Conversations with members of the Harvard and Radcliffe Class of 1992.
Hosted by Will Bachman.

Episode: 66

Greg Lisi, Military Intelligence Officer and Medical Device Professional

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Show notes

After Greg Lisi graduated from Harvard, he spent nine years in the military before working in the medical device space for several companies. He then transitioned to a small company called Prep MD, which does medical device training. After graduation, he took his officer basic course and received an active reserve commission in the military. He spent six months at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, learning about military intelligence and officer training. He served three years as an Intel officer at Fort Hood, Texas, and attended Airborne School, Ranger School. Greg also worked as a scout platoon leader, providing forward reconnaissance for a tank battalion. 


Life as a Military Intel Officer

Greg describes the military experience of an Intel officer. He requested a special assignment from his advanced course to attend the Armor Maneuver School. He spent six months at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and had the opportunity to go to Germany and learn about the Battle of the Bulge and the German armor officer school with his German counterparts. Upon returning, he was invited to spend his captain years in Europe, spending a year in Bonn, Germany, working for a Military Intelligence Battalion. The unit was mostly electronic, flying RC 12 airplanes and collecting electronic intelligence while supporting peace operations in Bosnia. Greg was tasked with collecting electronic intelligence.

One day, he was contacted by Colonel Dragon, a battalion commander, who asked about his transfer to a new unit. Greg was transferred to his unit, which was preparing to deploy to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to monitor and stabilize the border between Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The mission was to monitor and stabilize the border while ensuring the conflict in Kosovo didn’t spill over into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Greg talks about his post serving on the UN mission to monitor and stabilize the border between Albania and Macedonia. The unit had outposts along the border, and Greg describes the drills that were different from military training, including how to respond to a sniper. Greg describes his experience as an Intel Officer in a military unit, specifically an infantry battalion, and how the officer is responsible for reporting to the brigade commander and providing advice and counsel. He talks about his experience with the largest foreign deployed operation in Europe today. Greg highlights the importance of intelligence in ensuring a stable geopolitical environment and addressing potential resistance from Serbs.


Life after a Career in the Military

Greg talks about his decision to leave the military after nine years. He worked with a company called Cameron Brooks, which helped junior military officers find opportunities with different organizations in corporate America. He eventually took a job in the medical device space at a company called Guidance Corporation, which was later bought by Boston Scientific. He initially worked as a field clinical representative in cardiac rhythm management, where he was the point person between the physician, patients, and the technology.


Working as a Clinical Representative

He fell in love with the medical device space and the patient care and technology. He served as a clinical rep for about 18 months and later took his own sales territory. He explains what he enjoyed about this job, as his livelihood was driven by the need to create relationships and create value around the technology he was working with. Greg discusses the role of a clinical representative in the healthcare industry, which is often overlooked and/or unknown. He explains that a clinical representative serves as a bridge between technology and the physician, helping bridge the gap between the two. A clinical representative can help ensure the correct things are being done for the device they represent on a given day. Greg explains how they help a physician with technology and during procedures. He discusses the importance of being quiet, good listeners, and being three steps ahead of the physician when dealing with senior attending physicians. He also discusses the importance of checklists. He learned the efficacy of checklists from his military experiences and believes that checklists are good for training people in working through procedures early in their training.


Founding Prep MD

Greg talks about his company, Prep MD, founded in 2009, which aims to teach, inspire, and connect talented individuals with the medical device industry. The company initially had five members, who designed a six-week program that partnered with local medical institutions in Boston. The program included hands-on didactics, simulation equipment, and a mock catheterization and electrophysiology lab. The program prepared participants for clinical rotation and observation rounds, and helped place them with companies or healthcare providers in clinical specialist roles. Today, his company trains people to become clinical representatives and helps place them with companies or healthcare providers around the country. This role serves as a bridge between the technology and the physician, making it easier for physicians to keep up with the latest innovations. The company has three different companies under the Prep MD umbrella: the initial training company, a staffing entity, and a third LLC called prep MD RMS for remote monitoring solutions. The monitoring space is growing, with wearables becoming more prevalent. Greg talks about how the company has expanded its training and development side, and how it is now looking to expand into wearables and other areas.


Working with the Non-Profit Med Tech Vets

Greg discusses his experience working with Med Tech Vets, a nonprofit organization that provides mentoring for veterans transitioning from the military. They recently established a scholarship program for individuals who complete their online training program, which is currently at $35,000 for the six-month program. The cost of the program is not cheap, but employers appreciate the commitment to professional development and the ability to find pre-qualified candidates who can learn and master technology. Greg talks about the entry requirements, financial aid packages available, and the high placement rate post graduation. Greg talks about the monitoring business, which involves reconnection of devices or monitoring patients’ health. He explains that some healthcare providers prefer to have their staff handle patient outreach, while others outsource this task to third-party providers. Lisi also discusses the shift towards app-based technology, where everything becomes app-based, and how it is transforming the way healthcare providers work.



08:20 The UN’s mission to monitor the border with Macedonia

11:15 How to avoid conflict spilling over

16:22 How Greg became an intel officer

19:19 The decision to leave the army

25:11 How Greg became a clinical representative

28:15 The role of a clinical rep in guiding the physician 

33:58 How Greg founded Prep MD

43:14 The entry requirements for students coming to the program

47:34  App-based medical monitoring devices





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Will Bachman, Greg Lisi


Will Bachman  00:01

Hello, and welcome to the 90 T report conversations with members of Harvard and Radcliffe class of 1992. I’m your host will Bachman and I’m here today with a classmate Greg LISI. Greg, welcome to the show.


