MedComms Day reflections

David Jenkins has shared some end-of-day thoughts from the AXON team

At AXON, we find that MedComms day is a good time to reflect on the industry and the people we work with; a couple of our recent starters shared their experience so far, and some of the team offered their thoughts on the value medical communications brings to the healthcare community. The MedComms team got together for the obligatory Zoom lunch! #LifeAtAXON

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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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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?

What are you doing on MedComms Day?

charlesworth_01Julie Charlesworth, Founder and Director of A Tree of Life Sciences Ltd, is working on her publications.

In answer to the question ‘What are you doing on MedComms Day?’: I am posting an initial blog on my website www.atreeoflifesciences.com about a recent publication (Springer Nature Trials journal) on Population Health Intervention Research (PHIR) of which I am a co-author. I am also drafting more communications to augment this post. This is the culmination of significant involvement in international collaborative, transdisciplinary work, and across new fields; contributing writing, editing non-native English, consultancy, and Intellectual input. Exciting times!

I am also monitoring the progress of another publication. Watch this space….

I continue to work on career mentoring, other support for PhD students, supporting the freelance cause, and more.

Closing down in New Zealand

And an end-of-the-working-day message from Sheridan Henness, Freelance medical writer. And another example of how the #MedCommsPets can help us through the day.

MedComms Day is drawing to a close here in New Zealand, but it’s been a good one. My day started with packing off my CFO (Chief Furry Officer) Toby to doggie daycare, and then getting stuck into some work before the New Zealand Medical Writers Zoom call, specially organized for today by Peter. The call was great; I think working as a freelancer in New Zealand comes with some unique challenges, so it was good to talk about those things and put some faces to names. After that it was back into work. Today I was working on some manuscripts on ulcerative colitis and migraine, but tomorrow I’ll move on to some oncology work. Diversity in therapeutic areas is the name of the game around here, and that’s one of the many things I love about this job. But right now me and the CFO are settling in for some relaxation time before it all starts again tomorrow. I hope everyone who is just starting their MedComms Day has a great one!

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Working with toddlers and kittens

Blair Hesp, Managing Director of Kainic Medical Communications was also on our Zoom meeting of the New Zealand Medical writers, today, having started the day like many of us do. Juggling kids, animals and emails.

As usual, we had an early start picking up and responding to emails from our overseas clients to kick off the morning, while simultaneously wrangling breakfast for a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old (and a kitten). This was followed by the traditional MedComms Day coffee on the boss at Kainic before jumping on a video call with some of our colleagues from around New Zealand (thanks for facilitating Peter!), while some of the more camera-shy team were working on a manuscript for a US-based client. We’ve also been working on a document for a client in Hong Kong today, in addition to working on plans for the International Society of Medical Publications Professionals (ISMPP) Asia-Pacific conference to be held in Tokyo in September. We’re also prepping for a new starter on Monday who will be joining our expanding team.

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Dreaming about Rarotonga

ryan_01Followng our Zoom meeting of the New Zealand medical writers, independent Medical Communications Specialist Nicola Ryan turns back to her work….

The photo is of my little corner of the world at home. Of course I’d rather be in Rarotonga (as pictured on the computer desktop), but happy not to have to go outside to commute on colder winter days!

#MedComms day for me started, as always, with checking e-mail. With nearly all my clients coming from the other side of the world, the first venture into e-mail each morning can be either a relief (no unexpected/urgent work) or a bit stressful (too many new projects, not enough time?!). I’m juggling the final stages of a few projects (journal page proofs, submissions, final author comments) with three manuscripts (two ORAs, one large review) that need to be completed by the end of the month – all fitted around the other smaller bits and pieces that come up on a day-to-day basis. Most of my work is direct with KOLs, or sometimes pharma or device companies, so I don’t always know how each day will pan out, but that’s what keeps things interesting – right? The zoom meeting with other NZ medical writers was a welcome interlude in my day. Great to see some new faces and some old ones too. It helps to feel less isolated. Very grateful to Peter Llewellyn for staying up well after the witching hour to make it all happen. Have a great day everyone.

Good morning from sunny Napier, New Zealand

staples_01Lyndal Staples, Freelance Medical Writer, has sent the kids off to school and is now getting down to work…

Like all my previous posts to the #MedComms Day page, I’ll start my contribution with a good morning from sunny Napier, New Zealand. It’s shaping up to be another gorgeous, albeit chilly, day here.

My day as a freelance medical writer has started like most others. The kids are up, dressed and off to school and I’m just about to get stuck into today’s work. I’m currently working on some materials for an agency in the United Kingdom. I started my most recent contract with them last month, and it’s great to be back on board working with some familiar faces.

Later this morning I’ll be joining the Zoom video meeting of New Zealand medical writers organised by Peter. It will be great to catch up with those folks that I know, as well as a few new ones.

I’ll be following this year’s MedComms Day feed with interest. It’s easy to feel a little out of touch being a freelancer (especially one who lives at the bottom of the world…), but days like these remind me that I’m part of a big global community.

