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From Surgical Technologist To Territory Manager In Spine Med Device With Samantha Patterson

Posted on September 27, 2023

In this industry, there probably is nothing sweeter than hearing the profound impact we make on people’s lives. Just like in today’s episode. Samuel Adeyinka sits down with Samantha Patterson, who shares her journey from being a surgical technologist to becoming a territory manager in spine medical devices. A recent graduate of the Medical Sales Career Builder program, she discusses the challenges she faced before finding the program, her experience during the program, and the moment she received the job offer of her dreams. Samantha emphasizes the importance of mentorship, networking, and confidence-building in transitioning to a medical sales career. Tune in to hear her advice for surgical technologists considering a move to medical sales and her excitement for making a meaningful impact in her new role, paying it forward!

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From Surgical Technologist To Territory Manager In Spine Med Device With Samantha Patterson

In this episode, we have with us another special guest and she goes by the name of Samantha Patterson. Samantha truly is special because she’s one of our clients who came out of the Medical Sales Career Builder Program. She was in a scrub tech role. She went to get into medical sales and she was trying but the things that she was working on weren’t working. She found us. She got into the program. Here we are to talk about the experience that she had. It does warm my heart to be able to share these stories because, for me, we’re in the business of changing people’s lives.

The space we do that in is within medical sales. We do that by helping people attain a different level of employment. When you think about everything, what we do is we’re changing lives and helping professionals reach their dreams. We’re able to talk about it and discuss what was done and where her head was at. She went to the program, got to see the change, and grew into the professional who got the offer. It’s such a pleasure. As always, we do our best to bring you innovative guests who are doing things differently in the medical sales space. I do hope you enjoy this interview.

Samantha, how are we doing?

Doing well. How are you?

I am fantastic. Why don’t you tell everyone who you are and what you do?

My name is Samantha Patterson. I used to be a surgical technologist for about six years. I’m now a territory manager in medical devices.

What kind of medical devices?

Pain management specialty.

This is a treat because you graduated from our program. To be able to have you on the show as an actual medical sales professional is a beautiful thing. Let’s start there. Why don’t you let the audience know what was going on before you found us? What were you doing? Where your head was? Give us the whole story.

As soon as I got my Bachelor’s degree, I went on a job search. I went to the national sales conference. I was trying to do the networking on my own and applying to anything and everything I came across because I didn’t narrow it down. I was open to anything. Any position I came across, I was applying. I got some interviews but didn’t get very far with them and hit a wall around March 2023 timeframe. That’s when you reached out to me and told me what the program was about. I did a little research of my own and felt like it was something that could help me and push me forward quicker than I was doing on my own. That’s how I landed with you guys and I’m stoked that I did.

Amen to that. Let’s backtrack a little bit. We reached out to you because we knew that you were someone who wanted to get into the industry but what did it for you? What did you see or hear? What was your experience to make you say, “I am going to do this?”

Before I talked to you, I talked to Jules. We connected on LinkedIn. I found out later on that she was involved with the program. I knew Jules was top-notch. That was someone I wanted to learn from and follow in her footsteps. That was a huge deciding factor for me. Knowing that I’m going to have multiple mentors and people helping me and teaching me the stuff that I was lacking is what pushed me to go forward. I was ready to make something happen.

MSP 156 | Territory Manager

Territory Manager: Knowing that I’m going to have multiple mentors and people helping and teaching me the stuff that was lacking is what pushed me to go forward.


Everybody sings Jules’ praises. She’s an amazing person to work with. She’s one of our sales trainers. She’s a powerhouse. Talk to us a little bit about neuromodulation. You were a surgical technologist and you want to get into anything. How did you land on where you are?

That was something that the program helped me out with because I was applying to anything and everything. As a surgical tech, I knew I liked neuro. I fell in love with that specialty and the kind of people that it brings in and you get to work with. That was a big thing that the program helped me out with. It’s narrowing it down, finding out what I’m passionate about, and guiding me that way.

For people out there who are thinking about getting help, they might be reading this episode and saying, “If Samantha did it, then I at least got to look into this.” What would you share with them to give them a real reason to consider getting into the program?