Greg Lisi  00:15

Hey, well, how are you today? Thanks for having me.


Will Bachman  00:18

So Greg, tell us about your journey since graduating from Harvard.


Greg Lisi  00:24

Oh, thanks. Well, first off, I just want to say thanks for all you’re doing here to sort of share our stories. I’ve enjoyed listening to some of the other podcasts from my classmates. And I’m happy to share a little bit about my story. Because when I look at my time since graduation, I can kind of break it up into a couple of different segments immediately after graduating, like yourself, I remember correctly you are, you’re in the Navy ROTC program, I did the Army ROTC program. So I received a commission to graduation and I spent about nine years serving in the military. After that, I spent private another nine years working in the medical device space for several companies. And then since then, I’ve transitioned to a small company outside of Boston, Massachusetts called prep MD where we do medical device training. And so it’s kind of been a multifold journey since graduation. But I guess I could start a little bit about my military experience. If that sounds good.


Will Bachman  01:21

Yes, I would like to hear about your life in the army.


Greg Lisi  01:25

Absolutely. Well, I got my commission as a Second Lieutenant. I think it was a day before graduation, we had commissioning day and I remember that fondly and excited kind of a lot of nervousness of what was to follow. And I found out that I was receiving an active reserve Commission, which meant I would serve in the Army Reserves, but I’d be on active duty. So it was like being on what we would call regular army. And after graduation, I had a last summer where I could spend actually spent a proctoring at the summer school. So instead of not allowing myself to sort of ease myself away from the Harvard experience a little bit and then after that, I went off to what’s called my officer basic course. All officers in the army anyway have to learn what it’s like to be an officer in your specialty. So I received my commission and in military intelligence, so we spent about six months down at Fort Huachuca, Arizona learning what it meant to be an intelligence officer training and at that point, you would receive your duty assignment and where you would go all officers would receive either stateside or an overseas assignment and Turman duty dependent upon where you went. So I went to Fort Hood, Texas for three years, where I served as my initial time as an Intel officer. Before that I did a little bit more army schooling, I had a chance to go to Airborne School, we learn how to jump out of perfectly good airplanes. And after that, I had the opportunity to go to Ranger School, which is the Army’s combat leadership program for young leaders, teaching them what it’s like the stresses of working in a combat situation and a simulated environment. From there, I had the opportunity to then go to that first duty station out of Fort Hood. Learned a lot about what it meant to work with soldiers from all around the country. I remember off in our Harvard experience, we talked about, you know, one of the things that Harvard prides itself on its diversity and the type of diverse students that brings into the, into the environment, I really had an opportunity to, I guess, experience diversity, even higher levels, working with soldiers from all across the country from all kinds of socio economic backgrounds and learning about, you know, their commitment to serve the country, our country and what drew them into the service. I really loved my leadership time, I worked as a platoon leader. That was probably my most exciting job I had, I was a scout platoon leader, which is, as a scout platoon leader, our job is to provide forward reconnaissance for a tank battalion. So I had 30 soldiers. We were at Humvee equipped units, familiar with Humvees, you actually see him on the streets now, and we’ve commercialized them. But back when I was in the service, it was our vehicle of choice for moving around the battlefield. And our job, as I said earlier, was to learn to penetrate enemy lines, report back on enemy activities and paint a picture of what the battlefield would look like for the battlefield commander and said it’s probably the most fun I had in the military, worked with great soldiers pretty exciting type of a mission from a training standpoint. And then I said probably about, I guess, three, three and a half years at Fort Hood and then had a chance to go back to school part of the military experience is continued development as you move through the ranks. I was coming up on my time to look for a promotion to captain and all young army officers have to go to their what’s called their advanced course, where they again learn what it’s like to, you know, prepare for those next roles and responsibilities. I actually requested a special assignment from My advanced course I was an Intel officer and I was supposed to go back to what what you got love my time in Arizona, but I kind of had this mindset when I was a lieutenant that to be an effective Intel officer I really needed to understand. maneuver, understand the way the commander’s that I was advising, were thinking, so I asked to go to the armor maneuver School, which was a school that my counterparts who are in the armor, so the tank officers of the military, the one that they wouldn’t go to, and I felt that it would be a unique experience to have that opportunity. And unfortunately, I was I was given that permission to do that. And it’s been about six months out at Fort Knox, Kentucky. And learning that had a great experience there probably the best opportunity I had their fun it was outside of sort of normal duties in the military. We had a really great experience. My class was invited by the German government to go overseas to Germany where we were married up with our counterparts at the German armor officer school and we did it was known as a staff study of the Battle of the Bulge. So I don’t know if any of my classmates are fans of Band of Brothers, but they talked about the Battle of Bastogne and Band of Brothers one of the episodes and we had an opportunity to sort of walk the battlefield from the German forces invasion up into the defense of Bastogne and beyond. And it was really amazing educational experience, sort of walking the battlefield side by side with my German counterparts discussing the military operations, the lessons learned from both sides of that really got excited about Europe was over there. It was just a, probably about a two week visit. And fortunately, when I came back, I heard that my next duty assignment was actually going to be in Europe. So I had an opportunity to spend my captain years based out of Germany, initially was stationed in a beautiful town of these Bonn in Germany, which is just on the Rhine River right east of Frankfurt. Beautiful area spent about a year there working for a Military Intelligence Battalion. Actually, there’s interesting that the unit was called a Military Intelligence Battalion and I was the only military intelligence officer in the unit was pretty much all pilots it was an electronic. They flew RC 12 airplanes, and they did electronic intelligence. So their mission was, at the time we were supporting peace operations over over Bosnia. So we’re collecting electronic intelligence at that period of time. I really missed sort of ground maneuver Intel support. When actually one day I was at the post office and I ran into a colleague who was he was a gentleman by the name of I knew it was major dragon. He was now Colonel dragon. He was a battalion commander and bumped into him in the mailroom and asked me what I was doing. And I said, Well, Station currently, these buttons I was looking to get back to a maneuver unit. Next week, I think I called into my battalion commanders Office wanted to know why the Intel division officer was calling the division commander about transferring me to a new unit. Well, my colonel dragon called him the division commander and I got to transfer to his unit where I can go back to do tactical Intel and the His unit was getting ready to deploy at the time to firearm, it’s actually it’s the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It was kind of funny, I didn’t even know firearm existed, hence the name at the time. But there was a time the UN had a mission to monitor and stabilize the border of Albania, but with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, so it was really to provide stability to firearm while at the time I don’t know if you remember there was a bit of a conflict going on what’s in an area that’s now known as Kosovo. And in Kosovo, the ethnic Albanians and the Serbs were conducting a basically a local conflict, which our mission was to ensure that it didn’t spill over into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. We did that for about six months. It was, I’d say, probably the strangest sort of mission we I was ever on in the sense that I remember coming on base. It was a small former, you could, I guess, was a former Macedonian army base that we had occupied. We had outposts all along the border and I remember taking a helicopter ride out, I think was my first day on the base. The unit had already been deployed for about a month by the time I joined them, and guess I was visiting the outpost and I was looking around the outpost and they had a sort of drills, sort of posters of all the different drills that the soldiers had been training on before they got out there. And you know, as I was looking at some of these drills, and I noticed one that said there was sniper drill and it was how to respond to a sniper. And the the drill said, teak seek cover and raise the UN flag waive the UN flag, which I just kind of laugh to myself. It’s sort of contrary contradictory to any military training the soldiers had had up to this point and how to react and type of that type of situation, which just really reminded me how different this UN mission was from sort of the typical high intensity conflict,


