Oncologists, in Detail

January 14, 2013

On average, cancer docs in the US would much rather deal with pharma sales reps in person as opposed to online, and drug companies are hiring more reps to support a slew of newly approved oncologic drugs, even as reps in other therapeutic areas get pink slips. But external pressures are likely to further limit a sales rep’s access to these physicians, according to a new report.

As the New York Times’ Gardiner Harris has adeptly reported, newly-minted physicians emerging from their final rounds of a med school residency are much more likely to join up with an integrated delivery network (IDN) or chain of privately-owned clinics, than join or start a private practice. The reasons for this are numerous – private practices, for financial reasons, are being sold into aggregated networks, so basic job availability is one part of it – but importantly, lifestyle changes like the need to balance family responsibilities evenly between partners have made the prospect of working 60 or 80 hours a week to build up a private practice untenable, or at least undesirable, for many new doctors.

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