Peter and Ted’s grand adventure

Sarah Smith, once an ‘extreme’ freelance medical writer and now Principal Medical Writer with Caudex, has sent in the note below.

I should, perhaps, explain – Ted is Teddy who has been with me throughout the whole of the 10 year  #MedComms Day adventure. More recently we have aquired Ted the office puppy. Both will make their annual apearance before the day is out. Thanks Sarah, for your support over the years. Those sunsets were  really something!

The first MedComms Day in 2012 saw me contributing from the Canaries. I followed in subsequent years with posts from assorted islands in the Eastern Caribbean as we travelled as a family on our 43-foot sailing yacht (home-schooling as we went) and I continued to work as a freelance medical writer. My MedComms Day posts chronicled the evolution of internet services in unlikely places – just in case the intrepid roving medical writer needed to log on to check his or her email or send in the first draft of an Advisory Board report while exploring the River Gambia. I assumed the role of unofficial photographer, tasked with posting a fresh sunset photo from the Caribbean to punctuate the end of each MedComms Day.

In 2019 we changed tack (sailing pun intended), relocating back to the UK for a life of land-lubbing luxury (for that read flushing toilets, easy access to a washing machine and accessible healthcare – as well as fast, reliable internet). Given the emergence of COVID-19 and the cementing of Brexit since we came ‘home’, I am relieved to have got the itch to combine travel and work out of my system. Instead, I am now enjoying growing professionally in new directions as I venture back into the wider MedComms world with a ‘real job’ as Principal Medical Writer with Caudex. It’s good to be back in a big friendly work team and to be learning new skills. And I have a garden in which to get soil under my fingernails, and the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path to walk…

So, Peter (and Ted of course) – it’s been a grand adventure. Thanks for all of your hard work and lost sleep making MedComms Day happen for the past 10 years! It’s great to have been part of this annual snapshot of the MedComms world.

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An early start in Sweden

Freelance MedComms specialist, Kris Rydholm Överby, is starting her day in the garden.

Good morning!
 
I am celebrating #MedComms Day by enjoying the roses that have started to bloom in my garden as I work on my laptop. My assignments today include editing and translating a series of educational videos and guides.
 
After work I look forward to participating in the many online events that #MedComms day will be offering.
 
Cheers everyone!
 
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NW London Freelancers will be meeting online on MedComms Day 2021

Corinne Swainger is  a freelance medical writer and has for a long time now arranged regular, informal dinner meetings of a group of MedComms freelancers based around NW London and further afield.  Freelancing can be quite isolating and it’s really useful to have a group you can chat with from time to time and to call upon for advice.

Because of COVID-19 it’s now been a while since they’ve last met and so they are using #MedComms Day 2021 as an excuse to catch up. On Zoom, of course!

Corinne has said if any other freelancers would like to join them (at 13.30 BST) then please to contact her on email corinne@mediquill.com

Let me know your own plans to help spread the #MedComms word on 9 June. Wherever in the world you’ll be.

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Stopping for a virtual lunchtime chat

This just in from freelancer, Fiona Weston

“In celebration of #MedComms Day, some of the Yorkshire MedComms group had a virtual lunchtime catch-up. We are all very much hoping it will not be long now until we can meet again in person. Note I am still wearing the MedComms hat!”

Also present were freelancers; Vicki Evans, Howard Donohue, Lisa O’Rourke and Jenny Smith

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Wrapping up in New Zealand

Freelance medical writer Sheridan Henness together with Toby were online with us earlier at our meeting of the New Zealand Medical Writers, and has just wrapped up her working day.

MedComms Day 2020 is coming to a close in New Zealand. It’s hard to believe we’re at MedComms Day already, with all that’s been going on this year, but here we are. New Zealand is lucky enough to be free of all lockdown restrictions except for closed borders now, so our lives can return to some normality. Of course, in MedComms every day is different, so even in lockdown there’s some variety. Today I’ve been working on checking some data, writing a review and taking in some client comments across a broad range of therapy areas – cluster headache, influenza, and rare genetic diseases – so lots of variety. Of course now that we’re completely free to go outside and do whatever we want, some fresh air is a requirement as well, so my Chief Furry Officer Toby and I made it out for a run around the dog park, which has a great view of Auckland’s city centre and the Sky Tower. Now my CFO and I are just settling in for the night, but I hope everyone who’s just starting their MedComms Day has a good one!

