Medical Device Employees Are Often In The O.R., Raising Concerns About Influence

Published: Nov 15, 2016

They are a little-known presence in many operating rooms, offering technical expertise to surgeons installing new knees, implanting cardiac defibrillators or performing delicate spine surgery.

Often called device reps — or by the more cumbersome and less transparent moniker “health-care industry representatives” — these salespeople are employed by the companies that make medical devices: Stryker, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic, to name a few. Their presence in the OR, particularly common in orthopedics and neurosurgery, is part of the equipment packages that hospitals typically buy.

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