Members of the team at Porterhouse Medical have been giving their thoughts throughout the day on what life in MedComms means to them.
Lisa Jolly from Caudex reflects on her day in MedComms.
The sun is shining in Ashbourne this morning so I decide to take the scenic route through the Peak District to Macclesfield. When I get to the office, I make myself a coffee, read through my emails, and go through my to-do list for the day.
In addition to my ongoing assignments, I’m working on a few big projects this week across a couple of different therapeutic areas. Top of my priority list is a literature landscape analysis for an account that is run out of our New York office. The whole team is involved and I’m really enjoying working closely with our US colleagues.
Next, it’s time for a training session on a potential new drug. As this is a new therapy area for me, there’s a lot of new information to take in. This is one of the things I love most about MedComms, I’m able to satisfy my scientific curiosity while helping pharmaceutical companies to communicate important advances in patient care (plus I never have to step foot in a lab again!).
After lunch, it’s back to the landscape analysis, which is followed by an internal status call with the New York team to make sure that other projects are progressing. I then spend some time preparing for a call to discuss the development of an outline for an upcoming symposium, which is top of my to-do list for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to working on this project as it means I have the opportunity to go to a congress (yippee!). There’s still time to work on the landscape analysis and write this post before I head out to battle with the Macclesfield traffic. It looks like I’ll be leaving on time today, but I have a feeling this may change as the week progresses…
Caudex is a great place to work and being part of the wider McCann network means there is plenty of opportunity for collaboration. Although the Caudex team in Macclesfield team is quite small, it has grown considerably since I started here last November. As mum to two young boys, I find the relative calm of the office suits me well!
MedComms is a great industry to work in, my only regret is that I didn’t make the move from academia sooner. I love the fast-paced nature of the work, which can be both challenging and exhilarating. It’s a cliché, but no two days are ever the same.
Jamia Sultana is an Account Coordinator at Inspired Science, a medical communications agency which is part of Ketchum Health.
Up and ready (after a number of countless teas and coffees) for a busy day at the Inspired Science offices!
I start my day by drafting an agenda for a catch-up client teleconference tomorrow, then I’m off to a referencing training session held by our very own medical writers!
Today, I am helping to run an online meeting where a multi-disciplinary team present a case study of a hepatitis C patient; organising a toolkit to coincide with a new data release for a respiratory drug and liaising with faculty for their flight arrangements to attend a congress on macular degeneration.
Inspired Science gave me my first role in medical communications and I have been working here since 2014 as an Account Coordinator. Every day is definitely different in the world of medical communications! I have worked on all kinds of projects, from standalone meetings attended by 600 physicians, to filming one-on-one interviews with physicians about their area of expertise.
As an Account Coordinator, my role varies by the day and I have learnt many new skills in project management, working with faculty, financial management and content creation.
My afternoon consists of trying to find filming rooms in London to coincide with a congress held in September, arranging delivery of our respiratory drug toolkit to 200 addresses and producing billing instructions for our current projects.
As the day comes to an end, I prepare my to-do list for the next day and fingers crossed we get a little more sunshine in London tomorrow!
