The magic about medical device sales is that anyone can get into the industry no matter the background; all it takes is having passion, commitment, and work ethic. This episode’s guests have the story to inspire you. At just 19 years old, Travis Harvey has created an entirely new life for himself getting into orthopedic medical device sales under Joey Testa. Now, they are making significant moves and helping others do the same. They join Samuel Adeyinka to share their amazing story and journey in the industry. Plus, they provide great insights into getting a job in orthopedic medical sales. Specifically, they introduce us to a program that could help you become an amazing ortho sales rep. So tune in and discover ways to achieve your dream career!
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How To Get A Job In Orthopedic Medical Device Sales With Joey Testa & Travis Harvey
We have with us two special guests that go by the name of Joey Testa and Travis Harvey. I’ve been trying to think of the best way to introduce this to you all, and I couldn’t figure one out. I’m just going to share it. Joey Testa is an influencer in the ortho space and medical device sales. Travis Harvey was a training pilot, and what I mean by that is Joey wanted to see if he took on a young man who wanted to make his way in the industry. What could happen? Could he get this person up to speed? Could this person be an asset to Joey’s team? Long story short, it was an absolute win.
Travis created an entirely new life for himself at the tender age of nineteen years old, and Joey created an asset that is already making significant moves within the territory. Why am I so excited to share this story with you all? One is because this is the story you want to hear. Many young people are finding out more about medical sales, and many of them are specifically interested in medical device sales. They have heard of the ortho and spine reps and what that life can look like.
For a young person to take advantage of this opportunity, you have to be special in some regards because not every 19 or 20-year-old who is focused on wanting to create a career for themselves is going to make these kinds of decisions. That’s number one, and then number two, it’s great that everyone gets to hear this story because now, they can be inspired. Whether you’re 19, 20, 30, 40, 50, or even 60, learning how someone can get into this world in an unorthodox way is the name of the game, and I believe in that wholeheartedly.
We have a program that helps people who don’t have the automatic medical sales-ready qualifications but we’re able to work with them and help them get into medical sales positions. This is a joint program with me, Joey, and Travis. When I say me, I speak for our organization, Evolve Your Success. With the Evolve Your Success team, Joey, and Travis, we have created an ortho program for professionals who want to be in orthopedic device sales. This program is specifically for orthopedic device sales. This program is not so much about getting the job. That’s included but it’s more going to be about how you can be the most amazing ortho sales rep in your first year.
One thing that is not talked about enough, and I’m going to have some guests on here in 2024, is that there are a lot of people who get into this space and then quit 5 or 6 months in. It’s double-sided. There’s the candidate issue, which is someone who doesn’t know what they want. They have heard about medical sales. They have somehow gotten someone to give them a chance, and then they realize they don’t want it and quit.
That’s one of the reasons why our program specializes in helping you find the right fit as opposed to throwing you into something. On the other side of the coin, you have these younger companies, the ones that do this or are more guilty of doing this. They throw these completely unprepared people into the field and expect them to move mountains, and then when they don’t, in a quarter, they cut them. This is an issue. When we see this going on, we think, “How can we get in front of this issue?”
It leads to the birth of a program like this, something that allows you to give yourself the best chance of not only getting the job in a medical device ortho role but also doing well and continuing to do so. In this program, you are going to be able to work alongside Joey and Travis meeting surgeons, learning how to do procedures, and more importantly, getting the job and learning how to sell effectively so that you’re strong in your first year but I’m not going to sit here and continue talking about it. I’m happy to share that on this episode, you’re going to listen to Travis’s story, how Joey met Travis and the program that we’re all doing together. I’m super excited to bring it to you.
One thing I like to say is this is the stuff that dreams are made of for all of us to be in a position to create something that we know is going to truly change lives with people who want to be specifically in ortho device sales. Without further ado, as always, we bring you guests who are doing things differently in the medical sales space, and I’m happy to share this interview with you all. As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy this interview.
Gentlemen, how are we doing?
Samuel, how are you?
I’m fantastic. I’m glad you can make it. Let me let you do the honors. Why don’t you tell everybody who you are and what you do?
My name is Travis Harvey.
My name is Joey Testa. We’re here on your show.
We’re going to get into everything. Let’s get everybody some context real quick. What is your company? You are in orthopedics but what specifically do you sell?
The company is simply the first and only AI technology-approved in the world for orthopedics, total hip application, and trauma. It has been a progression of what it has been. It’s gone through several stages but in 2023, we have been excited to have launched our AI technology both for hip and trauma platforms. It won at AAOS in 2023. It was the John Charnley Award winner for total hip. They only chose one company in the world, and our company was selected as that. We’re proud of that.
It’s the only and the first of its kind AI technology-approved artificial intelligence in orthopedics to be sold. What it does is it tells you your version and inclination on your cup and then also gives your leg length and offset for doing a total hip. For the trauma application, we have the ability to utilize it in any surgery that you can do in trauma. It’s pretty intuitive. It’s fully automated. Instead of having to use a human, its algorithm is composed that we take an X-ray, and it’s built off of an X-ray platform. It comes up on this 4K screen that’s very large. It’s bigger than Travis’s head. The monitor is brought into the OR.
You said reversion, inclusion, and a cup. Travis knows what that means. You know what that means. I know a little bit of what that means but there’s a whole world of people who have no idea what you’re talking about. Without giving us a full-blown orthopedics anatomy and operations lesson, why don’t you give us a little insight and context into why this is so valuable and why this AI technology is so game-changing?