Will Bachman  10:18

how should How should one respond to a sniper, they seek cover part seems,


Greg Lisi  10:25

that’s the first part is 100% Correct? Well is, an exact cover is exactly the first maneuver. From there, it’s returned fire. And, or the idea of waving the flag to further identify your location is a little counterintuitive. But the point being is, we were there as a UN mission. And our mission was to really it was to observe what was going on the border, to monitor it, and then to report back to UN authorities for any type of activities that would potentially destabilize the region. And it was not to escalate in any way what was going on. So it was, but for these young soldiers, and when they come on, from day one there, they were trained more in a high intensity conflict mentality. So they had to go through an extensive sort of ramp up training period to get ready for this type of environment.


Will Bachman  11:15

How does one seek to avoid a conflict spilling over? Did you say, Guys, if you are going to fight, you can fight in that field, but don’t cross this? How do you say like, don’t fight over here, just fight over there where you are? And don’t spill over? How does that work?


Greg Lisi  11:34

Yeah, I think it’s a great question. I think from that was probably attached to beyond our immediate mission as a unit our mission really was to provide the data back to you and authority so diplomacy could be used to you know, interact with the parties involved to make sure that you know, and there was there were I guess measures in place with regards to quick reactionary forces etc to protect along the border if needed to be but our particular units mission was to avoid engagement and at any level, and really to just buy but but yet by have having a it really was a multinational presence. We were there there was a battalion I think from Norway, a Finnish battalion also on the border but by having a presence there has to be a sense of determined more than anything else.


Will Bachman  12:27

So we firearm former you Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, does that have its own name now? I’m sorry, I’m behind on my geography?


Greg Lisi  12:37

That’s a great question. Well, I don’t believe the name has changed. I think it is still known as firearm and I’d have to do a Google search to look up it’s been many years and ashamed to say I haven’t fallen off on the geopolitical state. But since my time what’s


Will Bachman  12:53

what’s good to eat and firearm?


Greg Lisi  12:56

You know, we didn’t we didn’t get an opportunity to get out in the community much. We were pretty much on the base. There was a small little, little local cafe that some of the locals were able to set up on our base. I remember having a great it was called a sculpture salad. It was the freshest tomatoes with goat cheese, freshest goat cheese I think I’ve ever had with a Masonic undergrad. So that’s that’s my, that’s my recall of fine dining. In my time that it was there when I otherwise it was pretty much mess all food and Mrs. Okay,


Will Bachman  13:31

I did want to just remark earlier that, you know, I’m pretty happy with my choice of the Navy. But if I was going to be in the Army serving under Colonel dragon would be the choice, right? How could you not want to serve under Colonel dragon? What a great name.


Greg Lisi  13:48

Yeah, the perfect name. The product name?


Will Bachman  13:50

No, I, I had a question for you about actually the school that you went to. So when you talked about maneuver School for the armor? Is that learning how to move one individual tank around or? Okay, you’re now in charge of 30 tanks. And here’s how you’re going to deploy all 30 tanks or 50 tanks or 100 tanks sir.


