I just happened to run across an advertisement for a job at JOBcentral entitled, "neonatal academic sales associate" for Mead Johnson. The job requirements eliminate me. It would not be a job I would ever consider, nor would the infant formula industry want me. I would be a poor sales person--I don't schmooze very well. Anyway the requirements are a BA/BS degree--got that!! Minimum 2 years medical sales--nope, not even successful selling lemonade on a hot day. They are looking for a neonatal dietician, RD, Pharm D or NICU RN preferred. I think I'd make a good neonatal dietician--breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed. Wait a minute I don't think that's what they want?? Besides they prefer a NICU RN. In the job description it says, "develope and cultivate business relationships with a wide range of key decision makers and targeted customers within the Hospital setting." WOW...schmoozing 101. Not my style...yeah my style is to irritate the hell out of friends and enemies alike.
Another statement, "Build profitable business in the NICU and Academic Hospital Community which will maximize long term revenue goals, increase sales, and market share growth for nutritional and pharmaceutical products."
Here's another job description statement, "Understand the role of Professional Services and network with appropriate HCP's (healthcare professionals) to grow attendance at Mead Johnson Nutrition's national and regional sponsored events." So......this explains to me why NICU babies don't breastfeed. Oh yes need I forget, they do sometimes human milk feed. (yes I know there are many wonderful people out there working to help moms breastfeed their premmie babies--but they are out-gunned by industry). Medela (breast pump company) recently announced their "Virtual Human Milk Collection Campaign Awards." Medela donates $20,000 in Neonatal Human Milk Support Products to Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and New Mexico. Human milk support products, human milk support products, human milk support products, human milk support products---think they mean bras??? Oh yeah I sure am silly this morning, I guess they are talking about all the gadgets to "help" the medical staff or maybe mothers humanmilkfeed babies. Don't need products to breastfeed, no not really although we have created a culture of women who believe they need "products." Sounds to me like the NICU is the target of a vast sea of industries selling their wares--how the heck do medical people get their work done. Oh yeah, the target is the power brokers in the hospital. I would be interested in seeing data on breastfeeding rates (initiation, duration) of NICU babies. By breastfeeding I do not mean humanmilkfeeding. Funny, I use to think hospitals were about saving people from medical disasters. I never ever thought about the sales force behind the decision making of products in the hospital. What drug you get, what bandage you receive, what infant formula or humanmilk supplement your baby gets is dependent on what industry has the best sales force. Ever met an infant formula rep or breast pump rep? They all are good-looking, well-dressed, and very intelligent and they know how to schmooze.
Yep, I can't look at a hospital without seeing the legends of sales men and women waltzing through the doors. I can't look at a doctor without thinking about who is her or his favorite sales person. That does not negate that their are life-saving products. Just that we should be aware that health care is an industry like any other industry. Let the buyer beware.
Copyright 2009 Valerie W. McClain