CRNA vs Medical Sales

  1. Hey guys, I'm at a crossroads in my career and trying to decide my next step. I had originally planned to pursue a career as a crna. I have my required icu experience as well as a couple years of surgery experience. Due to my surgery experience I have been getting offers to go into medical sales. I know there is equally good money to be made in either field. I was hoping some people could offer me their thoughts in the matter and why they would choose one route over the other. Thanks
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    About Magnus

    Joined: Jun '04; Posts: 7


  3. by   CNL2B
    I wouldn't even know how to start to advise you. Both of those are good jobs but as I see it, require some specific personality traits, and they are not exactly the same ones. You might want to do some thinking about what you would have the most passion for, and how your natural abilities play in.
  4. by   GM2RN
    I wanted to pursue the CRNA until circumstances prevented it. If I still had a choice, the difference for me would be the cost of a CRNA program vs. being able to start medical sales without being further in debt. Either option would be attractive, but not having more loans to repay is a huge plus.
  5. by   heelhook80
    CNL2B has rock solid advice. I'd really focus on risk vs reward. Get a piece of paper & write down pro's & cons. Although having more loans to go back to school increases risk, you'll also be on salary, or paid hourly a guaranteed nice income. Whereas medical sales is full on commission, which is risky as well. I think as far as risk, its a toss up. If you have some sales skills then I would anticipate more income in medical sales, and a normal M-F 9-5 work week. On the other hand, CRNA would be on call, on call on some holidays, but really cool clinical experience and excellent income and stability.
  6. by   arcurtisrn
    I think it boils down to:
    1) Are you open to approx 30 months of school full time with a limited social life? (not including the application process and interview process which can get expensive if you have to travel)
    2) Are you willing to be the low man on the totum pole again?
    3) Most importantly do you want to practice medicine or sell and market devices in the medical field?

    Not a wrong answer here as you stated both make good money but are so vastly different in every aspect
  7. by   elkpark
    I had an acquaintance several years ago (a friend of my BF at the time) who went into pharmaceutical sales because he had always heard about how lucrative it was (and he definitely had the personality for it, a born salesman). I heard a lot from him about his "drug rep" experience, and he v. quickly grew to hate his job. The position was commission only, and he talked all the time about how extremely cutthroat and competitive that world is. There's also a v. high premium on, ummm, let's call it "physical attractiveness" (which is certainly not the case in nursing, as you only have to look around you to see ). Lots of travel, which some people like and some don't. He never came close to making as much money as he had anticipated (had been led to believe) when he started -- he and his family were actually struggling to get by -- and was always terrified of losing his job because he hadn't performed well enough in a particular quarter. He actually started developing stress-related health problems (and he was a young, healthy guy to begin with). He eventually got out of the field entirely and found something else to do.

    I have no idea how medical/surgical equipment sales compares, but the "drug rep" biz is certainly not the rosy, easy life that it's often believed to be. While there is certainly "good money to be made" in either field (CRNA or sales), lots of people in the sales positions aren't making "good money," and the price they pay for the money they do make is high.
  8. by   bread angel
    I know a pharm rep who is now in anesthesia school. He appears to be happy with his decision. If after following the great advise about working out the pros and cons and still can't decide, then go the route that excites your heart and guts. I am a believer in intuition.
  9. by   remifentanil
    If money is your primary motivator... PLEASE PLEASE be a Rep. Most of us do NOT do it for the money alone.. we do it for many many intangible reasons... To be honest I would do it for what I got paid as an ICU nurse.. the job is THAT cool... The money in this career field is good now... HOWEVER , everyone and their uncle is starting a CRNA school and flooding the market.

    The future is uncertain.