Category: Home working
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.
As 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!
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!
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!
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!
No more commuting for Alice
Alice Wareham is Senior Medical Writer at Aspire Scientific.
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.
Greetings from a freelancer in Sweden!
Another great view from Kris Rydholm Överby.
This year, MedComms Day falls on our Swedish National Day Holiday! Everyone is enjoying bright sunshine and lovely weather as we proudly display the Swedish flag at home.
Not too much holiday rest for this freelancer, however! I have a number of projects I am working on today:
– Developing an educational slide deck for the innovative Swedish CPS 6000 system, which monitors negative and positive air pressures in isolation rooms and operating theatres
– Editing a review article for a Future Medicine journal
– Translation from Swedish to English of Medicvent product materials for evacuation of nitrous oxide, surgical smoke and anesthesia gases
Greetings from me to everyone on MedComms Day from Sigtuna, Sweden, founded by the Viking Erik the Victorious in the year 980. I will go back to work now so we can light the barbecue and celebrate Swedish National Day later this afternoon!
Flexible working works
Louise Niven is Principal Medical Writer at Aspire Scientific.
Life can be hectic, but having a flexible job provides a little more breathing space and the versatility needed to balance work and personal commitments, something that has become even more important to me since becoming a mum. As a home-based principal medical writer at Aspire Scientific, working part-time flexible hours allows me to maximise time with my family while also fitting in regular volunteer work and even some exercise now and then!
After waving goodbye to my husband and toddler as they head off to work and nursery, MedComms day will start like any other – by preparing a large mug of coffee to enjoy as I catch-up on emails and plan my day. I will spend the morning reviewing an outline for a review on biomarkers drafted by a colleague, before donning my headset to join a team Skype meeting. After grabbing a quick lunch, I will head out on a short visit as part of my role as a volunteer befriender to older people.
Once back at home, my time will be dedicated to drafting a poster for a forthcoming oncology conference. Before rush-hour hits, I will head out to pick up my son from nursery and if the weather is good we’ll stop by the park on the way home. After dinner and the bed-time routine I will return to my desk to tie up any outstanding actions from the day. There is usually time for a quick jog, followed by relaxing with a book or a film before my toddler wakes up and demands a little help getting back to sleep again!
It’s a good morning from sunny Napier, New Zealand
Lyndal Staples, Freelance writer, writes that she loves seeing what people are up to around the world on #MedComms Day.
It’s a good morning from sunny Napier, New Zealand. (It’s a relief to preface Napier with the word sunny because it’s been cold and miserable here over the past few days. I know it’s the middle of winter, but still…)
My day as a freelance medical writer has started like most others. I’ve hauled the kids out of bed and off to school/kindergarten and am just about to get stuck into today’s work. As per usual, I’m wearing my corporate wardrobe (ie Ugg boots) and have a cup of coffee close by. The cat’s parked up by the fire, likely glaring at me and wondering when I’ll next deign to feed her. (She’s a rescue cat; honestly, you’d think she’d be more grateful.)
I’m currently working on some conference materials for an agency in the United Kingdom. I’ve spent all of this year aligned with the company and it’s been great working with the same team and having surety around the number of hours I’ll be working and the timeframe in which I’ll get paid. Long-term contracts like my current one definitely have their upsides, although there’s always a bit of nervousness about retiring my other clients, even if it’s just for a few months.
I’m looking forward to following the feed for MedComms Day 2018. It’s great to see what everyone is up to in this around-the-world, around-the-clock business of ours. It’s easy to feel a bit out of touch being a freelancer (especially one at the bottom of the world…), but it’s days like these that I definitely feel part of a big global community.
Getting going in Dunedin
Blair Hesp, Managing Director of Kainic Medical Communications has followed up his first tweet of the #MedComms Day with this quick message…
Well, we’re into the middle of winter here in NZ and it’s freezing today, while our Northern Hemisphere colleagues enjoy the longer nights and warmer weather of summer. So, we’re up in the dark as usual at this time of year, triaging the briefs and requests for support that have come in overnight, while trying to manage a 2-month-old and wrangle a 3-year-old.
Most of our clients are surprised to hear that the team of four at Kainic have handled more than 300 individual projects for our clients in 11 countries over the last 12 months. So, in the spirit of surprising facts and figures about NZ, we thought we’d kick off #MedComms Day with a few interesting and relevant facts that are little known by people outside of NZ:
- Auckland, our main city, is actually more diverse than London in terms of residents’ nationalities and languages spoken
- Every university in NZ is ranked in the top 500 in the world
- NZ is consistently rated as being one of the easiest places in the world to do business, as well as maintaining one of the best standards of living and happiest societies
- The disposable syringe was invented here
- At 14%, New Zealand has one of the biggest expatriate diasporas in the developed world (second only to Ireland)
- While you may frequently encounter New Zealanders on working holidays, we have reciprocal schemes internationally (please get in touch if you or someone you know might be interested in a sabbatical/secondment at Kainic)
Right, got to run. Nappies to change and children to feed.
