Perspectives from a Connector: A Day in the Life of a Medical Liaison

We spoke with Jodi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND, FAACPDM and principal medical liaison at Baxter, about how she connects with clinicians and the critical role she plays amid a changing healthcare landscape.

Medical liaisons provide an important link between our therapeutic products and the patients and healthcare professionals they serve. Sometimes known as medical managers, regional scientific managers or clinical liaisons, medical liaisons collaborate with many different groups, such as hospitals, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, industry associations and scientists. 

Q: What was your career path to become a medical liaison?

Jodi: I started as an undergraduate pursuing a degree in social work, but after the first semester, I spent a year volunteering on a medical ship in the Dominican Republic. During that experience, I saw significant malnutrition among the pediatric patients who were being treated for medically complex conditions. At that point, I changed my major and pursued a career in clinical nutrition. 

I received my undergraduate and master’s degrees in nutrition and worked for more than 20 years as a pediatric dietitian in hospital and outpatient settings. I enjoyed the team approach to patient care, working with physicians, nurses, social workers and therapists (speech, physical and respiratory) to treat the full spectrum of a patient’s needs. It was rewarding to see how nutrition can make a difference for a patient’s health and recovery.

Q: What led you to transition to work for a healthcare company?

Jodi: During my time as a clinician, I worked closely with industry partners that provided enteral nutrition support (via a feeding tube) for our patients. I shared what was working well for patients and where our team was seeing gaps. I had the opportunity to participate in several advisory boards and provide education to clinicians on behalf of industry partners. Seeing first-hand how clinical and industry work together set the stage for the next steps in my career path. 

In 2020, I joined Baxter to support the company’s Clinical Nutrition business. While it’s different from working for a healthcare system, I still see myself as part of a healthcare team. My clinical experience with nutrition support including parenteral nutrition (sometimes referred to as IV nutrition) allows me to support the clinicians through discussions about therapies related to our portfolio. I can share the perspective of a clinician with our internal teams as we discuss strategies and identify what is needed in the field. 

One of the reasons I love my role is that it’s always changing with new research and advances in treatments. It’s important to understand industry trends, and to be able to present technical or complex information clearly and effectively. 

Jodi, principal medical liaison


Q: Why is this job important to support Baxter’s mission?

Jodi: I see the role of a medical liaison as critical to Baxter’s mission as we are the bridge between the patient, healthcare team and the business. Part of our role is advocating on behalf of patients and helping clinicians realize that Baxter is here to support them in their clinical practice. This may be through providing education surrounding therapies that are part of our portfolio, answering questions, and identifying opportunities for research that align with Baxter’s strategy. 

An example of this is helping a customer interpret the results from our indirect calorimetry device, so they can tailor the nutrition regimen to meet the needs of their patient. Our team will also help clinicians look at the data from their smart pumps and identify ways to improve patient safety.

Being in the field and knowing the literature allows us to identify thought leaders who can share their experiences using Baxter therapies with other clinicians through educational programs or peer-to-peer discussions. 

Our team also supports Baxter product and sales teams to help educate on research-based clinical expertise or recent clinical guidelines to inform their trainings. 

Q: What skills are important in your job?

Jodi: I believe the most important skill for this job is the ability to build strong collaborative relationships. The healthcare providers need to build trust with industry so they feel comfortable sharing what’s working well and what is not so that we can collaborate and find a solution.

One of the reasons I love my role is that it’s always changing with new research and advances in treatments. It’s important to understand industry trends, and to be able to present technical or complex information clearly and effectively. 

Medical liaisons make a significant impact for patients, healthcare providers and for Baxter. Thanks to Jodi for sharing her experiences.  

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