SURVEY: What do you think is the best degree to (quickly) become an MSL?

What do you think is the best degree to (quickly) become an MSL? Poll is closed. N=912. The results are out. Thank you to those who voted.

The results are as follow:

  • 48% PharmD,
  • 21% PhD,
  • 18% MD and,
  • 13% of you say that Terminal D degrees are overrated when it comes to breaking into an MSL role.

I captured below some of the best comments you shared with the group when it comes to breaking into an MSL role and your views on the type of degrees needed.  Feel free to comment if I missed anything.

  1. Independent to the degree most aspiring MSLs need to upskill to break into the role.
  2. DPMs tend to be forgotten! DPMs bring a diverse background with expertise in different therapeutic areas depending on your practice settings.
  3. The type of qualification needed differ widely between countries. For eg, a lot of countries would consider BPharm or MPharm with good clinical background or strong patient facing experience.
  4. Clinicians with high business acumen, patient-centric focus, and knowledge of pharmacology should also be included in the MSL sandbox. Learning from all work experiences and degrees is an asset rather than focusing on just the initials after our names.
  5. A productive MSL team should have a variety of viewpoints, qualifications, and experience.
  6. Sometimes “smaller” companies are less strict on terminal D degree requirements and look more holistically to a candidate.
  7. It is all about preparation. Great understanding of the MSL role and deep expertise of the disease & therapeutic area
  8. It’s not just about academic training. Clinical, medical experience or patient facing experience is also a huge factor. Soft-skills, communication and relationships building are also hugely important.
  9. Surprising to see so few PhDs mentioned. Many PhDs are being hired as MSLs especially in the more complex diseases such as oncology, CART, gene editing etc

Have you joined the MSL and medical affairs LinkedIn community yet? Over 10,000 medical affairs professionals across the globe sharing jobs, tips, best practice and actively networking.

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