In 2023, we should be doing things more like this but in 2023, we’re doing this. We’re eyeballing it. That shouldn’t be the standard. In a simple sense, we give quantitative numbers to surgeons to make decisions.
It sounds funny but when you do a total hip, there are a couple of different ways that you can measure your leg length and offset. Imagine Samuel, for the people who are out there who aren’t in orthopedics. We want to speak to them too. There’s a rep in the OR and usually some sort of technology in the OR in 2023 as you can imagine, whether that be robotics, whether that be AI, or whether that be as simple as this, “It looks good.” It sounds funny but in the majority of cases done on surgeries for patients for total hip, we don’t have a good technology built around that makes it easy and cost-efficient for us to go in and say, “This is your perfect leg length. These are the leg lengths that we’re shooting for.”
When he says quantitative numbers, it gives you the exact down-to-the-millimeter science as to how long your leg is compared to your contralateral leg, which is your other leg. We can do an overlay too that will match up to show, “This is what we planned. This is where we’re at.” You can confidently leave the OR knowing that your leg lengths are ideally where you want them.
What he’s saying with this is it’s as funny as holding up sometimes a piece of paper. We have all this stuff in technology in the world, and people doubt robotics but it’s hard to get that answer. This is the first piece of technology that with one simple X-ray, you’re able to get your cup version, which is what we were talking about before. We could show that later. Your cup version is as long as your inclination. We’re shooting for usually around 40 degrees of inclination and 20 degrees of anteversion.
I’m assuming that the ramifications of not having this technology are the possibility that patients aren’t getting the best care because they’re not getting that accuracy, leg lengths, and things like that.
Instead of guessing, now we have the ability with full automation. There are other technologies in the world that comparatively do the same type of thing but it doesn’t do it as fast. It doesn’t do it fully automated. When you take that X-ray, you get the immediate response quantitatively that shows both the X-ray and where your positioning is. We also have targets that are built in that if you said you wanted to put it at 40 and 15, we could show you a halo that does that. It also takes all the parallax and your distortion out, which no C-Arm is doing and no other technology in the world is doing actively comparatively together. We’re able to be the first ones to do it both combined.
The million-dollar question I have is this. What are the surgeons saying?
I’ll let Travis speak to that. Travis was humble. Here’s what you don’t know about Travis. This is the best intro to that. Travis, how old are you?
I’m twenty years old.
We’re getting there.
In regards to selling it, how do we sell it? We show a video. In every video we have shown, a doctor looks down and within 30 seconds goes, “How do I get this? Where has this been?” Sometimes getting that technology in the hospitals has become challenging. Times have changed. As always, it does cost something. We are making a profit from this. Getting that acceptance is one thing but when surgeons see this, they stay up at night or leave the surgery going, “I’m not sure what that leg length is. I think I’m there.” It’s all done on tension.
Sometimes a few years at the table, typically, you could have a little bit of feel for tension but if you’re doing a posterior hip, the same goes for the people who don’t see surgery every day, how would you judge leg length if there’s nothing that told you what it’s at? There is a technology that’s sometimes expensive or tedious to get trackers and other things that you have to be more invasive.
There’s nothing that you hit an X-ray, and it goes, “This is the leg length, and this is exactly where you want the cup. We can show you how to put it in that way.” It makes it a lot faster and more reproducible for these surgeons. They’re seeing this as technology that helps them sleep better and have fewer lawsuits. The number one reason at times for hip lawsuits is due to leg length discrepancy, and we can prevent that now. It’s cool to see in 2023 that we have an easy solution for that.
It sounds like a no-brainer.
There’s a cost to it, which is minimal. It’s a deeper case type of thing that we’re expressing, and we can sign a unit to the hospital but it’s super impressive. I’ve left this job that I’ve been doing, and everybody has seen me be a rep for fifteen years. I’m no longer a rep. The next step for me was, “I want to carry something that’s the best technology in the world. I want to sell something that I’m passionate about.”
You come in this wheel like you’re a rep. You go on doing 1,100 surgeries a year. It wears you out. It’s not that I’m tired but I wanted something new to sell that brought value to the surgeon that I could show a 30-second video, go, “What do you think of this?” and not even say a word, and they go, “That’s what I want.” There isn’t a lot of that in orthopedics. It has been a little stale since robotics came out. I have in my bag now only one product as opposed to selling a ton. I have to put a different hat on but it’s allowed me to be a mentor in different ways. I hope we can talk about that a little bit.
Let’s talk about it. One of the reasons why this is such a special episode is because there’s a very young man here who got the opportunity to work with Joey, and it’s completely changed his life to the point that they’re able to recreate the opportunity for others but let me not say anymore. I’m going to pass it on to you. Real quick, talk to us about where you came from, Travis. Why are you here? Tell me, and then we will keep on talking.
My name is Travis Harvey. I’m from a little town in Michigan called Lowell, and I ended up moving down here on a whim after my second year of college.
In the second year of college, you moved on a whim. You found Joey. You connected, and now you’re doing the thing. You are a medical sales professional, and you’re doing pretty big things. This is unheard of, especially coming from someone from my vantage point. We work with tons of people every day that have all walks of life, new graduates, mid-career professionals, and even people at the top who want to transition to something else that impacts patients. You found this opportunity at 20 years old. I have to ask. First off, what did you think orthopedics was going to be before you got the opportunity? What has it become? Please speak freely.