The sun is setting on the MedComms Day
It’s become traditional on #MedComms Day now to have a photo sent in by Sarah Smith, a freelance medical writer and editor based on her boat in the The Caribbean to remind us that you can freelance in MedComms from anywhere these days… today it’s Turtle Bay, Trinidad.
Niall Harrison, Scientific Services Director at Darwin Healthcare Communications reviews his team’s day (this is a web site, we had to include a picture of a cat at some point!)
Here’s a brief snapshot of what the writing team at Darwin have been up to today – somewhat the eye of the storm, between one set of meetings and the next. In chronological order of pending delivery:
Ian Holderbeke (Senior MW) has returned to the office after a successful trip to ASCO in Chicago (including the obligatory deep-dish pizza) … Vicky Lawson (Principal MW) and Lorraine Nutthall (Associate MW) are prepping for the kick-off meeting of a new haemophilia account tomorrow (the travel for which requires one of those wincingly early starts we all love so much…) … Lindsay Queen (Principal MW) is finalising slides for a steering committee meeting in Brussels on Monday at which she will have to moderate an unruly band of immunology experts … Rachel Price (Associate MW) is hard at work identifying the key sessions to attend at next week’s EULAR congress in Madrid … Charlotte Simpson (Medical Writer) is updating a data compendium in psoriatic arthritis for internal client training … Andrea Adamou (Associate MW) is revising an educational module for a nurse and pharmacist programme whose first meetings are due at the end of this month … and Steve Banner (Senior MW) is liaising with our internal studio department and partner digital agency to coordinate and finalise a touchscreen asset that will showcase a client’s respiratory medicine programme at an upcoming congress. Busy times! And it’s stopped raining as well.
As for me, after a trip to London yesterday for internal meetings, I’m back working at home today – focusing on account planning and development, with occasional feline interruptions.
Still loving working in MedComms
Corinne Swainger is a Freelance Medical Copywriter, Medical Writer and Editor based in London.
Greetings from breezy, sunny Pinner, in North-West London, where I’m stopping for lunch during my busy freelance day. As it happens, my teenage son didn’t go into school today since he wasn’t well overnight. But working from home means I can keep an eye on his recovery here, while still progressing with my work. Today, at MediQuill Ltd, I’m juggling some interesting assignments. These include developing a new strategic story flow for a renal product advertising campaign, and mapping out associated content for an interactive visual aid to differentiate this drug over the competition. So it’s time to integrate some emotional messages into the campaign!
Before getting into MedComms, I started my career as a staff healthcare copywriter in a Florida hospital working with doctors, nurses and patients to promote the hospital’s clinical services. As such, I was taught that the best advertising and PR campaign messages appeal to a person’s emotions. And I think that’s still true, especially in MedComms. Sometimes, we forget that healthcare professionals are people too, and they will respond to moving messages rather than just clinical logic when making treatment decisions.
Today, I’m also ghost-writing a proposal to present the benefits of my client’s European pharmaceutical wholesaler services to a global pharmaceutical company. I’m also discussing a potential new project with a freelance medical editor whose client is looking for a PR healthcare writer. Plus, I’m getting a breath of fresh air in the local Pinner park to enjoy that lovely sunshine. Freelancing can sometimes be isolating, which is why I try to get out of the house every day to just connect with people. After 20 years, I still love working in MedComms – and this has increased over the past 10 years since I began freelancing and founded MediQuill Ltd. There is always so much diversity in this industry, as shown by the postings from around the world on #MedComms Day. I look forward to reading more of them.
My #MedComms Day – Jo Chapman, Senior Medical Writer
Jo Chapman is a Senior Medical Writer at Aspire Scientific in the UK.
A pending PhD-grad student’s perspective on MedComms in NZ
Jessica Millar, one of the Associate Medical Writers at Kainic Medical Communications reflects on here new working life in MedComms.
As I finally saunter out of bed after snoozing four alarms I leisurely make my bacon and eggs for breakfast, put the kettle on and sit down to read the news, or in today’s case, the MedComms Day site. This is my first ever MedComms Day! I realise my morning sounds unlike everyone else’s crazy work-filled day. We’re relatively easy going here in chilly Dunedin and as I rock up to the office around 9am I am pleased that the heat pump is on, I have an electric blanket and a cup of tea, and I can sit down and listen to Blair deliver his morning briefing.
I’ve had plenty to do lately, which is a marvellous distraction as I am currently in the dreaded, seemingly endless black hole between handing in my thesis and waiting for my examiners to agree on when would be a good time to grill me on all my apparent knowledge. I’m super lucky I got this job. I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to be an academic so doing a PhD certainly wasn’t a waste of time per se, but it definitely taught me how not to live my life if I want to be happy and (relatively) sane. In my little academic hovel I didn’t even know what MedComms really was until I stumbled across Kainic. Blair was silly enough to employ me toward the end of writing my thesis so I probably made quite the crazy impression, but I’m still currently employed so it can’t have been that bad.
