Figure: ChatGPT's response to "What do MSLs do?" shows exactly why today's field medical affairs continue to be challenged with demonstrating the true value of their MSLs. Sure, MSLs help bridge a (knowledge/information/data) gap between the scientific community and industry to keep HCPs informed... but AI can now do that. So why do companies still need MSLs?

Structured coursework for field medical affairs is not a new concept. "MSL University" programs exist client-side and consultant/vendor-side.

Perhaps the pertinent question to ask of any MSL training offering is, "How does this training make our MSL teams more valuable than what we can now accomplish with AI?"

Business Acumen. The buzz term introduced in early 2000's; often stated and just as often misinterpreted. 

"I have observed that MSLs who are complete neophytes ("the newbies") at the job and MSLs who are seasoned AND successful ("the pros") are the cohorts most receptive to the cross-functional nature of developing business acumen. The MSLs with the mid-level ("the amateurs") mindset -- regardless of actual years of tenure -- tend to exhibit the hardest resistance against effective cross-functional collaboration. I had to personally move through that amateur mindset borne of early MSL-misuse-trauma to truly become an effective field-medical affairs professional. 'Communicating with Sales' does not automatically 'Excommunicate from Science (Integrity)'.

Figure: A competency grid Jane Chin created in 2004 when brainstorming about a possible "certification" program. For obvious reasons she chose not to follow through with a certification approach, but implemented components of the competency grid she developed as part of customized training for teams. 

The biohealthcare executive in upper-middle management confronts leadership challenges unique to their industry: they manage highly specialized knowledge workers and innovators, compete at the speed of technology, work in a highly regulated environment, and increasingly are leading virtual teams who may be located in different parts of the world.  Practical leadership for biopharmaceutical executives is a guide that strips away the theory and meets head-on the practical leadership challenges these executives face on a daily basis, and provides these "innovator leaders" with the tools to lead effectively in the face of technological complexity. 

Medical Science Liaisons of the Future: A Position Against Overspecialization