Student Testimonials

Dave Northfield

Dave Northfield

Hometown: Portland, OR

Class Speciality: Ortho Recon/Trauma

Company Placement: Zimmer Orthopedics NW

Tell me a little about your background?

I was a TV news reporter and anchor for close to 20 years, then spent five years in PR and strategic communications for Kaiser Permanente NW, an integrated health system (insurance company with care delivery system plus hospitals and clinics).

Why were you interested in Medical Sales? What drew you to this industry?

I had learned about medical device sales through conversations with reps, and through my brother, an orthopedic surgeon in Sonoma County, CA. I was attracted to the relationships and consultative nature of the sales process, learning how to add value to the surgeon’s efforts to achieve the best outcome possible for the patient. I also was drawn to the entrepreneurial nature of sales, working independently (while also on a team) and having control over my own success and income.

How long did you try to get into the industry? What was that experience like?

I tried to get in for about six months before attending MSC. My experiences were good; I established good relationships with sales managers in the area. They were encouraging, but I felt that I needed something else (knowledge based) to separate myself from the pack.

How did you learn about Medical Sales College?

I was encouraged to attend by a sales manager at a DePuy distributorship in the Pacific Northwest. He wrote a nice note to Jim Rogers on my behalf, and after talking to Jim I was sold on the program.

Did you have any fears about attending the School? What were they?

Yes, I was worried that after making the investment that I would still have trouble breaking into the industry.

What ultimately made you decide to attend the College?

Faith that it would work out. Encouragement from knowledgeable people already in the industry.

Describe your experience once you began training with Medical Sales College.

It was very rigorous, but that was necessary. The program could easily last six months. I have never worked harder at anything, including getting a Master’s degree. I enjoyed all the practical instruction, and the instructors were outstanding. I also enjoyed and found a lot of value in studying with my classmates.

Explain what your interview process was like.

I re-connected with my contacts made prior to attending MSC. I had one referral from a MSC instructor with Wright Medical, and that was valuable, I came close to getting an offer. I also used a contact with an MSC alum from Portland, to get an interview with a company called Arthrosurface. That went very well and I was optimistic that a position was possible, if the Zimmer offer didn’t happen.

What from your training did you specifically use during the interview process that ultimately helped you land your position?

It allowed me to converse much more fluently and confidently about joints, the procedures, anatomy, and products. I also used the portfolio that we created. I edited it exclusively for each company and printed out a copy to take to the interview. Many were impressed by the portfolio because it described the skills and knowledge we built at the school.

What will you do in your new job?

I will be assigned to a team to shadow senior reps. I’ll be a “bullpen” player who is learning and will be ready to be assigned to a team full-time in six months. I will work as needed to make sure implants and tools are delivered to the hospitals for each case.

What was the most valuable thing you learned at Medical Sales College/What piece of training do you use the most in your day-to-day activities?

Anatomy, the procedures, OR protocol, and the confidence to talk with established professionals from a position of knowledge.

Why should someone attend the Medical Sales College if they want this career?

It is absolutely a differentiator for people trying to get in. Several classmates have already been hired, especially the ones with prior sales experience (I had none).