Greg Lisi  14:10

Yeah, so great, great question at that level, it was sort of next level of more more larger unit tactics. A lot of the roles that maneuver leaders go into in their captain years are in because obviously the pinnacle of what they want to do as their company command is any officer or you want to command a unit you know, you want to sort of in your captain years as being that company commander sort of a sawed off the highest sought position. So at a company level, you know, you’re commanding it doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s you know, 10 to 12 armored armored 10 to 12 armored vehicles. You know, platoon and you know four platoons with inside of a company, and battalion is built off of that but you’re learning sort of company money. versus battalion movers because beyond company command, they then go into Staff Officer roles and as a staff officer role and you know, need to know how to write battlefield operations plans how to understand not only the movement but the logistics supports of these forces. And so it is that next higher level of, of operations.


Will Bachman  15:19

Okay. So it’s a little bit of a diversion, but so a platoon would have how many tanks?


Greg Lisi  15:25

Well, so you’re, you’re, you’re separating me from my fine as I was going through them. I have that right. Yeah. So I want to say as a platoon, I’m trying to remember my counterparts as platoon leaders probably had want to say, Yeah, I guess. I want to say let’s say I’m going to shoot in the middle Well, I’m, I’m showing my age, early onset to come in to come into


Will Bachman  15:53

wrestling. So roughly eight tanks in a platoon. You’re only in how many platoons in a company for four platoons. Okay, so we got like, 30 plus or minus tanks under a company. Okay, a little bit of intuition. Okay, so, you’re bringing back we’ll bring it back to your firearm. You are in the Intel company or battalion collecting intelligence, the United Nations. Alright. Okay, carry on. I got you off track. Hello.


Greg Lisi  16:21

Yeah, no, that’s all right. Yeah. So yeah, firearm is actually was it it was, I was the Intel officer. And it was actually a infantry battalion that was formally deployed. And so again, as an Intel officer, you’re usually if you’re not in an Intel unit, usually, the sort of the odd duckling like there’s only like one or two Intel officers in a supporting these units. But so we did that for about, I guess, six months, came back to Germany and sort of put our high intensity conflict back on matter of fact, we, I, I guess I came, I was the battalion Intel officer after that, and I think I had an opportunity to interview for to become the brigade Intel officer. So now, I moved to that next higher level. So now take that battalion in times that by four so you know, I’ve got four battalions in a brigade, I was the, the Intel officer responsible for reporting to the brigade commander, so I was on his staff with other officers. And our job was to provide, you know, advice and counsel and obviously, my area of specialty was in was in Intel was always really leveraging the information that came in from a variety of different assets out there to keep him and the rest of the staff up to date on what was going on geopolitically in the area. We were when I got accepted for that role, we moved into what was called the I guess, what was the divisions ready brigade, which meant that if something were to happen in a high intensity nature, so let’s just say things were to re escalate. At that point. In Yugoslavia, where we were monitoring the border, we wouldn’t be the forward deployed battalion that would go in, we think you’re on we’re on status for about I think you’re on it’s about six months at a time, if I remember correctly. I again, can’t. I’m horrible with dates. But we did that. In a matter of fact, we were just came off of just came off of I think high intensity readiness, and I was in a staff meeting. And I remember vividly someone slid a piece of paper across the the boardroom table to me, and it was I guess it was 1999 it would have been that Milosevic Slobodan Milosevic was a leader, the Serbian leader in you, you just saw Yugoslavia at the time, had surrendered. So there was an air war at the time. I guess it was back in, I guess, mid 99, probably March timeframe. NATO had commenced an air war against Milosevic because the Serbian delegation had refused to sign a peace treaty with the Albanian delegation. And so to try and bring him to the table, NATO launched an air campaign and that went on for about 11 weeks. And then June of that year, was when he surrendered. I remember that day because they slid a piece of paper across from me, I opened it up and announced that we had surrendered and immediately the brigade staff went in action, because we had just come off of readiness. It was kind of funny. I mean, we stopped basically started politicking to the brigade commander that if something was going to happen, we wanted to be slotted back into that position. As a matter of fact, the US did decide to join the international operation. And I guess at the time NATO decided that they were going to forward deploy about 50,000 troops into Kosovo to try and reestablish, you know, a stable geopolitical environment there. And so my brigade went forward and we deployed a as part of a mouth by multinational peacekeeping. I really brigade inside of Kosovo. And so there was a US presidential which was our brigade, there was a president from Russia, there was a presence from Poland and then Canada, Spain, England and Ireland, the countries that kind of come to mind at the time. I remember I was part of the advanced force for that. And we actually deployed back into Macedonia, the same base that I was in before the UN for the UN mission became our launching point for the NATO mission. I remember getting our maps, we got maps of where the air campaigns had been, because to try and find out where the landmines would be in the area. I remember being issued our, you know, the first time in my career getting issued large quantities of live ammunition, because we didn’t know what the what the situation was going to be like, were there going to be pockets of Serbs that were still going to be there that were going to be resistant to the multinational presence coming in. Fortunately, we moved forward without any resistance. And we occupied a wheat field outside of a town known known as erosive itch, and established a base defensive base perimeter. And we called and built up a camp a camp that we call camp Barnsdale. I remember after six months of being there, that what was initially a wheat field, set up tents, six months without plumbing, but when I left, we there was the beginning of a small city had been built, the Navy and Army Corps of Engineers had laid out roads, started building up some hard structures. And today, I think if you do a Google search camp, honestly will probably tell you, it’s probably the largest foreign deployed operation in Europe today in the largest military installation that had been built in Europe since the Vietnam War, which was pretty amazing. I remember leaving saying to myself, you know, this is this isn’t going away. And sure enough, it’s maintains a presence, I think, probably just over 4000. Troops today still work out of that base, and are out of that mission. But that is the central place for that mission.


