Are Your MSL Trainings Actually Benefiting Your Stakeholders?

August 1, 2022 Array Team

The content that Medical Science Liaisons are expected to understand and objectively convey has continually become more difficult and complex over time as this Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs MSL Training article states, which calls for better training programs and techniques to maintain the trust of HCPs and other stakeholders. Overloading MSL’s with information isn’t efficient or beneficial to any party, though. When designing a medical science liaison training session, it’s important to focus on pain points so that you can address them in the earliest stages of planning. 

This article covers solutions to two big pain points—maintaining audience engagement and measuring knowledge transfer—through the following:

  • Utilizing content engagement to maintain interest, even in a virtual setting
  • Ensuring knowledge transfer and information retention are top priorities


Utilizing content engagement to maintain interest, even in a virtual setting.

In Medical Science Liaison training, particularly in this virtual/hybrid world created by the pandemic, it’s vital to focus on maintaining interest and engagement with the content. As stated in this Medical Science Liaison Society article on MSLs and speaker training, evolving technology is providing opportunities to measure audience attentiveness, even in a virtual context. Some of these content engagement tools include:

  • Gamification: usage of elements of a game such as competition and point scoring to increase attention and interest. 
  • Live surveying: utilizing surveys that are answered in real time as tests of both comprehension and audience engagement.
  • Multimedia: incorporating different types of media such as video and audio to keep the content engaging for the audience.

Ensuring knowledge transfer and information retention are top priorities. 

Due to the complex nature of the content that MSLs are expected to learn, understand, and share objectively, knowledge transfer and retention should be key focuses when designing a training session. Jane Chin at the MSL Institute shares in this article that facilitators should utilize a ROI (Results, Objectives, Implementation) method to ensure optimal results, with the Results section being primarily about what you expect your MSLs to do and what information and skills they need to achieve this. Some key ways to measure these results include:

  • Before and after evaluative polling: the presentation of a poll related to the skills or information necessary, immediate training on the same subject, and a follow up of the same poll with instantly available comparison of results.
  • Measuring confidence in addition to competence: allowing participants to rate how confident they are in the answer that they have chosen when submitting a response to a polling question, and then comparing that to whether or not they were correct.
  • Following up with participants who get answers wrong: having audience members submit responses that are connected to their email addresses allows you to follow up with those who answered incorrectly to initiate any further training. 

When designing a Medical Science Liaison training, it’s important to keep your stakeholders’ interests in mind. Focusing on making sure that your MSLs are engaged, even if they’re virtual, and that they are able to achieve your knowledge transfer goals are keys to having a successful training. As the complexity of the content that MSLs are expected to learn increases, so must the quality of the training that they receive.

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