Transitioning into a Medical Science Liaison (MSL) role from a clinical, academic, or in some cases, another industry position is a challenge. In fact, it’s a real Catch-22! You’ve probably already asked yourself: “How do I gain MSL experience if no one will hire me as a MSL”? Over the past 20 years, The Medical Affairs Company (TMAC) has been well known for “launching” MSL careers. But the competition and requirements for these MSL jobs continue to get stiffer and stiffer. So how do you open the door? There is no panacea; the short answer is: timing and the correct skill sets.
Today, the vast majority of pharmaceutical companies Field-based Medical Affairs Teams (MSL, CTL, RML, MIS, etc.) are comprised of experienced individuals, widening the gap even further to the MSL career goal. Our recruiters are trained to identify certain characteristics in emerging MSL candidates such as leadership, presentation and communication skills, critical thinking and decision making skills. The successful candidate has a strong command of these important skill sets IN ADDITION TO their clinical and therapeutic expertise. But, having said that, what pharmaceutical companies are really seeking for these positions are therapeutic experts who have relationships at key institutions to leverage immediately. While we at TMAC still “launch” MSLs careers by hiring emerging MSLs when possible, the requirements for these positions are set forth by the Clients we support. Hence, it really can be about timing and a Company’s culture.
You may be reading this message because your application was recently disqualified from a specific position, or you may be seeking knowledge on how best to achieve your MSL job goal. This self-assessment is designed to help you determine what core Medical Science Liaison (MSL) qualification requirements you currently possess. Read through them carefully and answer honestly. The more questions you can answer “yes” to the greater your chances are to be considered as a MSL candidate. Open MSL Self-Assessment.