Will Bachman  22:09

So you stayed in the army for nine years, which is almost half the way to retirement, and then you decided to move on. Tell us a bit about that decision.


Greg Lisi  22:19

Yeah, no. So yeah, great observation. It was yeah, it’s, it’s kind of that point of, do I stay? Or do I go, and at the time, I was newly married, been married for a few years, I was looking to consider starting a family. And having been deployed twice during my first few years of marriage, I wasn’t too sure it was. That was quite what I was looking for looking to provide a little bit more stability, for, you know, my family or my future family, as things went on. So after a lot of soul searching, made the decision to transition from the military, it was a difficult decision. It was something I always wanted to do. I never knew how long I was going to do. And I think I said to myself, I, I wanted to do it until as long as I was having fun. And to be honest, as I looked ahead to potential future assignments, I saw myself getting further and further away from the things that I really enjoyed doing in the military. And that that made me I think, made the decision a little easier for me. From there. I worked with a company I actually was called Cameron Brooks, they work with junior military officers and help them find opportunities with different organizations in corporate America. And they they ran a career conference that I attended, and ended up in a career field space that I never ever, ever envisioned myself. I ended up taking a job in the medical device space at the time was a company called guidance Corporation. They were later bought by Boston Scientific, very large acquisition of off scientific but ended up working is initially was what was called a field clinical representative. In the medical device space. The area of the space I worked in was something known as cardiac rhythm management. It was actually implantable pacemakers and defibrillators. And as a clinical rap, I was the point person between the physician, the patients and the technology, the actual device, so I would go into procedures and help advise the physician on the implementation of the device and then afterwards, I would help check the device with the patient made sure it was optimized for the patient. It was, I fell in love with it. It was really exciting. Feel the world to be honest, there are a lot of parallels to what I was doing in the military. I equated the procedure room with the military operation center and the surgeon or the physician as with the battlefield commander, they were highly demanding wanted expert support right away needed good clear communication and advice to them and so a lot of the those intangible skills that you have a chance to develop and hone in the military translated really well into this environment. I also fell in love with the patient’s I fell in love with the patient care and the technology. So I served as a clinical rapid was kind of a developmental role within the organization did that for about 18 months, and then had an opportunity to take my own sales territory. And as a sales representative, you continue to do I continue to do clinical work, we would still go into procedures still work with the doctors, but I was now tasked with growing of is a book of business, and that the time had just started our family, like my daughter had been born a little bit before being promoted. And, you know, I realized, you know, I remember one day sitting at home and, you know, I said, Well, diapers cost a lot. So doesn’t formula, I need to be able to figure out how to go sell something. And I think that’s a really hit me as a, you know that, you know, my livelihood was going to be driven on the need to create relationships create value around the technology I was working with. And I really enjoyed that side of the job, too. Now,


Will Bachman  26:06

this may surprise some listeners, because at least it was kind of surprising to me. Which is that in the operating room, there’s the patient, there’s the doctor, there’s all doctors, team, nurses, everyone. And then there’s this representative from the company that makes the device this is not really something that was in my mental space. Tell us? It just, it just says I’m surprised. Tell me a little bit about that role. And what does that person you know, what value do they provide to the doctor? It’s just what you know, what kind of advice do they give?


Greg Lisi  26:46

Sure, no, great question. I will tell you that before this career conference that I went to, with my recruiter, I didn’t know this role existed either. And, you know, sort of jumping a little bit ahead to the future and connecting some dots here well, and in my current role, the companies that I help run, it’s called prep MD. And we actually train people to get into these these roles now and then help place them with companies or healthcare providers around the country. And so we call these hidden jobs because as you said, most people don’t know these jobs exist. So they’re hidden jobs within a hidden career. And if I can tell, tell, a quick short story is that one of our graduations from our program, we often have guest speakers, and we had a guest speaker from a patient support group come in and, and she was talking from the perspective of a patient’s going and her nervousness of going in for a procedure and talking about a gentleman who would come up and introduce herself himself to her during the procedure. And she was amazed to realize that this person was a representative from the company. So the patient, she didn’t know this person was going to be there that she then later was going to have this continued interaction with with the person. So you really, this clinical representative really serves as a bridge between the technology and the physician, you know, we’ve got great physicians in this country, they’re well trained, and they do so many different things and procedures, it’s, it’s almost impossible for them to keep up on top of all of the innovations that are happening. from a technology standpoint, particularly in certain areas with the technology becomes more and more complex. So having a technical representative who kind of helps bridge that gap makes the physicians job a little bit easier. So you’re a physician facilitator from that standpoint, at the end of the day, you don’t do the procedure, the physician still does at the skill set, you know, that they have is, you know, there may be slight variations from one device to the other and you’re there to sort of make sure that the correct things are being done for the device that you represent on it on any given day.


Will Bachman  28:54

So let’s let’s take an example. I don’t know like a pacemaker, something that might be fluid. Would you carry into the operating room a your own checklist? If so, what are some of the things on it or give us some examples of questions that a surgeon might actually ask like, Hey, does it go here? Or here? Or little closer to the heart a little further away? What do you think? I mean, what kind of questions are they asking you?