I was so used to 5AM starts and 8PM finishes during the testing phase of my PhD that now that I’m in my real, grown-up job, I seriously appreciate 9AM starts and whatever-time-I-want finishes. I have weekends, I have free-time, I get to learn something new almost every day. Plus, I get to keep on studying, because I’m a forever-student. Below is a picture of me ‘working/learning’ at home, with a blanket and the fire going and one of my dogs pleading for a cuddle.
So far post-PhD life isn’t traumatic at all. It’s actually quite lovely.
Freelancing in New Zealand
Lyndal Staples, Freelance Medical Writer, is settling down to her #MedComms working day in the home office.
It’s a good morning from me in Napier, New Zealand. I’ve just got home from the (highly stressful) school/day care run. Nothing like a 3-year-old on a scooter to test your mettle first thing in the morning!
I’ve got my coffee and am about to attack my to-do list. As a freelance medical writer, I’ve been fortunate to have back-to-back long-term contracts for the best part of this year. Things have been busy and the work has been varied: manuscripts, abstracts, slide decks, clinical trial summaries, desk research, literature reviews, etc., etc. So, no complaints from me.
I’m still ticking along in my home office (slash laundry). Although I’ve given quite a bit of thought to hiring shared office space, I’d probably only do that if I went full time. I’d love the company of other people during the day but it’s hard to justify the expense when working from home costs more or less nothing. Plus, I’ll get my fix later this year when I attend the annual Australasian Medical Writers Association conference in Sydney, Australia. I attended my first conference last year and it was great to meet other people who do what I do (and who get what I do). Oh, and a trip to ‘Straya’ just seemed too hard to turn down!
I’ve posted enough photos of my office over the years so this time I thought I’d showcase the beautiful city that I live in. Famous for its rugged coastline, Art Deco architecture and Pania of the Reef. Oh, and wine. I shouldn’t forget the wine…
Looking forward to seeing what everyone else in #MedComms is up to as people log on for the day. It’s great to have initiatives like this one to remind me that I’m part of a global community, despite living at the bottom of the world!
Let’s pretend… a reality check from Trinidad!
Freelance medical writer Sarah Smith wrote in earlier at the start of her working day in Trinidad. She has felt moved to dispel my fantasies about living the dream! Sarah writes as follows…
Let’s pretend that my life as a freelance writer living on a yacht and sailing around the world is half as glamorous as you all think that it is and that Peter makes out! The reality is a little different. The boat is on the hard in a boatyard while we do a major refit and I have to climb a ladder every time that I pop to the loo. Inside the boat, I am pretending that I have a real desk, as I am waiting for a new chart table/desk to be fitted. I am feeling inspired in the desk department by the lovely spacious agency offices and cozy home offices in the photos posted from around the MedComms world!
A Day in the Life of Aspire Scientific
The Aspire Scientific team have written in to say they’ve been hard at work from their various locations across the country on a number of exciting medical writing projects.
For Senior Medical Writer Jo Chapman, the day always starts with getting the kids to the school bus on time followed by a dog walk through the fields. Today, there were a few obstacles in her the way and they were not going to move! Once home and settled at her desk, Jo proceeded to provide support for a manuscript submission, compiling a list of all those last minute bits of information that are necessary but different for each journal! She then completed an article for the The Publication Plan, a free online news resource run by Aspire Scientific.
After waking up bright and early thanks to her 20-month old human alarm clock, Medical Writer Alice Wareham made the short commute up the stairs to begin reviewing a manuscript reporting preclinical data for a new drug formulation. In the afternoon, Alice helped finalise the first draft of manuscript assessing a new technology for measuring breathing disturbances in young children with asthma. She finished the day by taking a brisk walk through the beautiful countryside near her home in Shaftesbury, Wiltshire.
Today has been a day for doing lots of small but important jobs for Senior Medical Writer, Philippa Flemming. She started by checking figures that have been redrawn by our graphic designers for a manuscript about the use of a biosimilar in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. That done, she moved on to error read a piece of work that has been completed by one of our talented writers. This afternoon she will be concentrating on finishing off some lay summaries of recently published articles that Aspire have been involved with, as well as helping develop slides for an upcoming pitch. Philippa promises she wasn’t sunbathing when she took this picture from our office roof in beautiful Oxfordshire this lunchtime.
Today, Principal Medical Writer Louise Niven has been focussing on The Publication Plan, Aspire’s central online news resource for medical publication professionals. The day began by accepting requests from readers wishing to keep up to date with news from The Publication Plan through its dedicated LinkedIn group, followed by a quick search for any new and relevant stories that should be summarised for the site. She went on to write a special post to mark a Day in the Life of MedComms. This afternoon she has been reviewing the latest summaries written by her talented colleagues at Aspire… with a little help from a friend!
Working from our office in Oxfordshire, Director Rick Flemming has been reviewing a manuscript reporting preclinical data on a promising new analgesic drug that has recently progressed to late-stage clinical trials. Other jobs included preparing for the arrival of two new Aspire employees next week and discussing the company’s plans for our annual summer meeting. As you can see, it’s been a hot day in Stanford in the Vale!