Senior LDRP Specialist — Jim Dyer

Senior LDRP Specialist — Jim Dyer

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Save 40% on Unlimited Medbridge CEUs with promo code TNCPT!
Save 40% on Unlimited Medbridge CEUs with promo code TNCPT!

This week’s spotlight is on Jim Dyer, PT, DPT, MBA, a non-clinical physical therapist who is now Senior LDRP Specialist for Medtronic!

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What is your full name, title, and company name for your current, primary role?

Jim Dyer, PT, DPT, MBA — Senior LDRP Specialist for Medtronic

Medtronic logo

Where are you located?

I work remotely out of the Indianapolis, Indiana area.

Where did you go to PT school, and what year did you graduate?

Bradley University, 2015.

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What did you do when you first finished school, and for how long?

I worked in outpatient orthopedics until 2021.

In what setting(s) did you work, and what types of patients did you treat?

I took leadership roles for various orthopedic outpatient companies.

What did you enjoy about your early roles? What didn’t you enjoy?

I enjoyed my co-workers and patients.

I started to get frustrated with the trend of declining reimbursement and other headwinds the industry faces.

When and why did you decide to do something non-clinical?

At the companies I worked for, I noticed a changing of the guard in senior and executive leadership. The skill set and backgrounds shifted from traditional clinical PT backgrounds (that grew organically within the company) to a more traditional business background.

What are you doing these days?

I joined Medtronic—the world’s largest medtech company—through their MBA recruitment pipeline.

This early career pipeline is called a leadership development rotational program (LDRP). It allows incoming full-time employees to get exposure to different roles and functions across the company prior to settling into their desired career path within the company.

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My first rotation is with the business development and strategy team. This team is primarily responsible for inorganic growth and identifying companies to buy, invest in, or partner with.

I chose this rotation to get broad exposure and a better working knowledge of the medtech landscape, my company’s current capabilities, competitors’ capabilities, and general market trends.

I wanted to further develop my analytical skill set and learn how senior leadership thinks about making decisions. This has been a great way of doing that.

Are you still treating patients, or are you solely non-clinical?

No, I am solely non-clinical.

How long have you been in your current senior LDRP specialist role?

Since July 2023.

Did you get any special certifications or training along the way to help you get into your current role?

Yes, I pursued a full-time MBA.

How did you find your job? Did you apply or find it through a connection?

My MBA program had access to internships and alumni network resources. This allowed me to network with target employers to ultimately land the job. I was able to secure a paid internship between year one and year two of my MBA, and I was fortunate enough to receive a return offer to rejoin full time upon graduation from my MBA.

How have people reacted to you leaving patient care?

Initially, I received mixed responses. Overall, there was a lot of support, but there was also a lot of confusion over why I was pursuing a full-time MBA versus an online or part-time MBA while continuing to work full time as a therapist.

What’s a typical day or week in the life like for you? What types of tasks and responsibilities fill your time?

It varies day to day, depending on what projects are going on and what time of year it is. Overall, my work weeks are about 40 hours a week and primarily remote. It is a healthy mix of team meetings, one-on-one meetings to collaborate and network, and independent research.

What are some of the rewards of your role? What are the biggest challenges?

I really enjoy getting exposure to what our company is trying to do in the future and what type of innovation exists around the corner.

I enjoy that my analyses are impactful and mission driven around enhancing patient care.

From a personal perspective, I’m very grateful to have more traditional hours compared to my time in patient care.

How did your clinical background prepare you for this role? Which skills transferred?

The deep technical expertise in treating different patient populations, the relationship building with physicians, and the experience in direct patient care all transferred. Many of my projects have required some baseline knowledge of current best practices in treating various patient populations. Knowing how to research and read through literature quickly has been very valuable.

What type of person do you think would do well in your senior LDRP specialist role?

People who get their energy from project-based work and working with teams would do well in my role. I noticed working as a clinic manager that a lot of my bandwidth was spent on putting out daily fires as they popped up. However, I enjoyed the limited time I had to think about the future and improve big-picture items. My current role gives me the opportunity to analyze, research, collaborate and invest my bandwidth on those big-picture opportunities and challenges.

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Do you work remotely or onsite?

I work remotely, with very light travel to either conferences or on-site team-building events.

Does your organization hire PT, OT, or SLP professionals into non-clinical roles? If so, what type of roles?

Yes, the typical roles I’ve seen people pivot into directly from patient care are sales and clinical specialist roles. They usually had experience in a specific area and familiarity with the technology related to the role.

The path I took also values clinical backgrounds. In my MBA cohort, three out of 15 peers who received full-time offers came from clinical backgrounds prior to pursuing a full-time MBA and joining Medtronic through this recruitment pipeline.

Did you read any books, take any courses, or do anything special overall to get you where you are today?

As mentioned above, I pursued a full-time MBA. This required me to leave practice for two years and move to a college campus with my family. The full-time format is different than online and part-time formats.

I want to point out that this option is incredibly accessible for people interested in exploring this route. Many programs have access to a ton of financial scholarships. By applying directly to these programs, your application is automatically considered for scholarships through the university. There are additional scholarship resources for candidates that qualify to participate with organizations, such as the Forte Fellowship, ROMBA, and the consortium.

Many of my classmates and myself received full-tuition scholarships through these groups and/or the university directly.

Additionally, internships between year one and year two are paid, and many students will take GA or contracted work to gain experience in their desired post-MBA placement.

What is a typical career path for someone in your senior LDRP specialist role?

What’s great is I don’t think there is a typical career path for someone going through a rotational program. The purpose of a rotational program is to attract top talent and give them the freedom to work on challenges that excite them. It allows candidates a ton of opportunity for professional growth and to create many careers within the same organization.

There are general milestones as far as accelerated promotions and broader access across the organization while in the rotational program. However, many use the rotational program to explore different functional areas to get a better idea of what they like prior to settling into a more defined career path.

What is next for you? What are your high-level career aspirations?

I’ve really enjoyed my experience in business development. I get transparency into what the future of medtech might look like, and I feel like my background and skill set is all valued when collaborating in teams. My voice is heard.

It’s also fascinating to see which startups and types of innovation exist right around the corner. So, the next steps for me will be to try to land another rotation within some sort of business development or strategy capacity, either in a different portfolio or in a specific operating unit.

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