Hello listeners and readers. I’ve made a slight scheduling change in today’s episode. At the end of Episode 50, I promised to bring you a solo episode in which I’ll explain what recruiters and CEOs are looking for in a Chief Medical Officer. However, today I present the second installment of my 2-part series on a career as an MSL.

One of the reasons behind that decision is that I’m working on a mentoring program that I want to roll out with that CMO episode. And it’s not quite complete. Since I’m talking about it, let me provide a preview of that mentoring program.

ripples career as an msl

Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash

In this program, I’ll be helping my students to identify gaps in their resume that they should address before applying for a job as a CMO. There are some very specific skill sets that CEOs are looking for in physician executives. Those skills fall into five major categories. Those categories are as follows:

  • Financial Management
  • Business Practices
  • Data Management
  • Talent Management, and
  • Leadership Skills

I’m going to go into much more detail in next week’s show. So, if you have any interest in pursuing a career as a physician executive, you must join me then. The mentoring program that I’ll be presenting will address each of those areas.

OK, now for today’s interview.

Your Career as an MSL

Dr. Linda Ho worked as a medical science liaison in hematology / oncology. She’s worked at AbbVie where she served as Team Lead, and at Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals and Bayer. She is a seasoned healthcare professional with diverse background that includes industry experience, direct patient care, and pathology. Linda earned her BA from Case Western Reserve University and her MD from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. She trained in pathology at Northwestern and Case Western Reserve University.

You must listen to the entire interview. We start out speaking about Linda’ transition from her clinical career to her career as an MSL. She describes why she likes the job, and also gets into some of the challenges.

Towards the end of our conversation, Linda mentions several very important principles to keep in mind when considering a pivot to any nonclinical career. And she recommends a very helpful book that I had not heard about before.

I really appreciate all of the helpful advice Linda had for us today.


Here are some of the topics she touched on:

  • How she began her search by doing online research about possible pharmaceutical careers,
  • The importance of networking in her initial job search, and again when looking for subsequent jobs,
  • What she wished she had done in residency that could have helped her,
  • Why she recommends that you use a professional resume writer,
  • An association that she found extremely helpful called the Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association,
  • Her recommendation of the book The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster by Steve Dalton,*
  • Her thoughts on the travel required for a job as an MSL, and
  • Why you should forget about online job applications.

You can connect with Linda on LinkedIn – just search for Linda Ho, MD. And , you can hear her speak at the upcoming SEAK conference in Chicago in October 2018.

I hope you enjoyed this second interview about a career as a medical science liaison. I think we’ve covered this career pretty well. I’m glad I was able to get the perspective of two very articulate and inspirational physicians. Be sure to go back to Episode #50 to hear Savi Chadha’s perspective if you haven’t already done so.

Next Week

I’m definitely going to post that solo episode next week, in which I describe in detail the kind of experience and skills health systems and large medical groups are looking for in a chief medical officer, or CMO. And I'll be presenting my new mentoring service. So, don’t miss it.

Thanks again for listening. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on the Apple Podcast App.

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And, join me next week for another episode of Physician Nonclinical Careers.

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The opinions expressed herein are those of me and my guest, where applicable. While the information published in written form and in audio form on the podcast are true and accurate, to the best of my knowledge, there is no express or implied guarantee that using the methods discussed herein will lead to success in your career, life or business.

The opinions are my own, and my guest's, and not those of any organizations that I'm a member of, or affiliated with. The information presented on this blog and related podcast is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only. They should not be construed as advice, such a medical, legal, tax, emotional or other types of advice.

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