Me and Joe have talked about this a lot. To reference, my first day down here was the complete 180 of what I thought it was. The conversations we would have in the OR room were talking. We’re a family in there. At the end of the day, we have a positive outcome of replacing someone’s hip, knee, shoulder, or whatever that may be. I thought it was a sales job. You can work around your schedule, do whatever you want, go to surgery, and pick and choose the surgeries that you go to. There’s not a lot of information on the orthopedic sales role in total. It was completely different from what I now see it.
I want to dig into that a little bit. You’re only twenty years old. There are people who are close to your age and people much older but they’re all trying to do the same thing. Like you, they had all these preconceived notions about what the medical sales they want are, and in this case, what orthopedics is. You thought it was going to be a sales job. What happened? Give us an experience or an event early on in the role that helped you say, “Whatever I thought is thrown out the window. This is what I’m doing.”
It was the first day that I got down here. I worked eighteen hours on my first day. It was crazy. I got up at 4:30 in the morning, and I was ready to go. I was super excited. I couldn’t sleep. Joe came and picked me up because I didn’t have a car coming down here at all. He ended up coming to pick me up, and we went and pitched a surgeon. He picked me up at 6:15, and we took an hour-long drive down to pitch a surgeon about the company. After that, we drove for an hour and a half back up here and did some more training of the hips, and then that’s where I met some of the team. We did that for 6 or 7 hours and then went to dinner. That was a long time too. I ended up getting home at 10:00. It was the longest day I’ve had in a very long time.
When you say team, are you talking about the team you worked with the surgeon? You went with their team.
The team that we worked with was three guys and then an intern, which was me. It was three guys on our team for the territory.
Travis was the fourth. Travis didn’t fully say it but he came down here for a summer internship, and we connected briefly through LinkedIn. Over a period of time, we decided that he was going to come and spend the summer with my team. When he says team, it’s Canaan and Josh who I’ve been with on my team. For up to fifteen years, Josh and I were partners. It’s a brotherly thing.
When he talks about it, it’s a family. He didn’t see it that way. He saw it more as a job. You’re a sales guy. You get in the car, you have to try to sell to a doctor, and then you’re in the hospital. It’s sexy. What he’s trying to say is, “I thought this was going to be a sexy job. When I found out, it was intense. It’s super clinical. We’re in surgery every single day. We don’t stop.” He is going to dinner like, “Will we have dinner by ourselves or with a doctor?”
We’re with a doctor every single time.
You’ve probably heard other people say this before. I didn’t coin this. Orthopedic sales is not a job. It’s not a career. It’s a lifestyle. He walked down and got punched in the face on day 1, day 2, and day 3. One thing on my team is you are your weakest link. We tried to get him up to speed as fast as possible. He got to integrate with a lot of young surgeons that took him under his wing.
It was a super cool experience because what he thought he was trying to get into and what he got out of it was that he made a lot of good relationships. Surgeons take a lot of time and go, “We’re going to teach you the right way. Joe is going to bring you in, and you’re going to try and earn your spot on the roster albeit you probably won’t do it over the summer but we’re going to do our best job to shove it down your face.”
Let me ask you this then. This is for Travis. If you were to advise three things to our audience, and we’re speaking to everybody who wants to be in orthopedics specifically, what are three things you would say they need to be very mindful of going in?
The three things that I could stand to are the importance of going one more and the continuance of learning. You think you know everything, and you’re not of value to the team at all. You’re always learning, whether that’s learning a sales technique or being creative in the sales field or clinical. How do you change leg lengths? How do you do all that stuff? There are three things that I can say. It’s the continuance of learning or always learning, the importance of your team, and your connections. Your network is your net worth. Those are strong things right there.Once you think you know everything, you're no longer a value to the team at all. Click To Tweet
It’s a different subset than when you’re a college kid. Imagine being a kid who’s nineteen years old. You moved down here on May 1st on your birthday. You turned twenty. You have this preconceived notion, and then what you see is, “I went from being at college frat parties to now I’m in OR with humans that are cut open, and there’s a high responsibility.” It’s a zero-mistake industry.
You go from this crazy college kid partying and going, “I’m going to go into summer and try to get a job or an internship of this interest that I like,” and you don’t realize how serious it is and how real it is when there’s a patient on the table. That’s someone’s mom, dad, sister, or brother. Travis responded immediately and got it. That was our concern. I’m like, “It’s hard to teach someone the importance of what we do because you see it as a medical sales rep. You’re a salesman.” The sales comes first but it’s more clinical than it is sales. We’re not selling a product.
I did a long pitch on a product that’s cool to sell. We have one to sell now but for the most part, when you’re doing your daily business, you are providing a service. On day one, we went on a sales call, which was your main thing. It was to bring you in for ortho, which you were excited about. You were like, “I want to be a salesman.” I’m like, “I’m glad you want to sell but step one is we need to trust you. Step one is you need to know a clinical step. You can’t even walk into an OR without knowing what you’re doing.” You can’t have someone to step in. You have to take it seriously. If you are going to bring a person into the OR, you have to train them.
This is a lot of what I wanted to ask you, Samuel. In your program, how do you prepare people for that? It’s hard to teach that. Showing that takes experience. That’s what people want and gravitate toward. That’s why it was smart to do an internship but the problem is that there are not very many internships that I’m aware of that companies usually provide. We set this up because I had wild hair. It was my idea but I would love to ask you. How do you scale that in your program? There are a lot of medical sales colleges that are teaching individuals. It’s probably a hard thing to teach. You could teach about aseptic and sterile techniques and stuff like that but how do you teach all the rest of it?
