The Legacy MedSearch Blog Has Moved

July 14, 2010

The Legacy MedSearch blog is now hosted on our website. Please change your bookmarks and/or subscribe to the new RSS feed. We have expanded our team of authors to provide you with more timely and relevant medical device hiring news and career advice for the medical industry.

Our newest author, Randy Blankenship, has over 20 years experience in the medical device industry. Read his article 3 Tips for Negotiating a New Compensation Package.


What do the May Employment Statistics Mean for Health Care?

June 17, 2010

For those of you who subscribe to our newsletter, you may remember reading that unemployment among college degreed professionals in the United States over the age of 25 is at 5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Unemployment Table.  Both my HR and recruiter colleagues are reporting increases in both requisitions and hires in most sectors, although imaging and pharma are still lagging.

A survey we gave back in January found that 55% of the medical industry professionals that participated were looking to change jobs this year. Employment seems to be bouncing back, but the statistics are mixed considering the May employment report released last Friday by the government. According to Morningstar’s video report, 200,000 more jobs were expected but only 41,000 jobs in the private sector materialized. This may seem like bad news for those looking for medical device jobs, but health care employment itself is increasing strongly, and consistently. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report itself,

“Health care employment was little changed in May (+8,000). Over the prior 12 months, health care employment had increased by an average of 20,000 per month.”

This is already great news for jobseekers in the medical device industry, but the combination of healthcare reform and new medical device technology makes the future of the industry’s hiring difficult to clearly forecast.

With those thoughts and statistics in mind, we created a survey asking medical device professionals to assess the future of hiring in the medical device industry over the next 6 months. On the first day we had over 1,000 responses, so take the survey and see the results so far.

Final results will be posted next week, so stay tuned!

Paula Signature

Paula Rutledge


View Paula Rutledge's profile on LinkedIn

How to Research Companies in the Medical Device Industry

June 10, 2010

A vital part of preparing for a job interview in any industry is knowing the company you are interviewing with. This is especially true when interviewing for a career in medical device technology. Fortunately, a little research goes a long way in showing the hiring manager that you are serious about working for the company, and it helps you prepare for possible interview questions. To that end, here are a few tips to help jump-start your research!

First, find out as much as possible about the company as it relates to the position for which you’ll be interviewing. Make sure you know what medical devices the company develops and check the internet for information. If you do not have a medical background, you may look at the “For Patients” page on the company website to get a layman’s explanation of the product or technology. Also, make sure you have key data in your head about the specific medical industry and its products. Look for ways that your job experience or education may apply to the specific company.

Other great resources are industry journals and professional journals. Industry journals follow companies within different industries. This is a great way to become more knowledgeable about the medical device industry in general. You can look at trends and upcoming changes to determine how you can best make an impact in the realm of emerging medical technology. Remember, you are trying to show potential employers what you can do for them.

Professional journals keep you apprised of goings on in your field. In addition to providing company information, professional journals give insight into changes in a particular field. These publications also contain advice about how to do your job better. Being able to discuss new medical billing software with the office manager of a doctor’s office will show your level of expertise and interest in the field.

Keeping all that research organized can be difficult, so I have posted a useful company research template on the Legacy MedSearch website to help you prepare for your interview and land your next medical device job!

Survey in Forbes

January 18, 2010

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The survey conducted “What is the likelihood you will change jobs in 2010?” is featured in Forbes. An article was written on the 18th of January discussing the significance of the poll I conducted and I’m even quoted in the article. The article begins:

According to a random online survey* of 2,150 medical device industry professionals between January 4 and January 13, a full 55 percent are looking at 2010 as the year to make a job change.

Conducted by Legacy MedSearch, a leading medical device retained search firm, the survey posed the question: “What is the likelihood you will change jobs in 2010?” Twenty-eight percent of all respondents answered that they were either “unemployed” or “actively looking,” with an additional 28 percent indicating the “strong possibility” of a job change. A mere 11 percent expected no change in their employment under any circumstances in 2010.