Greg Lisi  29:17

Right? Well, I think a lot of it depends on the physician, right? And so in where are they on in their career, so, you know, physicians go through training themselves. And so you’re working with a seasoned, you know, attending physician, you know, out of, you know, academic institution, they’re not going to be asking for a lot of advice, you know, if there’s something unusual going on, and they’re gonna maybe want your opinion about how that’s interacting with your technology. But to your point, if if you have a younger physician, maybe they’ve just started as an attending just coming out of fellowship, they may not be as competent and so there may be doing their their first solo or their, you know, in now they’re looking to you because you’ve done hundreds of these with different positions. And so yes, They will be asking questions. Do you think I’m far enough out in the apex? Or how does this signal look to you? Are you comfortable with this measurements? Certain we call them leads or wires that go inside of the heart that the measurement, the target measurements that you’re looking for, for an optimal lead placement may be a little different from one lead versus another. So you’re, you know, based on your experience, you can tell a doctor, yes, this number looks good. And it should get better based on what I’ve seen historically with this lead, and what the clinical data tells us. So we’re sort of can be a calming influence in certain respects. And there’s some physicians that, you know, like I said, made dealing with more senior attending mail, you learn to be quiet, really quickly, you learn to be a very good listener, you learn to be three steps ahead of the physician and looking for a problem. And if you see something that looks out of out of sorts, it may be asking a leading question and asking something that says, hey, you know, how does that look to you, Dr. D? Are you comfortable with XY or Z that you’re seeing, and, you know, sort of, you know, at the end of the day, you know, it’s the, I always say, when I trained clinicals, that worked on to me and I train people in our program, right now, your job is to make sure that that physician is as successful as possible. And in a way you do it in a way that you’re not, you’re not on a podium, you’re not under the spotlight, you’re doing it behind the scenes, you’re working with the staff, you’re making sure the staff has all the things that they need to because again, the staff may not be as skilled in this type of procedure, the staff may or may only do it every once in a while. So during their prep, they look to you okay, what equipment do I need out? Do I have the right sets of equipment for the things that need to be done? So playing multiple, multifaceted role with inside of the procedure?


Will Bachman  31:44

Is it largely mean Is there a lot of checklists that you would be going through that you’d have some kind of clipboard or some kind of, you know, checklist that you’re checking off?


Greg Lisi  31:54

So great question. And being in the military, you probably, you know, in the Navy and I had a lot of friends who are pilots, they carried around their their check their their checklist and their side pocket. And before every flight, they’d go through their checks. And I grew up on checklists with inside of the military. I think, as we trained people in the space checklists were good, because I remember, actually, a, I was a manager at the time, I was working with a junior sales rep and coaching him a little bit. And we were meeting with a physician after the case. And the, we were talking about just that we’re talking about checklists, and the rep said, I need to work better on my checklist. And the physician actually leaned over and said something the rest of the time, it says your checklists are good. But if you’re pulling out a checklist, in the middle of my case, there’s a problem, you need to know this cold, you shouldn’t be referencing, so it was something that is something we would use early on with people in their training, but they needed to internalize that checklist built in their head needed to become second nature. Wow,


Will Bachman  32:51

that is such an interesting attitude by that doctor. I know that, like The Checklist Manifesto is such a big, you know, support for checklists in the operating room. I wonder. I mean, it was sort of an old school doctor, because my understanding is they actually use a lot of checklists now. Oh, absolutely,


Greg Lisi  33:07

absolutely convinced sign of exactly what’s inside of the prep of the procedure. I mean, we have timeouts where we go through and we make sure everything is going that we’ve got the right patient on the table there, we’re doing the right procedure, we know where it’s happening, and it is a big part of it. But I think the the message that the physician was trying to deliver to that particular representative was one, he was a young representative, you need to elevate your game you need these things need to become second nature to you from that standpoint. The complexities of it,


Will Bachman  33:38

yep. Tell us a bit about your current company prep, MD. And who are the folks that come through? How long does it take? What do you teach them? And if you don’t, I’m asking like, what’s the typical salary of an alarm? Maybe? What do you guys charge? Just tell me a little bit about your firm?


Greg Lisi  33:58

Sure, great. No, I’d love to So probably we, this company was started in 2009. Set its first class of students and I want to say February of 2010. And initially, it was one company with the there were five of us, I think, five of us on the initial group that with a vision of a mission statement for the company was to teach, inspire and connect talented individuals with a medical device industry. So we were helping people. And these people came from a wide range of backgrounds. Some of them were new graduates, folks just coming out of school. Other folks were career changers, folks who had been in an initial job for a few years, and we’re looking to change space, but a wide variety of individuals who had heard about the medical device space but didn’t know how to penetrate the barrier of entry into the space. So we designed a program that was initially six weeks in length. We partnered with the local medical institutions here in Boston, we have a great time. that relationship with institutions like Boston Medical Center, Tufts New England Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess hospital that we established a partnership with them to establish part of the clinical rotation as part of our overall training for them. And so over the course of these six months with us, they would do hands on didactics, they would do simulation equipment, we’ve built out a mock catheterization and electrophysiology lab in our facilities. And we prepare them also to go out into the clinical rotation space and for clinical observation rounds. And over the course of the six months, we then work with them to help place them with either companies around the country or with healthcare providers in a clinical specialist role. Today, we actually have three different companies underneath the prep MD umbrella, we still have the initial training company. We’ve also established established several years later our own staffing entity. So we took sort of the staffing component of what we did and rolled it under its own separate LLC. So not only do we, the staff, the staffing part still provides the placement, but we also hire ourselves today. So we found that there was a need for some health care providers, as well as organizations to hire people in a contracted role. Maybe they didn’t have approval, or the operational budget, or the headcount to bring someone in on a full time role, but they had an operational budget where they could contract for someone. So we established a contracting agency also sat became a sec, sec, second LLC. And the third LLC that we’ve established, once it was in 2016, was, or is what we call prep, MD RMS for our remote monitoring solutions. What many people don’t realize is that a pacemaker and defibrillator today, can transmit information to their health care provider through a bedside monitor. Bluetooth technology allows the device to connect with these monitors. And it sends the information to the health care providers. And so the patient no longer has to go into the doctor’s office four times a year, when I started in the field, it was standard care four times a year for someone who had a defibrillator, see their their physician face to face. Well, now the standard of care is that that patient should be monitored remotely, continuously by the healthcare provider and then seen on site as needed. And so that’s provided are created a tremendous amount of data overload for healthcare providers. So we’ve stood up our own independent Monitoring Company, we probably monitoring close to 100,000 patients,