It’s real. Our focus with everyone who works with us and all the wonderful people reading is getting the job. We’re teaching all those intangibles and helping people become their authentic selves. Involved in that is understanding the specific field that you want to be a part of. One thing that we love and champion is we don’t allow people to just get into any field. Everybody says, “I want to get into medical sales. ” You don’t want to get in. You want to find out what makes sense, what you’ve done, what you understand, your life desires, your life ambitions, and the lifestyle that you want to have.
That’s where our focus is but to your point, Joey, let’s talk specifically about orthopedics. For those that want to be specifically orthopedics, how amazing would it be to get into a program like ours, know that they have everything to get the job, and then know that they’re going to start the job off well because they have some tutelage like what Travis experienced under you?
That’s an opportunity. That’s why it’s exciting to be able to share the story with everybody that you have had. I’m not going to share it yet but there’s an opportunity for you to simulate some of what Travis got to experience. Before we get there, I want to highlight you, Travis. You are twenty years old. You haven’t even finished college, and you already have a track record where you turned down Stryker. What do you understand how to do? Why do you think Stryker valued you so much? You don’t even have a degree. How are you showing up that’s giving you this kind of leverage?
It all comes down to what you value and what you see. I didn’t say no to anything. Whenever Joe needed a tray run at 2:00 in the morning, it was done. I said yes to everything because I was hungry. That’s what comes down to it. The first day was eighteen hours. The next day wasn’t any better. It was nineteen. The next day after that is probably twenty. The next day after that, the Thursday, I remember it specifically, I got done at 9:59 PM, and then Joe called me, he’s like, “You need to run down to Miami. Do you want to be a rep? I’ll show you how to be a rep.” I remember that so vividly. I was like, “That’s it. I have to prove myself.” It was a continuance of that. It was a proof. You get into a team, and you have to earn the respect. You have to earn your stripes. That’s what kept me above the rest and that leverage.
I love that you shared that because I want to say one of the most common questions we get from a new student in our program is, “I like ortho but I don’t want to do trauma. I don’t want to work. I want to have a lifestyle balance. I don’t want to work all my nights or all my weekends but I want to work some nights and some weekends.”
Talk to us a little bit about what that means because what you said is it’s not about wanting to work nights or weekends. It’s about wanting to be the best provider of the service you’re offering surgeons but then you have to wonder. Is there a time when you’re going to have downtime? Are you going to have times where you can say, “I want to get off earlier. I want to take a day off.” Talk to us a little bit about what the day-to-day has been like for you.
They were very long days. We would do regular cases on the weekdays, hips, knees, shoulders, and all of that stuff, and then we would have trauma on the weekends, hemiarthroplasties, bipolar, as some may know, hips, nails, and such like that. Typically, we would get a call the night before and have a surgery time to go and do those things. Managing your time wisely and knowing when those cases and surgeries are going on is your best strength in being able to do that.
I’ll direct this to you, Joey. We talked about how hard you work, and Travis went over the long hours. Give some context to that though. If somebody wants to get into orthopedics, what is the difference between orthopedics, hips, knees, joints, trauma, foot, and ankle? Give us a little context. What’s the difference with those and how you conduct the work?
It’s changing. The industry used to be full-line, which is what my team has done where we have done all those joints that you explained, and then trauma in addition to that but now, it’s become divisions typically. If you’re with a smaller company, maybe you have the opportunity to do some of those things but when you’re with one of the big three, typically they will break it off in divisions or subsets to keep hip and knee together, shoulders by itself, traumas by itself, and ankles by itself.
The job has become more scalable and easy as a day-to-day lifestyle type of thing but it has become harder because your bags become smaller. You have fewer things to sell with surgeons but you can time management a little bit. What you alluded to a lot is people don’t understand what they’re getting into. That’s where this is unique. He thought it was one thing and realized it was different than what he thought it was.
As a twenty-year-old kid, you can want one thing and then realize, “I signed up for a summer of hell.” It wasn’t that we dogged him at all. You could ask him truly. A lot of people on LinkedIn were talking to me and going, “You’re having him do grunt work.” That’s some of what he did but what he alluded to and why it’s important for people to understand what it’s about is I tried to train someone and bring someone on our team.
To do that, they have to be trusted, and to be trusted, they have to gain respect. To gain respect, they have to put in experience. To get the experience, they have to give an opportunity. We gave him the opportunity to say no to anything, rise to the occasion, and say yes. What he understood was no matter whether he had to run to Miami and do it, if I did it, if Canaan did it, or if Josh did it, he realized someone had to do it. We all put in 18 hours of work or 15 at that point.
He’s not going to be the odd man out.
Someone had to step up, and that’s how the world is. The people in Evolve Your Success should take a hard look. You can place someone in any of these divisions. You have the resources, and you’re able to very much fine-tune and teach. Orthopedics is one subset or platform that you can go into but if you want to be in orthopedics, you need to take a hard look in the mirror of what your work-life balance is. In the beginning, you should prepare for many hours if you’re successful.
I ran a poll on LinkedIn where it was 0 to 5 years in orthopedics, and 50% of those people out of 500 voted they’re within 0 to 5 years, and then it dropped to 19%. I wrote an article that very much states there’s a huge drop-off at five years with medical device sales and orthopedic platforms. The question is, “Why is that?” I believe the answer is because people get into a position, they want to stick it out a little bit, they realize how to scale it, and they have to ruin their life almost in the beginning to do that. Depending on how much they’re willing to give or where they are in the stage of their life, it’s sometimes hard to say yes to everything.