The full  article can be found at

55% of Medical Device Industry Professionals Looking for New Job in New Year

January 8, 2010

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ORLANDO – January 18, 2010 – According to a random online survey* of 2,150 medical device industry professionals between January 4 and January 13, a full 55 percent are looking at 2010 as the year to make a job change.

Conducted by Legacy MedSearch, a leading medical device retained search firm, the survey posed the question: “What is the likelihood you will change jobs in 2010?” Twenty-eight percent of all respondents answered that they were either “unemployed” or “actively looking,” with an additional 28 percent indicating the “strong possibility” of a job change.” A mere 11 percent expected no change in their employment under any circumstances in 2010.

Source: Legacy MedSearch

Paula Rutledge, President of Legacy MedSearch, says she was not surprised by the results.  “For the past eighteen months, professionals in all aspects of the medical industry have had to work harder – many times for less pay and with fewer resources – to make up for reductions in staff.  I don’t believe this trend is sustainable.  We anticipate a slight increase in hiring in 2010, particularly in the customer-facing functions like sales and marketing. With the FDA battening down the hatches on the PMA and 510(k) approval processes, we are also seeing a recent surge in positions associated with product approvals and liability such as quality, regulatory, compliance and clinical affairs.”

VPs and C Suite Most Likely to Change Jobs
In a breakdown of the poll results by title, 41 percent of vice president and “C” level executives indicated a “strong possibility” that they will change jobs in 2010.  This compares to eight percent who categorized themselves as “owner,” 13 percent who categorized their positions as non-executive management and 30 percent “all other” job titles.

Source: Legacy MedSearch

“With the capital markets and economic pressures constraining bonuses and incentives – and many stock options essentially worthless – many VPs and CEOs have shared confidentially that 2010 may be the year to start a new job with a clean slate,“ noted Rutledge.  “Once quarterly earnings are posted, there could well be a significant shuffle in the executive management ranks – both voluntarily and involuntarily.  Many companies are talking to us about making changes at the top as well, so we sense our 2010 VP and C-level searches to out-pace 2009.”

Product Staffers Least Upbeat on Current Jobs; Business Development and Marketing Most Bullish on 2010

Of all the job functions represented, respondents in product-focused positions expressed the worst outlook for their current jobs in the new year, with zero percent answering “excited about 2010.” Most upbeat about their current positions in 2010 were business development executives, 47 percent of whom were either “excited about 2010” or “happy where I am;” and marketing professionals, 43 percent of whom were either “excited about 2010 or “happy where I am.”
Source: Legacy MedSearch

Small Company Employees Rank Happiest

When comparing respondents in regards to the size of their employers, those at small companies were most likely to have a positive outlook on their jobs in the new year, with 21 percent reporting that they are “excited about 2010.” This compares to 10 percent at enterprise organizations, eight percent at large companies and just five percent at medium-sized companies.

Source: Legacy MedSearch

Legacy MedSearch client Derrick Johns, president and chief executive officer of DiFusion Technologies, commented on this finding. Having worked at several larger device companies throughout my career, I think employees at smaller companies like ours may be happier due to the sense of ‘ownership’ they feel in their respective projects.  They also don’t need to deal with the politics and bureaucracy often found at larger companies, which means that they can be more nimble and effective. Despite the current recession, DiFusion is looking to hire in 2010. I’m not sure this is something our larger competitors can say,”

*This survey was conducted via the paid polling service of business networking site LinkedIn between January 4 and January 7, 2010. 

About Legacy MedSearch
Legacy MedSearch is a retained recruitment firm focused exclusively on the medical device and technology industry. The firm serves emerging, mid-sized and Fortune 500 medical device companies who require a specialized approach to placing C-level executives and senior managers in the areas of engineering, sales and marketing, research and development, product management, clinical affairs as well as quality and regulatory affairs. For more information, visit

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11 Sneaky (and Ethical) Ways To Research a Medical Device Company for your Job Search

December 8, 2009

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11 Sneaky (and Ethical) Ways To Research a Medical Device Company for your Job Search

by Paula Rutledge

Look at prior versions of the company’s website. This is particularly helpful if the company is private, small, has been acquired or gone through an ownership change. By looking at previous versions of the website, you can compare iterations of branding and messaging, see what products have been launched – or retired – and check for older news and press releases that may give you a historical perspective of the growth – or contraction of the company.