 

Kia ora world! MedComms day – Dunedin, New Zealand

Here we go. Every year the same. More stunning photos arrive from New Zealand making me wish I had moved there when I was younger! Mark Caswell, Medical Writer at BPAC, has just been for a run…

Here is the start of MedComms day in Dunedin as seen on my morning run. I’m not going into the office today as I am solo parenting our two year old and the day will be spent at home. My parents normally look after her on a Wednesday, but they are overseas… Anyways, I probably will miss the zoom meeting later this morning, but we’ll see what happens. I hope you have a great day and good on you for organising.

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A day of false starts

Hello and happy MedComms Day!
I’m posting at the end of my day as it’s been one of false starts.  I started the day in the garden making an epic list for myself, and am ending it in the same place now that the sun has moved and I can see my screen again.
Today I’ve been tying up some loose ends in Zinc from yesterday and have been getting to grips with a large offline reference pack.  I am not a writer so I am grateful to have support from those with superior writery knowledge when needed, and today is one of those days.  When I started as a freelancer I had no other contacts at all (!) and now I have a nice big list of them (partly thanks to Peter!), plus a small team of trusted subcontractors. I feel as if that, paired with the option to work outside, and to be flexible around my daughter’s childcare makes my job nothing short of perfect.
Here’s to many more MedComms Days.

Logos, Linkedin pages and local meet-ups

Corinne Swainger is a freelance medical copywriter, and organises regular local meet-ups for other MedComms freelancers and remote workers living in and around North West London. They’re meeting tonight to celebrate MedComms Day, so I’m hoping for more pictures!

Greetings from sunny Middlesex, in the suburbs of Greater London! As an independent medical copywriter, I love the diverse challenges that freelance life gives me, but like any other business, I still need to dedicate some essential time to focus my professional marketing plan. It was half-term last week, so I took some time off to assess my current and future business situation. During the past 12 years since I kicked off my freelance scientific career, pharmaceutical-healthcare communications have changed rapidly, which means I’ve had to adjust too, or risk getting left behind. While I’m looking to stay freelance in the future, I’m keen to find out what new marketing options are out there for small businesses like me. So, I’m talking to various colleagues inside and outside the industry for their thoughts before I take my next steps.

swainger_01As part of these changes, today, I’m been tweaking the logo for my MediQuill Ltd, and updating my professional LinkedIn profile. I’m also investigating whether I want to specialise on a more niche healthcare market. For example, in recent years, I’ve focused more on devising medical promotions and medical education for primary healthcare professionals and patients, rather writing abstracts and clinical research reviews for secondary care. I’ve also branched out into creating medical education and promotions for medical devices, so today, I’m considering if, and how I could offer more specific services to those types of clients.

Finally, I’m definitely looking forward to catching up with a few other freelancers this evening to celebrate MedComms Day in our own way, at our local freelancers meet-up. Cheers!

Puppy sidekicks

Our first puppy photo here today comes from Lauri Arnstein, Patient Partnership Liaison at Envision Pharma Group. Ah bless! Flexible working has all sorts of advantages…

Hello from sunny London – today I’m working from home with my trusty puppy sidekick (if only she could do admin as well as she chases balls…)

My role as Patient Partnership Liaison at Envision Pharma Group is incredibly varied – today I have been handling project management for the team, writing a newsletter, planning an internal training program and thinking about our next piece of patient-focused research. The area of patient involvement in drug development and medcomms is growing rapidly, and is an exciting space to watch!

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Freelancer medical writer on board

Sarah Smith, freelance medical writer, set sail from the UK some years ago and hasn’t looked back. You can work from anywhere in the world with MedComms!

Morning everyone! I’ve just got up here on our boat (our home and my office) in not-so-sunny Grenada. I have a morning working on a writing project and a BBQ on the beach planned for this afternoon. At least if it rains the rain will be warm!

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Life can be a beach sometimes!

Julia Davies is a freelance editor.

Greetings from sunny Worthing! Today, like most days, is a day of juggling… editing projects from various clients, studying for my coaching diploma, a quick session at the gym, and an all-important break at the beach. I’ve been editing for over 10 years, and I particularly appreciate the flexibility and variety of freelancing; it enables me to do a job I love alongside my studies, as well as mostly (!) managing to achieve that elusive work–life balance. I love hearing from others around the world on MedComms Day and seeing how flexible and full of variety our industry is!

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No more commuting for Alice

Alice Wareham is Senior Medical Writer at Aspire Scientific.

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One of the big differences for me after I moved into the exciting world of medical writing three years ago was the flexibility it brought to my life. It wasn’t something I considered much in my previous job as a research scientist, although the hour-long commute into work was always a pet hate of mine. Now, I work full-time from home and at Aspire I can fit my hours in to suit me.

Today, as always, I get up nice and early to spend some time with my son before I start work at half seven. I’m an early bird so although this might sound like hell for some people, its perfect for me and lets me work when I’m at my most productive (after a coffee, of course!). Today started with some good news. A review article I have been working on has been accepted for publication! This is the culmination of almost 7 months work, which I have been a part of from the beginning; from carrying out the initial literature searches and preparing materials for a face-to-face meeting with the authors through to developing drafts in consultation with the authors, submission of the article, peer review and finally acceptance. After sharing this good news, I moved onto one of my current projects; creating a poster for an upcoming conference. The timelines for this are tight and will be my focus for most of the day so that it can be returned to the client for review by the time I finish work around 3–3:30pm. Time to pick up the little one up from nursery and still practically half the day left for some quality family time.