What he also discovered without anyone saying to it is I didn’t say no. What he saw from me is when a surgeon calls, I never not answer. I never said no. It doesn’t matter what I was doing. If I’m middle of a baseball field coaching my son, a surgeon calls me, and I’m coaching third base, you will see me answer the phone and say, “Do you need something right away? Is it urgent? Can I call you in 45 minutes?” Ringing the bell is what he saw from day one. He saw that if he didn’t do it, someone else was doing it. It’s a team. If you aren’t running your program as a team, or you’re an individual and a company is trying to make you scale the business on your own, run because you have to have a team to be successful in my opinion.
I love how you keep reiterating the fact that it’s a lifestyle. Let me ask you this, Joey. For those who want to be in orthopedics, have families, and want to resemble some work-life balance, does it get easier? Two years from now, Travis is going to be saying, “Now that I’ve been in this territory for two years, it’s a little different.” Is this the life of the orthopedic sales rep with Joey and the company until you decide not to do that anymore?
It does get easier but as soon as you think it gets easier, it gets a little bit harder. It’s a weird answer but it’s super true. I thought I knew everything about the company, and then I came in. Someone showed me a different approach, and there’s a whole new avenue of ways to troubleshoot and get different data points. As soon as you think that you know something, you don’t. There’s always a constant learning cycle and new and improved technologies. There’s always something new. That would be it right there.
I’m going to ask this, and both of you can answer. What type of person should not look into being in orthopedics?
I don’t think a lazy person should be in orthopedics. Someone who’s not organized shouldn’t be in orthopedics. Someone who looks to get out early or cut a corner shouldn’t be in orthopedics. Someone who’s not willing to be a participant on a team shouldn’t be in orthopedics. Someone who’s not looking to be hungry to sell in this market where everybody has the same thing shouldn’t be in orthopedics. Someone who doesn’t have a positive attitude every day and who’s very pessimistic shouldn’t be in orthopedics.
What you sell is yourself. If you’re the type of person who can be very real and can be humbled, you think you know everything, and all of a sudden, something comes up in an OR, a surgeon looks up and says, “What’s the answer?” and you don’t know it, you feel this big and want to crawl in the hole under the door and leave straight to your car. We have all been there.
You can’t be successful in this industry and not have that L. Taking an L is a big part of orthopedics like anything you want to be successful at. It’s not that it’s the most hours in the world. It’s all what you make of it. I work a lot of hours. He’s got to taste that. That’s not to say that everyone puts in those types of hours. Maybe I’m a bit of an extremist to some extent. Maybe you want to add some things if I left something out there.
It’s all hit on the head right there.
It’s passion. You wouldn’t do this show if you weren’t passionate about it. It would show. People would recognize, “This guy asked questions but he’s not engaging. He doesn’t do it every week.” You’re passionate about it. If you’re not very proactive in your career, it’s too competitive. I believe it’s one of the most competitive sales jobs you can have in the world. There are a lot of good companies. They make a lot of good products. For you to compete against people, you need to sell something different.If you weren't passionate about medical device sales, it would show. People would recognize it. Click To Tweet
For years, I’ve sold myself, which is what I will always do but not for someone who comes in out the gate and is too enthusiastic or doesn’t go, “I need to be a real clinical asset in the OR.” It’s about the patient. We’re selling, and in orthopedics, it’s a sales job, but you need to be prepared to go almost through a medical degree, not that we will ever be doctors at all, far from it. We don’t have all the answers. We do have a lack of education.
The types of programs that you’ve developed have enabled people to have a head start coming in but then there’s a resistance and a wall unless you have a mentor who’s continually seeking your best interest in teaching you, whether that be a surgeon, a manager, a fellow rep, or a team. He got to scale it and ramp up quickly because everyone on the team, anytime they had access to him, was teaching him what he needed to know.
We were all trained the same way. We don’t all think the same way. We all play different roles but on a clinical aspect, we’re very much all on the same level where we have taught each other, “This has happened to me before if you get into this situation. You see it on your own. You don’t want to make the same mistake twice.” He learned that quickly. He made mistakes but you put a lot of trays together too for the team.
That says a lot because we’re taking pictures and making sure he is perfect. I never think you once went and never had a picture sent where we weren’t triple or double-checking where everyone on the team is looking at what he touched. It never hit the OR sterile, and we open up a tray and go, “We’re missing this,” because that’s the worst-case scenario. We are nothing in an OR as a sales rep without having all our instruments and implants.
Another thing I can in touch on is the importance of attention to detail. That’s another thing that people coming in should know that they need. I remember putting fourteen trays together, and Joe didn’t tell me this. He was sitting outside the hospital, and I had mixed one piece up.
I was waiting for him to be done.
I didn’t know he was there. I messed up one piece, and he told me to redo all of them.
I wouldn’t tell him which piece.
He didn’t tell me.
Look at Mr. Miyagi at work.
It’s better to be called there than for me to trust it and the patient not to have that, and the doctor needs it. What people know in orthopedics is that depending on what that piece is, and we run in time with most of it, we only have one. The fourteen trays have many different sets but the next day, we needed all those sets. Had I not been there as that mentor to check those trays, he would have found out a hard lesson. We have all found that lesson out, and luckily, you haven’t found that out because we didn’t ever let you get to that situation where you messed up. It’s hard.
The last time I was on your show, I alluded to the fact that when you’re putting those trays together, typically, it’s after a long day where you’re like, “I want to go home,” but that’s where you have to lock it in the most because that’s where the mistakes happen. That’s where you hurt the patient or you lose the business because if you make one mistake, a doctor could look at you and be like, “You’re done.” You would never get that business back. Unlike most sales positions, you wear different types of anxiety levels where you’re like, “I’m doing it for the patient.” That’s where your head has to be because if you’re doing it for yourself, you will make that mistake regularly, in my opinion, and you will miss things.