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Online with the New Zealand Medical Writers (and guests)

It was great fun chatting today with participants from New Zealand, Australia and the UK. Lots of talk about working through lockdowns, changing working patterns and practices and the challenges that might be faced by event organisers in the future. It was useful to have a good mix of freelancers and agency staff.

Thanks to Sally Bathgate, Manuela Callari, Marie Cheeseman, Richard Claes, Heather Graz, Sheridan Henness, Blair Hesp, Steven Inglis, Harriet Lamb, Daniel McGowan, Lakshini Mendis, Michael Molloy-Bland, Nicola Ryan, Yasmene Shah, Lyndal Staples and Michele Wilson for joining in.

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The freelance cobbler’s children don’t go barefoot

swainger_01This just in from Corinne Swainger, Freelance Medical Writer based in London

It’s been a somewhat soggy but busy MedComms Day here in London. Over the past few days, I’ve received some enquiries from potential new clients in Poland, Germany and the UK about crafting content for various projects. So this morning I spent time reviewing those enquires to decide whether I could accommodate their specific needs.

These projects included the writing of press releases based on recent neurology conference abstracts, drafting new e-learning modules for pharmacists, crafting a promotional advertorial, and ghost-writing a series of nursing articles for a registered nurse. I referred one enquiry onto another medical writer I know from the MedComms Workbook, who would be more suitable than me for that project.

The cobbler’s children have no shoes. And my freelance medical copywriter’s website doesn’t really present my current services. Like the cobbler, (and many other medcomms freelancers), I’m too busy focusing on my client’s needs. So I haven’t found the time to fix my own web content yet. But I’m delighted that I managed to squeeze in some time to brief my web designer about updating my website at lunch time.

Since I mainly work from home, this often allows me to be in the right place at the right time for my family. So I was able to greet my son today when he arrived home after sitting his first A-level. (Don’t worry, even though I’m a busy cobbler, he doesn’t go barefoot.) For him, taking that A-level has required many weeks of intensive studying. It makes me appreciate that medcomms freelance writing isn’t always that extreme and can involve a lot of fun. Now where did that anvil go?

MedComms freelancers do lunch

It’s great to see these informal gatherings of freelancers occurring. It’s good to network. This message was sent in by Fiona Weston, freelance copy-editor.

MedComms Day was very thoroughly celebrated in Yorkshire by the northern subgroup of the MedComms Workbook. Five of us – (clockwise from left), Jenny Smith, Sarah Whitfield, Vicki Evans, Fiona Weston and Howard Donohue – raised a glass and said “Cheers!” to Medcomms, freelancing, and Peter at a long and chatty lunch in Leeds today. Apologies came from Lisa O’Rourke, Felicity Leigh, Andy Lockley and Selena Class, who were all too busy actually MedComming to make it! Here’s to another great year of MedComms and thanks Peter for all you do for our community. Now it’s back to work to catch up the time lost!

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A boating life

Sadly, Sarah Smith, freelance medical writer, won’t be sending us her usual sunset photo to close our #MedComms Day, from the Caribbean this year. Welcome back to the UK, Sarah!

This time last year I was living on and working from a yacht in the Caribbean (Grenada, West Indies). This MedComms Day I woke up to a grey and drizzly morning in Pembrokeshire (UK). While the view from my desk still features boats, life is very different (and includes a flushing toilet, shower and washing machine for starters). Coming back to live and work in the UK has given me a fresh appreciation of many things (apart from the loo…) — the wild and wonderful Pembrokeshire beaches, supermarkets stocked with a huge range of foods at reasonable prices, access to art classes, fast and easy Amazon deliveries, the NHS, ‘proper’ pubs, and summer evenings that stay light after 6 pm – things that many people take for granted but I haven’t had for 12 years. So, while the sunshine here is liquid and a little chilly compared with the Caribbean, I am a happy bunny here for now (‘till we get the urge to sail away again)…

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