'Full-service rep' loves her job

January 1, 1999

Pharmaceutical Representative

Jill Shoffner-Brown loves satisfying the customer and hearing success stories about her products.

When asked what aspects of her career keep her motivated, Jill Shoffner-Brown, a pharmaceutical sales rep for Boehringer Ingelheim Corp., replies, "I really just love my job. I love satisfying the customer and hearing success stories about my product(s)."

Shoffner-Brown considers herself a "full-service rep," meaning she takes care of everything for her physicians. "I talk to the office manager and make sure I have supplied him or her with all the information he or she may need," she said. "I leave patient-education materials if needed. I also make sure I know where the samples are so I can take inventory without having to disturb the physician."

Being a full-service rep also means understanding managed care and formularies. "Managed care is a huge part of the business," Shoffner-Brown said. "Reps need to know a physician's plans and what products are on the formularies. A rep should also find out if his or her competition's products are on the formulary, and if so, report these to his or her district manager."

Another part of being a full-service rep is understanding a physician's work.

Shoffner-Brown finds preceptorships useful for reps. "A preceptorship allows reps to increase their knowledge about diseases and human anatomy," she said. "It's like watching a case history; you can see a physician prescribe your drug and see how physicians use the information you supply them. It also builds rapport with that physician and any other attending physicians. Preceptorships make a rep really feel like a team player."

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