Travis, let me ask you this. Have you done any cases all on your own yet?
I run the Eastern part of the United States.
He’s a big deal. He flies all over the country now.
Let me ask you this. You’re a young-looking guy. Talk to us. Let’s get to work. Are they like, “Who are you?” What’s the experience like?
They don’t say anything about it. I come in there, and I’m clinically equipped. It doesn’t take time to know things. It takes information. When you have that information, you’re able to do so much with that. Applied knowledge is power. As soon as they know that you’re clinically equipped mentally, then you’re set. If you have an issue that goes wrong and you need to troubleshoot that, you need to know how to do it. That comes down to knowledge, expertise, and experience and having that mentor, that person, your boss, or whatever it may be to comment and have that safety net beforehand.
I want to hear from you, Travis. I want you to think of a specific case and speak as freely as you can. I want to hear what you were working on, what you were doing, and the type of surgeon you were working with on the case where you said, “This is what I do for a living.”
I’m going to say Dr. Krantzow. He allowed me in his room. He didn’t know who I was. Joe brought me in. We were at a surgery center, and I was super excited. This was the third day ever coming down here. I didn’t think anything much of it. I’m in the OR room. Joe is bouncing around being Joe, and I’m sitting in the corner because there’s not a lot of room in this room. I remember that he was performing the osteotomy, which is cutting the femoral neck, for all the audiences who aren’t in orthopedics.
I got this feeling like my stomach dropped. Joe came over to me and said, “Are you all right?” I was like, “I’m good. I’m okay,” and then my hearing started to go away, and my sight was getting blurred. He’s like, “You don’t look so good.” I’m like, “I’m not okay.” This was the third day. We didn’t know each other that well. I also have a lead vest on. These were 20 to 30 pounds. I was about to go down. I was so close but I got out of there, and everything was fine but that’s when I was like, “I’m in orthopedics, and there’s a lot going on there.”
I’ll never forget it. Travis looks at me, and I’m like, “You’re good.”
“My ears are ringing. I can’t hear anything.”
I’m like, “Stop locking your legs.” He’s like, “I don’t feel so good.” “You need to get out.” That was the only time that ever happened. I’ve never seen anyone pass out in the OR. I know people have. In my experience, I’ve never seen it but he was very close. Travis, how big are you? I don’t know if I would have been able to pick you up.
I’m 195 or something like that.
It doesn’t get any more real than that.
Dr. Krantzow likes to make jokes. I remember I was in orthopedics. I was with Josh. I was with more of a senior rep than you but he was like, “Do you want to drop the leg and deduct it?” I’m like, “I would love to do that. I want to go back and tell all my friends I get to do this.” Dr. Krantzow said as I was dropping the legs, “Stop. I’m just playing with you.” My heart sank. I was like, “What happened? Josh, what do I do?”
Josh was like, “I knew he was going to do that to you.” That’s the thing though. Coming into this, I didn’t think that stuff happened, and it does. It’s a family. Nothing happened but that’s the type of relationship you have in the OR. We have music going. It’s more playful than everyone assumes. That’s the type of atmosphere and healthy environment that someone needs to grow.
You are a walking infomercial for orthopedics, Travis. This sounds so attractive. You’re beaming talking about it. You’re living your best life. Let’s go ahead and let the cat out of the bag. In our program with Evolve Your Success, we are going to be partnering with these two gentlemen here for orthopedics only, specifically orthopedics. For all of you out there who want to be in orthopedics or think you want to be in orthopedics, you already know I’m going to tell you to go to EvolveYourSuccess.com and fill out the application but I’m still going to say that again.
If you want to do orthopedics, when you talk to our account executives, let them know you are interested specifically in orthopedics. We have a new program where we’re working with Joey and Travis, and we’re going to get you where you want to go in the orthopedic space. What makes this a little unique is in orthopedics, there are a lot of big companies but there are a lot of distributors that provide amazing opportunities with the company and Travis that these guys and us are connected to.
We are going to be utilizing that network to get you where you want to be, for those of you who want to be in orthopedic. If you’re thinking to yourself, “This is it,” go to EvolveYourSuccess.com and make sure you got the application. You have to talk to one of our account executives, and you will be working with these guys right here. We’re going to wrap this up. Before we do though, we’re going to get into a lightning round. I’ll ask the question, either one of you answers, the other person answers, and then I’ll ask the next question. The first question is this. What’s the best book you’ve read in the last few months?
I’ve read that one. That’s a good one. Joey?
I don’t read.
Your head is always in a medical journal.
One of my best friends from high school finished writing a book. It was published, and I finished reading it. It’s called Gwennie’s Gift. It’s about her daughter having Type 1 diabetes. It’s amazing. It’s not all about diabetes. It’s a story about a girl who has diabetes and goes through these challenges.
Say no more. I’m sold. We’re checking this out.
It’s on Amazon. It’s by Gabriella Bianchini. It’s called Gwennie’s Gift. It’s a must-buy. It’s awesome.
I can’t wait to read it and appreciate it as well. That’s going to be read. Next question, what’s the best TV show or movie you’ve seen in the last few months?
That’s a trick question because I don’t think me and Joe watch TV. I don’t think we have time for that. I don’t, at least.
