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The Last “Detail Man”

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In the old days, sales reps for drug companies were invariably middle-aged men, known in the trade as “detail men.”

The average detail man wore a downtrodden appearance and demeanor, no doubt from years of shabby treatment by the M.D.s who were his prospects — and treated him as a second-class citizen.

The detail man is a vanishing breed, largely replaced today by the “detail woman.”

Increasingly, these drug reps are bright, ambitious, well-dressed, highly educated, and usually drop-dead-gorgeous women — mostly in their 20s and early 30s.

Is this merely a sexist observation on my part?

Or is it a deliberately sexist sales management strategy carried out by drug company executives to get middle-age male physicians to prescribe with their gonads instead of their brains?

I have, by the way, noticed that male doctors are MUCH nicer to these pretty young women today than they were years ago to the detail MEN — worn-out salesmen who haunted their waiting rooms, waiting sometimes hours for a chance to peddle their wares.

Will I burn in the underworld for saying this out loud? Or am I right on the money?

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