point in the product life-cycle, from research and development to commercial and marketing programs and can guide the organization in understanding habits and motivations for clinical decision-making.

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.