Optimizing Structure & Staffing of Professional Medical Education Groups


As the Medical Education landscape continues to change for the pharmaceutical & medical device industries, understanding the optimal staffing, investment, and delivery platforms will become increasingly important. Providing valuable education opportunities to healthcare practitioners is a goal of many organizations, but many Medical Education groups are struggling to know if they are sufficiently staffed and funded or if they should add, shrink or shift resources.

In the face of technology advances and increased regulatory pressures, understanding the current & future trends in Medical Education staffing & resources can be extremely helpful for leaders. A Best Practices’ study researched the ideal group size, service-levels, resources, and program deployment levels. Some of the key areas that leaders should address include:

  • Budget: Medical Education budgets could potentially shrink in the pharmaceutical sector & appear likely to grow in the medical device sector. In pharma, budgets are under pressure as companies cut back as part of the fallout over past criticism of commercial ties to education.
  • Structure: Medical Education is a function that best fits with medical affairs or divisions that have limited, if any, commercial ties. 92% of pharmaceutical companies manage their Medical Education function within their Medical Affairs group in order to minimize criticism to their CME programs. Meanwhile, the device sector is still evolving in terms of MedEd’s structural fit. Currently, the function is just as likely to be a freestanding or independent group in device organizations.
  • Staffing: Medical Education staffing levels’ outlook shows little or no growth in the pharma sector, but moderate growth in the device sector. 75% of device companies said staffing for field-based MedEd will increase in the coming years.

The landscape for delivering Medical Education to healthcare professionals is constantly changing. In order to optimize the capability and efficiency of MedEd groups in an evolving marketplace, these groups need to ensure that they are appropriately structured, staffed and budgeted for.  

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