Starting his career as a fitness instructor and physical education teacher, Gaëtan made a career switch to the medical devices industry 18 years ago. And there has not been one moment he regrets it. Gaëtan lives in The Hague, has been married to Mariken for 20 years and he is working for Medtronic as a therapy specialist for our Advanced Surgical Technologies (Energy and Stapling) business since one year.
More than a year ago, I started at Medtronic. First as an energy therapy specialist, but after nine months, I changed territory and I became responsible for Energy and Stapling.
My job is selling the disposables and capital equipment from the AST portfolio and advising healthcare professionals on how to use these products. Almost every day, I am present in the operating room (OR) during general surgery, gynecological, urological and ENT procedures.
I started my professional career as a fitness instructor and physical education teacher. At one point in time, Olympus Medical Systems asked me to join them as a junior sales representative, and since then I developed myself in the medical technology field via different medical device companies, like Olympus, Zimmer and Karl Storz.
At my first company, I was an operational specialist mainly responsible for performing surgeries with orthopedic surgeons. After that, I moved to another company in the endoscopic field, where I became the field manager endoscopy responsible for European tender management.
After ten years with this employer, it was time for a switch and basically there was only ONE company that I was interested to work for… Medtronic!
I knew the Medtronic Sales Manager from the Surgical Innovations (SI) team. And I also had been involved in some projects where I collaborated with Medtronic employees. The Medtronic atmosphere always appealed to me. Hence when the opportunity was there, I applied for the position and was hired.
The most challenging aspect is the fact that we are in a stressful situation every day. Keeping the customer fully satisfied is what we strive for every day. There are always challenges we have to deal with, which require me to react swiftly and adequately. But after it’s over – and if it works out well – there is always this rewarding feeling.
Healthcare professionals need to be able to treat their patients despite occasional problems in the delivery of our products. As a therapy specialist, you must think fast and act accordingly. Sometimes you need to act within hours, to support the hospitals in case, for example, their stock is insufficient. And as we are dealing with patients, this could mean that we’re often facing urgent situations.
I’m very much ‘out there’ talking to customers and working together with colleagues as a team. Being in an OR, testing new devices, discussing the advantages of a new technique, meeting different types of healthcare professionals within the hospital, turns my days into very variable workdays and keeps my job exciting.
I love the fact that we are a company that can develop and deliver medical devices that have a distinct benefit in treating patients. The collaboration with healthcare professionals and advising them is very rewarding.
Further, Together is the way in which I always strive to approach my customers. It means helping your customers to improve the care that they can provide.
For several reasons, I consider the training in Strasbourg as my most memorable experience. The fact that as a newly hired trainee, I was together with colleagues from all over Europe, was an inspiring moment for me.
Also, the group cohesion in the training was extraordinary, as well as the enthusiasm and professionalism of the trainers. I really perceived this training as very high level. The competences expected of my colleagues and myself turned it into an exhilarating experience. After this training and having passed all the exams and tests, I really felt ready to represent the company ‘in the field’ at the high-standard level that customers expect from Medtronic.