Reporting in after just two months in MedComms

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!!


2 WJ

The Tools of the (recruitment) Trade

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…



A day in the life of a Recruiter

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.



Happy Birthday, Mudskipper!

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’.



So, you want to be a medical writer working in MedComms?

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.