What I saw with my kids was Mario Bros, which is pretty cool. It’s on Netflix. It’s redone, and it has Donkey Kong and everybody. It’s crazy to watch my kids look at these characters, and I’m like, “You don’t know what these people are.” They’re like, “I do. I’ve already seen it. This is what happens next.” He ruined all the best parts but that was cool.
What is the best meal, and by this I mean the restaurant and the item, that you’ve had in the last few months?
I was up in Cape Cod. It was a half-lobster with filet mignon. It was good.
Give us more specifics here. What’s the name of the restaurant?
How about you, Joey?
My favorite restaurant is Buccan. It’s in Palm Beach. They have a bananas foster deconstructed dessert. Everything is amazing there. They have warm carrot salad. They have everything. It’s a farm-to-table type of deal. This agnolotti pasta that they have is corn pasta, and it explodes. It’s awesome.
That will be visited. Last but not least, what’s the best experience you’ve had in the last few months?
I got to see Dr. Yerasimides in the OR. I’m not going to say how many hips but he’s one of the most fantastic surgeons I’ve ever seen. He’s out of Louisville, Kentucky. He does hips only. He does upward of 1,000 hips a year with his team of reps, nurses, and staff. You were there as well. It was my first day on the job at the company. I’ve seen almost north of 13,500 surgeries probably in my life, and the 11 I watched him do in one morning was unbelievable.
The things that they do are perfect. It was like watching a symphony. The entire team from the minute you walked in the door, the nurse, to the scrub tech to the anesthesia was a symphony. I kept waiting for the trip to fall to go, “Here’s where you messed up,” but they didn’t. They were flawless from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM. He’s amazing. Anyone that’s ever had an opportunity, you can see him. He teaches for Zimmer.
If I ever need a hip replacement, I hope he’s still practicing. That’s fantastic. How about you, Travis?
It’s the opportunity to see more than orthopedics but the world and the Eastern part of the United States. Being able to get this opportunity is a gift in itself. You learn a lot from different people and the people that you meet. It builds character. Since I’m so young, I still have a lot of learning left to go. The more people, more surgeons, and more workflows I get to see, the more equipped and better I’ll be. You walk into a room and you see perfect for them. I’m so used to this little bubble in West Palm where it’s perfect for our surgeons. I get to see what’s perfect for everyone else. To piggyback off of what Joe was saying, it was a work of art. Frankly, I’ve never seen anyone do better hips than that.
I’ve seen a lot of good hips. There are a lot of talented surgeons. Sometimes you see someone special. You’re like, “That’s different than what I’ve seen. You’re doing things a little bit differently slightly but it’s a real testament.” He has had the same rep for a very long time, Stu Mouser, and then Seth was there too. They’re super confident. To watch it from the outside looking in, I’m going, “I’m seeing this from a different perspective. Normally, I’m the rep running the hand table, making sure all the instruments and the implants are good, watching their flow, and doing it so seamlessly.”
Sometimes it humbled me where I was like, “I thought we were perfect but I wasn’t perfect. I was good but I wasn’t perfect.” It’s not that they’re perfect. I see things. There are flaws everywhere but when you look at it through a different lens, you’re like, “I’m here as a different resource in the OR now before as a clinical specialist on technology.”
In a hardware implant situation, you get to sit back and watch everybody else’s flow. You’re not involved with the flow of the OR like you were before. You’re there to help them become more efficient and help their processes. That’s why we’re in a room like that because they’re trying to look for efficiencies. The best teams in the world are trying to use the best technology and to become the most efficient reproducible robot. In my opinion, the best robot in the room is the doctor, not a machine.
What I love about listening to both of you is the dynamic that you have in this mentor-mentee relationship. Joey, I love having you on the show because you have a serious amount of experience. You’ve seen so many surgeries.
It’s a lot of time. I don’t know if I can get it back.
You look at it as an art form. I love your description.
It’s my love. It’s my passion.
Only someone who has been in it long enough and has enough experience can make a comment like that, “It was like watching a symphony.” I love the fact that Travis gets to learn from you with a whole new fresh set of eyes. Having you on this show together talking about the same thing from different perspectives shows the respect you have for the craft of what it means to be a medical device sales rep in orthopedics. Thank you both for being on the show. I can’t wait until all the students hear about the opportunity that we’re all presenting to them to work with you. It’s going to be awesome. This is amazing. Thank you for being on the show.
I have one more thing to add. I want to thank Travis for putting his faith in me and trusting this opportunity because it was a big leap of faith on his end and trusting that the program that I was trying to sell to him was like, “We’re going to put you through. You’re the only one that’s done this but we want to try something, and we think we can add a lot of value to someone with nothing in return.” You did help us become more efficient. It’s a testament to others.
For people looking for new opportunities like that, sometimes taking a leap of faith pays off. Sometimes even if someone doubts you, or you have a lot of people in your life who are like, “You’re doing the wrong thing. You need to come home. You need to not do what you’re doing,” if you listen to those doubters, you wouldn’t be sitting here on your show with the role you have. Sometimes believing what’s in your heart and going, “I’m going to trust that someone is going to put the energy into me,” is good. There are programs out there that we hope are developing in the very near future that are going to look a lot like that. If people adhere to and buy into those programs, their lives can change. Does your life change now?
It’s completely flipped around to paying for college. I’m all about college. I love college life, not necessarily all the extracurriculars that you do but studying and learning all the things that you’re going to need at one point or another. If you have a sole passion and drive for knowing what you want to do, I strongly affirm that you go and take that leap of faith because I was scared. I didn’t know where I was going to live. I didn’t know what I was going to drive. I didn’t know what I was going to eat the next morning.
