Recently, a release on Business Wire reported the results of a random online survey showing that 55 percent of medical device industry professionals are looking to make a job change in 2010.

Recently, a release on Business Wire reported the results of a random online survey showing that 55 percent of medical device industry professionals are looking to make a job change in 2010.

The survey was conducted by Legacy MedSearch, a medical device retained search firm and posed the question: “What is the likelihood you will change jobs in 2010?” to 2,150 medical device industry professionals between January 4 and January 13.

Twenty-seven percent of all respondents answered that they were either “unemployed” or “actively looking,” while an additional 28 percent indicated the “strong possibility” of a job change. A mere 11 percent expected no change in their employment under any circumstances in 2010.

At first read, these findings are portrayed as a negative—another sign of the struggling economy’s impact on medical/surgical industry. The release discusses how many workers at medical device companies expressed dissatisfaction in their jobs, particularly those in product-focused positions.

It goes on to say how workers in the medical field—workers at device companies as well as physicians and medical staff—are currently dealing with heavy workloads, having to do more work with less people, less pay and fewer resources.

However, these survey results could also be taken as a positive for the industry. It seems while workers looking to make a job change may be a result of the struggling economy, these findings are a sign that it may begin to turn around for workers in the medical field—those working for the device companies, as well as the hospitals themselves—in 2010.

According to the release, many workers looking to make a change are currently unemployed, and their hopes for a job opportunity are renewed. Why? Because companies need the support to work through FDA 510(K) approvals, and medical device companies are saying they are planning to make new hires this year to help with product approvals as well as quality, regulatory, compliance and clinical affairs, the release reports.

This, then, is actually a positive sign for the surgical industry in 2010. The outlook for changes within medical device companies signals new technology that will become available to surgeons in the near future.

I recently had a conversation with an employee at a company of a manufacturer of medical equipment, and he discussed how hospitals this year are getting less money and are under increased pressure to work within a tight budget margin. Further, hospitals must provide a high level of care to more patients with fewer doctors and staff on hand.

It sounds bleak, but we also discussed how the solution in helping to turn it all around lies in technology.   

Investment in new technology provides multiple benefits to a hospital:

Efficiency. Many technological developments in surgery revolve around allowing surgeons to operate more quickly, less invasively. Other solutions such as automated information management solutions, or equipment booms allowing control of several pieces of equipment in one place, are all about making the jobs of surgeons and staff easier and moving procedures and other surgical processes within the hospital along.

Marketing. A hospital invests in a new, up-and-coming piece of equipment, and it provides a valuable marketing tool to attract new patients (think da Vinci …)

Overall quality of care. Undoubtedly, the largest benefit and goal of new surgical and hospital technology is to improve the care of surgical patients. As new instruments and equipment allow surgeons to operate more quickly, less invasively with added safety, it makes the surgical experience better for the patient and improves the care provided.

It’s true that times are tough right now for many hospitals in terms of budgetary constraints. However, the results of this survey show the rate of development of new technology is not slowing down—in fact, it may be speeding up.

If the medical field is on the mend economically, technology will be at the forefront of the recovery. A hospital may need to be discriminating with the technology it invests in for the OR to fit its purchases within its budget, but it can’t stop investing. Its survival, and its future, depends on it.

What's your 2010 outlook? E-mail me at

Source: Virtual Press Office; Business Wire