There’s a lot. I’m trying to decide which one I want to zone in on. For me, the biggest help was having that support system and having mentors who are so knowledgeable about the field. They give you that continuing guidance the entire time. I tried to do it on my own. I found out quickly that it was going to take a long time and take a major mental and emotional toll. That dissipated when I joined the program. That’s when I knew I was doing the right thing. When the stress went down and it built my confidence up, that was my sign that I did the right thing. If that’s what somebody’s struggling with, check it out. Don’t hesitate. It’s worth it.

Everybody knows that these jobs require networking. People might not know how much these jobs require you to know your value proposition going into the interview. That’s something that we work with you in the program. Talk to us a little bit about what you thought it was before you did the program. Going through the program and learning how to give your value proposition, what did you realize?

I realized I was selling myself short big time when I was trying to do it on my own. I’m talking to people like Jules and Michelle, “You guys may help me build that confidence. You have this phenomenal experience. This is where you belong. You have a personality.” You guys helped me point out those different characteristics and values that I have that I could present to others in a confident manner rather than something I’ve pulled out of the sky.

MSP 156 | Territory Manager

Territory Manager: You guys help me point out the different characteristics and values I have that I could present to others in a confident manner, rather than just something I’ve pulled out of the sky.


How many hours did you say you spent a week working in the program?

I told you from jump, I wanted to do it in three weeks. I got humbled rather quickly but I dove into it head first. I probably worked on it 8 to 9 hours a day. I went to town on it. I was doing all the readings. I had all the books read within 2 to 3 weeks. I was ready to go.

First of all, I love the fact that you wanted it so badly that you put in extra hours. We always tell our clients and anyone who’s committed to the program that you have to give us at least 4 to 5 hours a week at the least. 8 or 9 hours a day is a whole different ball game. You were doing what you were doing before the program. You learned how to do it in the program. I’m sure there’s a learning curve you had to understand. You’re like, “I got to say this.” When did it click and then you knew that the position was around the corner? When did it click for you?

I would say probably about a month in because that gave me a lot of time to go through a lot of the coursework, the readings, having that one-on-one time with my mentors, and the group meetings. I would say about a month I knew, “It’s coming. I need to be prepared. I’ll keep doing what I’m doing.” Here we are.

Let’s fast forward to the moment you get the call. What was it like? Give us the whole story. What was happening? What were you doing? We want to know. Take us through it.

I was freaking out because I was supposed to hear a decision either Monday or Tuesday. Monday rolls around and I don’t hear anything. I’m like, “I didn’t get it.” That automatically goes through my head. Tuesday came. At about 2:30, I still hadn’t heard anything. I’m like, “I’m going to send an email. She said she’d let me know either way so there’s nothing wrong in sending an email.”

After I sent it, about fifteen minutes later, I got a phone call. It’s from the woman who interviewed me. She asked me, “Samantha, how do you feel the interview went? “I’m like, “I’ve never been asked that but let’s deal with it. I feel confident about it, especially after talking to you. I know this company is a great fit for me. This was my dream company.” It genuinely was. I told you at the beginning that this is who I wind up with.

We go back and forth a bit. I asked her, “The important question is how do you feel about how the interview went?” She laughed and was like, “We feel confident about it too. That’s why I’m calling to make you the offer.” I immediately started crying. It hit me like a ton of bricks because that was the moment I knew I did it. All of the work, stress, and tears prior are finally paying off. I’m fixing to get to go out here, prove myself, and exceed expectations. This is all I’ve ever asked for and I got it.

Let’s go to the perspective of a surgical technologist. I want you to speak to the surgical technologists who are reading this episode. Would you say that a lot of surgical technologists want to be in medical sales or are you an outlier?

I feel like if a lot of them knew similarities and how much of a bigger impact you can make, a lot of them would want to. I don’t know how many of them. Some people love what they do. Honestly, I love being a surgical tech. I miss it, honestly. At the same time, I knew I wanted to make that bigger impact and have that “sky is the limit” opportunity that you don’t have as a tech. That’s what pushed me to get into the medical sales and have conversations with the reps.

I would tell them to do it. If a medical device is something they’ve even considered once, I would say do it because there are so many similarities but with a medical device, the sky’s the limit. You still have to build those relationships with the doctors, surgeons, and whoever you’re going to be working with. You get to make such a bigger impact. That was what pushed me to do it from a tech perspective. I love the medical field. I want to spend my career in the medical field. This is icing on the cake that I get to do it in this format and have even more patient contact. It was something that I enjoyed when it came to medical devices versus surgical tech. Just do it. That’s my advice. Go for it.

