Following on from his earlier post, this was Mark English’s day as a medical writer at Biowrite Solutions…
With a strong coffee, I started my day by checking my emails. I work indirectly for a large medical communications agency in the United States, and the team there sends me projects to fill my 40-hour working week. They usually send me projects just before they leave the office for the day and I work on them while they sleep, taking advantage of time zone differences.
Currently, I am working on a series of oncology review articles covering various topics associated with a novel targeted therapy. These are the medical writing projects I relish, as it gives me the opportunity to get immersed in the latest data and current perspectives on a particular topic.
This morning I had one email, which may surprise my medical writing colleagues in the Northern Hemisphere. The email was from an editorial assistant who kindly sent me a few outstanding journal articles I needed to complete a draft outline for one of the oncology review articles. This particular review outline is near completion, and when reviewing my near-final draft yesterday, I found a few meaty references which provided additional clarity on the topic in hand. I reviewed the papers I received this morning, and they were very relevant to the topic so I inserted them into my review outline. I also highlighted exactly where my source text has come from in the original journal article so that another team member can easily fact check my review article later on. I also checked the review outline for good grammar and correct spelling. With a few minor tweaks, I was fairly happy with my piece, so I sent it back to the Medical Director in the US who leads the account I work on.
My next task of the day was to incorporate some comments from the same Medical Director on a review outline I sent him last week. His comments were minor, so it didn’t take too long to incorporate those. Again, I also performed a quick read through of the outline to triple check everything was okay. I then sent it back to him so that he could start reviewing it at the start of his morning, with the aim of sending the outline out to the client later in his day.
My next job of the day should have been to start preparing another review outline, but instead I was given some desk research to do, investigating a new oncology product and how it fits into the market place. This demonstrates one of the key qualities of being a medical writer, flexibility.
At clocking off time, I quickly wrote up my report for Peter as part of the Day in the Life of MedComms initiative, and then headed out into the mountains near Wanaka where I live for a cheeky mountain run before darkness set in. One great aspect about being a medical writer is that once you achieve a certain level of competency, you can work anywhere. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection, and lots of drive and motivation.
I consider myself very fortunate to do a job I love, and to live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. On that note, please excuse me, that mountain behind me is calling…