Will Bachman  37:30

probably 100,000 patients. Holy smokes.


Greg Lisi  37:34

Yeah. Yeah. So it’s,


Will Bachman  37:37

I wouldn’t say there’s even that many home, wow, 100,000 patients. How many patients out there have a pacemaker?


Greg Lisi  37:47

Yeah, so that’s, it’s only it’s only a small, you know, bucket and pacemakers, defibrillators, and then a growing part of what’s happening in the space today is ambulatory monitoring, in the sense of insertable monitor. So this is taking a small monitor, this is smaller than a USB, now, they’re smaller than a USB thumb drive, and they’re actually sending, it’s an injectable procedure. physician can do it in an outpatient in their own office, and these small devices will last for up to three years, and it will monitor someone’s heart rhythm over these three years, if looking for symptoms, if they’re having undiagnosed problems, they haven’t been able to gather throughout me. So the monitoring space is really, really growing. And it’s going to grow probably even more in with wearables that are coming out right now. So that’s another area that we’re looking at, potentially expand into. So it’s been a fun ride. It’s been diverse, you know, we’ve been able to diversify the company, I think we’re probably up to about 70 employees now across the country. And we, you know, you know, my, my side still focuses, I think, principally focus on still on the training and development side. And it’s going back to your initial question about, you know, what happens to folks who come through the program, we, we work to help them get jobs inside of the space. And these are usually a job with a company or again, with a healthcare provider, and someone can start at somewhere, say, you know, I would say an average package for these folks today is, you know, probably bases can range between 60 to 80, depending upon where they’re going, cost of living with inside of the area. So for for a young grad, coming out of school, it’s a really nice starting position for them. And it’s an opportunity for a lot of great career growth also. And we’ve also changed the way that we do our training. It’s no longer that we still run out we call our core program, which is 24 weeks in length, and we do that twice a year. But we also have taken a lot of our curriculum online and we’ve made it more accessible to people so people can not everybody can pack up their bags and come to, you know, Boston mass for for 24. for weeks at a time, and so we’ve made a large portion of our Christian curriculum available online. And people can then come on site for very intense hands on workshops. And then for those individuals who sort of take this route, we work with them. And we assess them as they go through their workshops. And if we feel they’re strong, we’ll then work to them, work to represent them to help place them also, someone who comes to our core program, the 24 week long program, that’s they have to apply they, it’s a full on process. And so when they get accepted, we’re committing at the onset to work with them to help place them because we preach to them, we prequalify them, etc, they just have to make it through the curriculum. If someone’s doing the online and coming to the smaller workshops, we don’t really assess them until they’ve come on site, because it’s really an it’s an all comer to the online thing. It’s a consumer based products anywhere anyone can do it. But to come on site, it’s a pretty competitive, competitive program. So when we’re looking at new and creative ways to do things, if something’s things that I’m really excited with about is I’m actually working with an organization called med tech vets, I do some mentoring with them for veterans that are looking to transition from the military and just established a scholarship program for individuals coming through their program, are getting a scholarship to start our online training program as part of their developmental process and transition from the military. So I’m really excited to see where that can go and the partnering with that organization. So


Will Bachman  41:34

what’s the what’s the cost of going through the six month program?


Greg Lisi  41:38

Yep. So it’s not an inexpensive program. But I think for the value standpoint, and what it what it drives for the individuals we’re looking at, I want to say, I think we’re currently at $35,000, for the six month program, and that is just tuition. So they are still on the hook for their living expenses while they’re out here in the Boston area. And then they don’t have to be here for the full 24 weeks, the first nine weeks of the program is done online, and then they’re the 15 are on here. And one of the things that we’ve found over the years is, it’s actually something that that employers really love when they’re interviewing the candidates that come through the program is that someone has taken the time and their own resources to develop themselves and commit to their own professional development. It’s a this is a very tough competitive space. And, you know, the cost of hiring poorly for a hiring manager is extensive. And so they the ability for them to come to a program like ours and find pre qualified candidates who have already shown that they can learn and understand and master the technology helps reduce that risk from that standpoint. And they know that because we’ve been putting we put the people through the sort of rigors that they’re going to go through in the job, while the air inside of the program


Will Bachman  43:02

do do folks typically take out loans, are there, like federal student loans or some other kind of loan? Or is it like private loans? Like how do they typically finance that program?