We didn’t cover this but I bought Travis a car when he moved down. Somehow we didn’t even come up but he was supposed to move here and drive down with a car, and he showed up on an airplane. I’m like, “Where’s your car?” He’s like, “My car has 350,000 miles on it. I don’t think it can make it here and back.” We were like, “We will rent you a car.” You go to the dealership, and you can’t rent a twenty-year-old a car. Do that. We found that out the hard way. I bought him a car, which he still has. He pays for it but we funded the buying of the car. His life has changed. It’s awesome.
Let me add something too. You already know our program. You’re going to get the job. What’s a little bit different about this offering with Joey and Travis is you’re going to get the job and have a deeper network within orthopedics but you’re going to get that training so that you start incredibly strong. That’s the nuance here. It’s almost like you’re getting remote tutelage from Joey and Travis.
In my opinion, there’s no better way to get training from the expert and the fresh face that are both doing the same work. You capture every perspective that you could possibly have. This is fantastic. Thank you for being on the show. You are doing amazing things. We’re going to help a lot of people. Make sure you tune in next time for another episode of the show.
That was Joey and Travis. I’m going to get right to it. You heard it here. This is a new program that we have. In this program, you’re not only going to be giving yourself one of the best chances to get into an ortho device sales role but you’re also going to be given the best chances to perform powerfully in your first year in an ortho device sales role. In this program, we’re not just going to be teaching you the science, the procedures, and the OR etiquette. We’re also going to be teaching you not only how to forge relationships with the surgeons but you will be forging actual relationships with surgeons.
When we put this together, we pretty much said to ourselves, “This has to be the most in-depth and profound program that anyone can access that gives everyone backdoor access to the medical sales world and the things that you can’t find out unless you’re working for a company, and you’re deep in the throes of the job.” That’s what’s going to set everyone apart. Forget about being confident, you’re going through your interviews because you know exactly what needs to happen. It’s almost like you’re showing up as someone who has experience, and then to add to that, you’re leveraging the relationships you’ve developed even before getting the job. That’s huge.
The network that you have when you combine the EYS network, Joey Testa’s network, Travis’s network, and the inroads with the healthcare providers that are already established is a very powerful program with an amazing opportunity. I can’t stress to Travis enough that he’s walked into a dream because he got into this when he was nineteen. He’s twenty now. He’s a rockstar. He’s confident, ready, and hungry. He wants to do that much more and be that much better. It’s because he got the tutelage of someone who cares as much as he does. He has been in the industry for over fifteen years.
When you combine these two guys, you get yourself a very interesting set of perspectives. This is what the expert believes, and this is what the newbie has implemented that he’s learned from the expert, and maybe in some cases, add his twist to make it even that much more effective for him. This is the program that you would be a part of. When you add that to what we’re already doing and what’s already happening with the Medical Sales Career Builder, you get yourself a rockstar program where you’re going to show up like no one else is.
For all of you out there, even if you said to yourself, “What’s going on with the ortho? I don’t know if I want that but I’m interested,” then you better let us know. We’re going to be offering this program as of now. The program is available for you. Fill out the application. Schedule a time when you get in front of one of our account executives, and they interview you for eligibility into our program. Share that you want the EYS ortho program, and then we will walk you through the criteria.
This is not an open program. This is a select program, and there are going to be multiple interviews. You’re going to be screened by our interior coordinators and then interviewed by our account executives, and then if you pass both of those interviews, you get one more interview with either Joey, Travis, or both of them. Only then you can be approved to get in or not get in this program. If you don’t get in, it doesn’t mean that you can never do it. For reasons that we will cite, we’re going to let everyone know this is not an interview where you have no idea what you did wrong or right. We are going to tell you exactly why we will not allow you to get in at this moment and even give you feedback on what you can do so you can make yourself eligible for this program.
This is such an exciting thing. I’m so happy to bring it to the masses. As always, thank you for reading. If you’re looking for a position in ortho sales med device, then you better get to the website of EvolveYourSuccess.com and fill out that application. If you’re looking to be in medical sales, then you already know. You can go to EvolveYourSuccess.com and fill out the application, and we can get you exactly where you want to go. As always, we do our best to bring your guests who are doing things differently in the medical sales space. Make sure you tune in next time for another episode.
- Joey Testa – LinkedIn
- Travis Harvey – LinkedIn
- The 48 Laws of Power
- Gwennie’s Gift
- Frederick William House
- Medical Sales Career Builder
About Travis Harvey
As a Clinical Account Manager at OrthoGrid Systems, Inc., I am dedicated to advancing patient outcomes through the integration of AI technology in orthopedic surgery. I cover the East part of the U.S., where I work with surgeons, hospitals, and distributors to provide innovative solutions for complex cases and enhance surgical efficiency and accuracy.
About Joey Testa
Joe Testa is a well-known influencer on the LinkedIn platform, where he regularly shares his expertise on orthopedic medical sales. Joe is now the VP of Sales, East, Orthogrid Systems Incorporated. Joe Testa was previously a guest on the podcast and has now taken a new role in Orthogrid. He took this new role as he wanted to sell something that will bring value to surgeons.
With a deep passion for orthopedics and medical sales, Joe has become an authority in his field, earning multiple awards for his outstanding performance as an orthopedic sales consultant. His skills in coaching, project management, outside sales, and sales management have helped him build strong relationships with his clients, providing them with the best possible service and support. Through his social media presence and impressive track record, Joe Testa has become a trusted and respected leader in the orthopedics medical sales field.
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