Life Sciences Educators: Making Virtual Shine

By November 18, 2020November 23rd, 2020LTEN Focus On Training

Life Sciences Educators: Making Virtual Shine

FROM THE PRESIDENT – Richard Sampson

Our people are the real enablers, the real miracle workers.

You know the old cliché phrase, of course … there’s a silver lining to every dark cloud. So, let’s talk a bit about silver linings, since we’re living in one right now.

The global pandemic, of course, represents a very challenging cloud we’re all under currently. There’s no denying the darkness of that cloud, but we can help people find the silver linings or escape the cloud altogether.

In training, I think, the silver lining is obvious. Faced with the most challenging set of circumstances in our professional lives, life sciences trainers quickly seized the silver lining of virtual training. We can’t gather together, we can’t travel, we can’t meet at the water cooler to compare notes. But we can still learn.

One of the few “fortunate” aspects about our situation is that it happened now, when the necessary infrastructure to keep education operational was in place. Virtual tools like Zoom and GoToWebinar and WebEx were resources waiting to be tapped and tap them we did.

Virtual meetings became the norm. We could stay connected and stay productive because the technological backbone was there and ready. Classes are continuing, virtual sales visits are occurring, sales are happening, businesses are at least treading water if not booming. Training can still have an active role in career development, organizational growth and business transformation. Technology was the silver lining that made it all feasible.

Imagine if this were 10 years ago. Or 20. Or more. Think how disconnected we would feel, right?

Technology is a silver lining here, to be sure, but we’re the real silver lining. We use technology, but our people are the real enablers, the real miracle workers. Had this happened in a less-connected time, our drive, our quest for innovation still likely would have led to some pretty impressive solutions, even if we were starting farther back down the field.

Impressive is the right word for now. Every day I’m impressed by the work my team does, the work that LTEN members are doing, the amazing work of the LTEN staff and the goals that we’re working toward. This cloud dumped a bunch of “virtual” rain on us, but our professionalism was our umbrella, and we’re thriving.

To that end, we’re proud to present this special issue of LTEN Focus on Training magazine, devoted to virtual training technology. In these pages, we hope you’ll find solutions to your learning, training and development delivery challenges. We’ll show you Bausch Health’s new virtual training studio and share information on virtual launches, collaboration, engaging learners, onboarding new team members and reaching healthcare providers. I trust you’ll find the silver lining of inspiration in these pages.

Before you get started, let me take a moment to do what I hope others have already done in your organization: I’d like to thank you. Thank you for your devotion, your agility, your work and your support. Thank you for being that bright spot in an otherwise cloudy day – probably more than once – in your organization.  It’s not easy being that silver lining, that ray of hope in someone else’s dark time.  But that’s exactly what training has done this year, and I couldn’t be prouder of our people and our profession.

Shine on everyone.


Richard Sampson is president of the LTEN Board of Directors and head of global training for Cepheid. Email Richard at

Fall 2020


About LTEN

The Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network ( is the only global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization specializing in meeting the needs of life sciences learning professionals. LTEN shares the knowledge of industry leaders, provides insight into new technologies, offers innovative solutions and communities of practice that grow careers and organizational capabilities. Founded in 1971, LTEN has grown to more than 3,200 individual members who work in pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies, and industry partners who support the life sciences training departments.

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