Greg Lisi  43:14

That’s a great question. From our perspective, it’s kind of frustrating in the sense that because we’re a private educational facility, that we don’t qualify for typical financial aid type of packages. And, you know, and rightly so you can look through the news sources and the consent of these private educational facilities have undergone a lot of scrutiny. Under the public eye, there’s been a lot of types of businesses that have popped up and, you know, haven’t been as reputable as they may seem on the cover. And so we’re actually licensed by the state of Massachusetts under the Department of Licensing Sure, we have to every two years, submit all of our data and our statistics to the state of mass, they look at us to make sure what we say we’re doing, we’re actually doing so for example, you look back in the last two years of the data for our core program, we have a 98% placement rate. So 98% of people who graduate from our program will end up in the job once inside of the space. And we’re really proud of that it’s something I might like my team to hang their hat on from a standpoint of the commitment that they made to the individuals that come to the program because we recognize that it is an investment.


Will Bachman  44:30

Oh, and Greg, just just to point your, your your audio is coming in and out a little bit, Greg?


Greg Lisi  44:35

Sure. Yeah, there we go. Sorry about that. But as I was saying, with that 98% placement rate, we you know, we take a lot of pride in that because the individuals that come here are making a leap of faith, they’re making a significant financial investment and so we want to make sure we’re doing everything possible to put these individuals in the best place to compete in get a job. You know, I always say the best endorsement we can get is when a family member sends a sibling to us. I remember one graduation, dad came up to me and said, you’ve gotten all three of my kids, I have no one else to send to you. But thank you so much. They’re all in great jobs. We love it, you know, and that’s probably the best endorsement we can get.


Will Bachman  45:17

Do? Do attendees need to have a college degree? Or can someone with like just a high school degree or a year or two of community college? I mean, what’s the entry requirements?


Greg Lisi  45:27

Yeah, great question. So when we talk to people who are applying to them, we for years, we would not talk to anyone who did not have a college degree. And part of that was because of the hiring after our program. And in particularly industry, in most industry, employers want someone with a degree as part of a prerequisite for their job description. So we’re very open with the people who are applying to the program that they understand what the job prospects are going to look like on the other end. That said, we have been we have been successful taking non degreed individuals and getting them placed in both industry and healthcare roles. A lot of it depends upon what previous experience they brought to the table and the individual, I think we’re in an environment now and today where, you know, the thoughts towards education is different. There’s a there’s a big need for skills based education. And that’s what we’re doing, really at our program. In some ways, I tell people all the time, you could say that we’re maybe nothing more than a very sophisticated trade school, but for various important jobs, and very, you know, sophisticated roles. And I think that’s part of where the degree requirements often comes from some of the employers on the back end. But principally, most of the individuals come through the program, our degree holders that we have worked, and I think our upcoming session in October, I think we’ve got one or two non degreed individuals that will be telling.


Will Bachman  46:54

Okay, I’m curious about this monitoring business. So what do you do about folks that you sort of lose connection? Either they are not at home? Or they were traveling, and they didn’t bring their bedside monitor? Or maybe they pass away? Like, do you have a whole team? That’s what I mean. And I know, with all my Bluetooth devices, they’re always you’re always losing connectivity, right? With your Bluetooth device, your air pods, or whatever. So is there a whole team devoted to calling people and trying to get them reconnected to their device or finding out if they’ve, you know, died or not hospital? Or, you know,


Greg Lisi  47:34

absolutely, well, that’s, that’s a big part of the services that we can provide for our clients. And, and we really sort of tailor what we’re providing to the needs of the particular hospital or healthcare system that we’re working with, there are some that they want to keep the responsibility of reaching and commenting out, contacting their patients to themselves. So I’m hospital X, they’re comfortable, they want us doing the monitoring, but they that they want to be the ones themselves doing the Reach Out outreach to the patients, others realize that that’s labor intensive, and that they would rather be having their people doing more in their minds more productive tasks. And they’ll outsource the content, the patient outreach side of it to to us. But today, the way these devices work is that all the data is sent actually to a secure website that’s controlled by the manufacturer that makes that device, you will have to get access into that website. And there’s a status button and you’ll be alerted and notified if someone has lost communication, or their communicator has not been set up once they’ve been registered. And that can be a very laborious task for the healthcare provider. And that’s another way where we can add value to take that task off of their plate. So they can focus on more patient centric activities.


Will Bachman  48:49

Is it a separate device, or now some of the manufacturers just using people’s smartphone?


Greg Lisi  48:55

So there is app based technology today where folks are moving to that. And that’s generally going to be the way of the future where everything becomes app based. And we’re using the smartphone.


Will Bachman  49:05

Yeah. Interesting. That’s, that’s pretty cool. Fantastic. So, Greg, for this has been such a fun conversation hearing about your army service and the intelligence, Army intelligence and firearm, learned a new country term and medical device, where can people find you online and find your company prep MD?


Greg Lisi  49:28

Sure. Yeah. So we’re at prep. is the website and my email is just that Li Si at prep So I always love to hear from classmates and what people are doing up today so I look forward to listening more episodes, but if anyone wants to reach out, I’m happy to hear from


Will Bachman  49:49

Well, thank you, Greg and listeners. If you go to 92 That’s nine to You can see a full transcript of this episode and Free episode and you can also sign up for an email where I’ll let you know about each new episode Greg thank you so much for joining


Greg Lisi  50:08

thanks for having me well appreciate it