What are you most excited about in this role? What do you feel one of your biggest challenges might be?

I’m most excited about the difference I’m going to get to make because I’m in the pain management specialty. I get to fight the opioid epidemic, which is something that has affected so many people, family members, and friends of mine. It’s something I’m incredibly passionate about and I get to spend my day helping people not have to go through what I went through. The thing that I’m going to struggle with the most is I’m a super empathetic person. I feel everyone’s feelings. I’m going to have more patient contact in this role. It’s going to be a challenge for me to not let the super emotional side show and be in that provider role.

In pain management, I get to fight the opioid epidemic. Click To Tweet

A solution-oriented focus.

That’s probably going to be my biggest challenge.

I can’t wait to talk to you again and find out from you. What I love learning is what you think a pain management medical device is going to be. After you’re in it, what it is. If I could sit here and share with you all the crazy stories I’ve heard as far as looking at it from that perspective, we’d be here a while. We’re going to check in on you to find out how you have a good pain management space. Samantha, we’re going to bring this to a close. We’re going to have a lightning round. Every guest who comes on the show experiences this and you are too. The first question is, what’s the best book you’ve read?

The Challenger Sale.

Where did you get that from?

It made a huge impact on me. It was a good one.

That’s why we make it required reading because as you’ve stated, it has an impact. What the best TV show or movie you’ve seen?

I’m a trash TV person. I am all about the bachelor and bachelorette. I love a drama that doesn’t include bass. I’m here for it.

What’s the best meal you’ve had?

I learned how to make this chicken pasta crock pot meal. That’s Olive Garden dressing and stuff. I’m here for it.

Last question, what’s the best experience you’ve had?

It’s getting my first medical device job. Hands down.

We’re so proud of you, Samantha. You worked hard. You stuck in there. 8 or 9 hours a day is a lot. We’re going to put a disclaimer out there, everyone. That is not an everyday thing and that is not something that everyone does but Samantha did want it and she wanted it quickly. With our know-how connections and training, she’s willing to put in the work to make it happen and she did. Samantha, we’re so proud of you. We can’t wait to see all the amazing things you do out there in medical device sales. Thank you for being on the show.

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

That was Samantha Patterson. What a wonderful story. Maybe you’re someone that Samantha was those months ago and you want to be in healthcare sales. You want to be in a medical device sales role, pharmaceutical sales role, or diagnostic sales role. You know you want to be in healthcare and you want to be selling within healthcare.

Maybe you’ve been trying to network with people on LinkedIn. Maybe you have gotten a few interviews that couldn’t get past a phone screen or gotten to the third and fourth stages and you can’t seem to get that offer letter. You might even be losing the drive. You might have to think to yourself, “I do want this but maybe it’s not for me or maybe it’s not for me right now.”

I’m here to challenge all of that and talk to you about a program that you heard one of our clients graduated from called the Medical Sales Career Builder. It’s there to get you to where you want to be. It’s to teach you how, teach you what, and work on how you show up so that you get these interviews, you knock them out of the park, and you’re selected and join a team. Please visit EvolveYourSuccess.com if this is you. Do not wonder. Do not wait. Don’t drag your feet. You’ve been wanting this. Let’s do something about it.

Select Apply Now. Send us your information and you’ll be immediately prompted to schedule with one of our account executives who will interview you to see if you’re a good fit for the program. If you are, we’ll get you started and be singing a different song 4 to 5 months later when we’re talking about which company you’ve been training under. This can be your reality. As always, thank you for reading.


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About Samantha Patterson

MSP 156 | Territory ManagerSamantha was a certified surgical technologist for about 6 years, and now she is a territory manager in Spine Management field and is one of the successful graduates from EYS’ Medical Sales Career Builder program.

Samantha had amazing experiences in healthcare as an EMT, Surgical Technologist, and caregiver for her father during his battle with Leukemia.  These roles allowed her to gain experience in caring for patients, gaining knowledge in a wide range of clinical specialties, and provided her the tools necessary to dive deeper in the medical field.


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