Use industry resources to see what products the company has on the market. My all time favorite for medical device research (and a site my researchers and I use everyday) is Medical Device Register. I use a corporate version, but you can buy daily or monthly access for as little as $50. Using MDR, you can see not only what the company’s products are – you can use the 3 digit product codes to easily find other companies with the same product. MDR also has information on 510(k) filings, subsidiaries and market segments (Cardiovascular, ENT, etc)

Forums are a wild, Wild West version of the water cooler – but on a global scale. They give you gossip, rumor, conjecture and hearsay on just about any company. One caution is that the information is wrong more often than not and some forums are filled with current and former employees either hyping – or blasting a company (and often its employees). Some of the attacks are personal and vindictive, others are humorous but pointless – but occasionally, you’ll find a nugget here and there to give you a peek behind the curtain. Just remember that because postings are anonymous, they tend to be unreliable, especially if they are unmoderated.

4. BEYOND LINKEDIN – Using LinkedIn Company Profiles
I’m assuming that nearly anyone reading this has a profile on LinkedIn. But have you thought about using it as a research tool? Many companies now have company profiles on LinkedIn (as does ours: This is a great place to get information on the company you’re interviewing with. But take it a step further: Look at the New Hire and Former Employees area – does it show a lot of hiring? Are a lot of people leaving? What companies are the employees coming from? Do you know any former employees you could contact to get some insider tips from? Are any of the current employees in your network – or do you share a group? LinkedIn Groups, by the way, are a wonderful way to network to the company you’d like to work for. You can join up to 50 – and I’d encourage you to do so.

While Medical Device Register provides information about current products in the portfolio, patent searches can give you an inside track on what may be in the company’s pipeline. If you’re an engineer, product development or R&D professional, you may want to research patents in the company name – and also look under the names of your potential colleagues to see what may be filed but not yet transferred. Also, look for similar products and categories to get a sense of what competing companies have in process.

Yahoo Finance, BusinessWeek and all the news outlets (CNN, MSN, etc) have great tools that show basic information on publicly traded companies. But don’t forget the investment sites for great insight into companies. My personal favorite is The Motley Fool ( which breaks down financial terms (EPS, EBITDA, etc) into nuggets for those of us who are not analytical by nature. There are also moderated forums by industry experts who give their opinion on the prospects for many publicly traded companies.

There are several subscription based services (my favorite: that sell company profiles on large, usually publicly traded companies. Wet Feet, as it’s name indicates, is geared to entry level positions – but purportedly conducts interviews with applicants, current employees, and past employees to give the job seeker a roadmap into the interviewing process for major companies – as well as a “what you can expect when you’re hired”, which may be helpful to both early-career stage and more seasoned hires.

One great tool we use to prep senior level candidates may be valuable to anyone with a serious interest in a specific company or industry: Analyst reports. Ranging in price from single company or sub-segment reports for $40-150 to full industry reports from $1000++, we get great perspective from powerhouse research firms like Frost & Sullivan, ECRI, Millennium, and various reports from VC driven resources like Windhover (my personal favorite bang for the buck for great research for a reasonable subscription fee) and specialty publications from the Stanford Group. If you’re a mid to senior level executive, these are valuable tools to prepare yourself for deep-dive interviews.

Again, for publicly traded companies, you may tap into your stockbroker for data and research on companies you may be interested in. Many times this information can be found simply by logging onto your brokerage account and researching the company ratings (Buy, Hold, Sell) and comparative financial and competitive data relative to the market.