Claire Lea of Caudex has written in with news of their brand new trainees
In the Oxford Caudex office, we have recently had the pleasure of welcoming four new trainee medical writers who are now immersed in the TMW training programme. Over the next weeks they will hone their skills on publications projects, medical affairs activities as well as process, publishing ethics, copyright and drug development and approval process. In addition to the training, we also asked them to provide thoughts on their first week in #MedComms
“When I joined Caudex, I was fresh from academia. An ‘academic refugee’, I was escaping with a Master’s to considerable uncertainty in medical writing. However, just a week later, I feel like part of the team already. The training scheme here has really fostered bonds with the other trainees, and unlike in academia, being ‘new’ is not a dirty word, but something to be celebrated. Long may it continue!” Adam
“It has been more than two years since I first thought about MedComms as a possible career. It occurred to me that I was passionate about communicating science, probably even more than conducting experiments in the lab, when I was writing my PhD thesis: whilst everyone else detested writing up, I was enjoying it (which for some time made me wonder whether there was something not quite right with me). I then moved to pharmacovigilance and regulatory affairs and after a year spent there I was rather sure that medical writing is the thing for me. I was just fascinated by the thought that I could help make science make sense. So here I am, on my second week as a Trainee Medical Writer at Caudex, being inspired by brilliant people around me (and hence trying to overcome something that is apparently recognised as an imposter syndrome). It has been an ever so enjoyable experience so far, and I cannot even imagine how interesting it is going to be in the future. Full of hopes and great expectations!” Katerina
“My first week at Caudex has been packed full of new information about what a Medical Writer actually does, the processes they follow and insights into Caudex itself. It has become clear to me that organization and time management are crucial in this role. The three other trainees and I have attended sessions on a variety of different aspects of the job, including GPP3, SOPs and copyright. I am enjoying it so far and the team here at Caudex have made us feel really welcome. The environment seems dynamic, interesting and fast-paced and I am now very excited about getting started on a project. I have learnt a lot in the past week, including the importance of the tea round – I think it is time to start drinking more tea!” Yamina
“I officially landed in the MedComms ‘world’ last week, beginning my career as a Trainee Medical Writer at Caudex. My arrival was a direct result of stumbling upon an advertisement from a MedComms agency while exploring post-PhD career paths. I had been looking for the ‘right’ career – one that could use my scientific research background and provide me with industry experience. After exploring the MedComms field, I immediately felt that MedComms was the career direction I should pursue, and now here I am, eager and excited for my new career as a medical writer!” Breanne
Kathy Clausen joined JK Medical Communications (A member of the Fishawack Group of Companies) three years ago and in this audioboo talks about her background and journey in to MedComms, and her experience of the business so far. That’s Kathy below on the phone chatting to me!
Waheed Jowiya, Associate Medical Writer, joined inScience Communications just a couple of months ago. Here he describes his day so far.
I got into work after a short and surprisingly pleasant journey on London Underground. The first thing to do was to check my email for any urgent enquiries, of which there were none. I then collected my daily portion of fruit, courtesy of Springers’ wellness programme, and prepared for our weekly team meeting. After the meeting I contacted our US team regarding a manuscript outline I had prepared (my very first one!) in the area of diabetes treatment. After discussing the feedback given by the client, I started to make the necessary changes to the manuscript.
Lunch – me and the team took a nice stroll in the sun to Leather Lane market (around the corner from our fantastically located office) for some delectable street food.
After lunch I was on a client call with other member s of my team updating our USA-based client about how we are progressing on abstracts they have asked us to prepare for a congress. Once the call had finished I began to create some figures for one of the abstracts that has been entrusted to me. Next I will be preparing for a face-to-face client meeting that will take place tomorrow at the headquarters of a leading global pharmaceutical company, by reading though a newly written scientific monograph for a novel antimicrobial.
I have been working as an Associate Medical Writer at inScience Communications for just over two months. I came from a research background and this has been my first foray into MedComms . Having just completed my PhD I was apprehensive of making the transition from being a bench scientist to a medical writer. However, in the short period of time I have been involved in MedComms I am certain that this was the correct choice. I have thoroughly enjoyed the projects I have been involved in, which have been based in the areas of diabetes and antimicrobial therapy. I have gained a thorough understanding of the clinical trial process and the different stages of drug development as well as improving my writing and communication skills. The tasks I have worked on the last two months, from writing abstracts and manuscripts to having face-to-face meetings with clients, have been so varied that no two days have been the same; every day has bought its own challenges which makes coming into work stimulating and exciting.
In short, my experience of MedComms has been great to date and I have been fortunate to have had my fist writing job in the company of the fantastic people at inScience Communication, who have helped me settle in and feel at ease. An added bonus – no failed experiments to worry about!!
Spela Ferjancic joined Fishawack Communications a year ago and in this audioboo talks about her background and journey in to MedComms, and her experience of the business so far. That’s Spela below, on the phone to me for our interview.
Here’s Matthew McGinley of NonStop catching up with work after his holiday (spot the ‘Manic #MedComms”) message…
Here are the tools we use to get in touch with all of our MedComms candidates. People often have mixed viewpoints on what recruiters actually do, but all it comes down to is phoning people up and talking to them.
So here you’ll see my trusty telephone, the pen holder my dad gave me when I first started work and my PC. (As well as my ruler, demonstrating that recruiters can be straight with people!)
I didn’t include a picture of myself – our marketing guru, James Spencer, has been busy photoshopping me in various ways to celebrate MedComms Day so check our Twitter feed to see what he has managed to put together.
As I’ve just got back from some annual leave, today has been spent catching up with various people (mostly freelancers), putting out the occasional fire and trying to get back to the many advert responses that have come in. The word ‘manic’ is a very accurate description of my day thus far! It seems to me that one thing that recruitment has in common with MedComms is that most working days are somewhat manic…
Samantha Humphreys-Davies from Media Contacts describes her day so far
My day started earlier than expected – 6am to be exact – with the cat announcing she was hungry by attempting to chew through the bedroom door. Feed her, scan my emails for any candidates or clients having crises and it’s into the car for the 45 minute drive to the office in leafy Islington that takes me past the London 2012 Olympic site. But it’s once I’m at work that the true fun begins… With over 170 open jobs at the moment for everything from medical writing to account handling to business development to director roles there’s never a dull moment.
As soon as I pull into the car park my mobile starts buzzing – it’s a candidate who has an interview and she can’t remember who she’s meeting in the afternoon. No problem; I know my clients personally so names are rarely an issue to remember. Whilst on the phone, we run over some interview preparation and I give her a quick pep talk about her writing test that she’s worried about.
Once I’m at my desk it’s time to properly go through my emails. There’s lots of news bulletins to read, some people who have replied to job adverts that I need to call or politely reject and a senior level person who was given my name by a mutual acquaintance and is looking for a job. Whilst I’m on the phone to her a client emails in saying they need a senior person and bingo – we send her CV over and she’s interviewing later this week. Sometimes things just fall into place for everyone.
Quick break for a sandwich and it’s back to the job. It’s time to get in contact with some people about a really exciting senior medical writer job that I’ve got and to get in touch with some clients about interview feedback for candidates (and hopefully some job offers!). If a client asks for a freelancer (who they usually want to start the next day) it’s a case of drop everything and call the names in my little black book to see who’s around.
The day usually ends with catching up on the admin (job adverts, database maintenance, emails and writing reports from client visits) and preparing a list of who I need to speak to in the evening. Then, it’s back home to the eternally famished cat (I really don’t starve her!) and the bedroom door that now requires repairs.
Thanks to Nadia Schendzielorz of Mudskipper who sent us this collection of photos from the day.
Mudskipper is a multi-national medical communications agency so we wanted to contribute to your event today. It’s particularly great timing for us as it is actually Mudskipper’s 12th birthday on this very day!
We have put together a set of pictures from the perspective of two of our new starters. We hope our contribution will highlight the opportunities for those new to the industry while also giving a feel for a typical (and busy) ‘day in the life of Mudskipper’.
Cleo Hall joined Darwin Healthcare Communications as an Intern just six weeks ago and in this audioboo talks about her background and her experience of MedComms so far. Internships are not common in the MedComms business so it’s a valuable opportunity she has found for herself.
I hope you enjoy this collection of stories from around the MedComms world today. It’s certainly been an experience managing and curating the content. And the day is not over yet!
I admit to posting my own entry here with some trepidation! As well as curating the content of this web site, I’ve been messing around today with a presentation I have to give later in June to a room full of post-docs in London. About careers in MedComms and specifically about working as a medical writer in MedComms. When I do these talks I tend to think about them at the last minute but today I thought I’d record a relatively quick overview of what I am thinking of saying and invite comment from you all. Am I talking rubbish? Please let me know. It’s also been an excuse to play with a platform from Kulu Valley that provides the opportunity to easily post user-generated video and synchronised slides etc. I admit I’m a fan though still a relatively inexperienced user as you will see if you watch this.