Don’t forget to check YouTube for both clinical/technical/scientific data AND for company fodder. For instance, one well-known device company posts videos of company picnics, “news you can use” and often entertaining snippets of company life to boost morale (it appears to be working).

You may also find testimonials of patients who have benefitted – or not – using a particular product or treatment. Some I recall are of a woman in her mid 40s who chronicled her laser treatments, a brave man who posted his video diary of deep brain simulation for a movement disorder and several honest and heart-wrenching accounts from people undergoing experimental therapies for life threatening illnesses.

Reading through the logs, blogs and Q&A sections of Patient sponsored websites (sometimes called “Advocacy Groups”) can give you insight into the side-effects and alternative therapies for the company you are interviewing with. Patients’ groups can sometimes provide a unique perspective into how a company treats its true constituents (positive and negative) particularly in newer or unproven treatments and modalities.

The Medical Device Fee is a Bad Plan for Job Growth in It’s Current Form

November 5, 2009

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The Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare reform bill is a topic of much concern for medical device professionals because its enactment could cut jobs in our industry. The Senate’s plan puts additional financial pressure on medical device companies by way of an annual aggregate fee on the medical device industry of $4 billion. Many experts believe this financial burden could cause more people to lose their jobs. The reasoning behind this plan is to generate $40 billion over the course of 10 years to go toward healthcare reform. John Engelhardt of Ortho Knowledge wrote a great article that breaks down a lot of the numbers here: Orthoworld Article (Thanks John)As the president of a recruitment firm within the medical device industry, my business’s livelihood depends on placing people for these jobs that could be lost. Needless to say, I’m a little worried, even in light of the incredible uptick in hiring in the past 60 days within our business.

That said, I read an interesting article from (Modern Healthcare Article) which states that the House is proposing a compromised version of the Senate’s bill, and it appears to be much less taxing (no pun intended). According to the article, under the House’s bill, rather than an aggregate fee, a 2.5% point-of-sale tax would be applied. The House’s plan aims to bring in $27 billion from the medical device industry over the course of 7 years beginning in 2013.

In the House plan, medical manufacturers would be able to reduce the total fee they incur by deducting the tax from annual corporate tax filings. Companies wouldn’t have that benefit with the Senate’s aggregate fee plan and would end up paying all of that $40 billion as it currently stands. The lesser of two evils (in my opinion) is still evil and would stunt the job growth just starting to take seed now. Worse, it could drive further off-shoring in our global economy where US chartered companies are looking to save operational and developmental costs. (Note: we have had 4 new operations/ manufacturing positions added in the past few weeks with increase emphasis on lean and out-sourced/off-shore manufacturing management. Not sure this is all coincidence).

Whether or not the House will have any impact on the Senate remains to be seen, but I remain optimistic that there will be some change in the current plan if it continues to be contested. I understand that no companies are excited about getting further taxed. It’s just my hope that the additional tax won’t place the burden on consumers and cause healthcare reform to hurt the very people it’s trying to help. However, by 2013, things could change. Let’s hope for the best.

Paula Rutledge
President, Legacy MedSearch

With 25 years in the medical industry, our recruiting expertise extends to most areas of surgery, diagnostic & therapeutic imaging & radiology, including MIS & LIS procedures. We work with manufacturers of a variety of implants & technologies: IMD, AIMD and Class I, Class II and Class III devices with special emphasis on orthopedics, neurosurgery, radiology, neuroscience, cardiology and cardiovascular and other emerging medical technology (PMA, 510(k) & IDE device classes).

Paula Rutledge is the President of Legacy MedSearch, a sponsor of Medical Devce Guru. Legacy MedSearch is a retained recruitment provider to emerging medical companies.

• MEDICAL DEVICE (510K, IDE, VC, Incubator stage)
• IMAGING (CT, MR, Ultrasound, HIFU, Fluoroscopy, PACS, Mammo, Molecular, CR, DR)
• EMERGING AND CONVERGING Radiologic & Surgical Treatment Solutions.