Beautiful morning skies in Auckland

Mimi Chan, Medical Writer at inScience Communications is an early riser…

I started my MedComms journey a mere 6 months ago, having toiled in academia as a PhD slave…I mean, student.  MedComms seemed to encompass everything I love about science and technology without the ever looming worry of failed experiments, budget restrictions and lab obligations.

So what does a typical day-in-the-life of a MedComms rookie look like? Starting my day at 5am, I make my way in the 2˚C temperature to the gym. After an hour of cardio/resistance/whatever else is fad in fitness these days, I’m ready to start my work day! Being winter in the southern hemisphere, I’ll spend another hour defrosting my car and myself as I drive to the office with the air conditioning on full blast.

It’s just before 8 o’clock when I arrive at the office to be greeted by my other early-bird colleagues and this gorgeous view of the volcanic Tuff Crater. With a strong coffee in hand, I’m ready for whatever the day throws at me. Once the European and Asian offices have gone to sleep, our work inbox is filled with projects, which will keep me busy for the rest of the day.

MedComms is not without its challenges (tight deadlines, deciphering author’s comments etc.), but I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way!


MedComms Day Haiku From Fishawack’s Editorial Services Team

The #MedComms working day is drawing to a close on the Eastern side of the USA. This is from Jim Slade, Executive Director, Editorial Services at The Fishawack Group’s offices in Philadelphia.


I hope we’re not too late to get in an entry from Fishawack’s Editorial Services team: two dozen medical editors, editorial review specialists, and editorial assistants/associates across our group companies. We’ve put together a series of haiku that touch on the expected and unexpected journeys our team experiences on a weekly basis. Some members of our US team and two UK colleagues took time out of a busy day to stand for this quick photo. Take care!

Oh, Oxford comma
Without you, confusion can reign
The editor’s friend

Red pencil is key
But that’s not the sum of me
Seeking solutions

Review Specialist
Your manuscript stays on track
Fully compliant

Posters are released
Client hit-list is in hand,
Summaries commence!

Borrow, never steal
Permission is required
If you’ve got to ask

Writer sends request
Can you do a data check?
Here’s the CSR

Truncated deadlines
We rise to the occasion
For our submissions

Deadlines are today
Zinc running very slowly
Colleagues always help

Digital content
Innovative as it is
Doesn’t write itself

Clients love our team
Annotated content sent
And they reap rewards

Happy MedComms Day
Science nerds and grammar geeks
We have found our home!

MedComms Life in sunny San Francisco

Jonnie Plumb has recently moved to San Francisco with Bioscript Group.

Nearly 2 years ago to the day, I made my first steps into a career in MedComms. Having toiled in academia for 10 years, MedComms seemed like an opportune way of continuing all the things I love about science (learning about new diseases, therapy areas, technologies, and meeting leaders in their field) without having to worry about failing experiments, squeezing an expanding lab team into a contracting lab space, and the obligatory lab inspections…

The light shone a path to Bioscript (in Macclesfield, UK) and I have never looked back. When an opportunity arose for myself and my wife to relocate to San Francisco at the beginning of 2017, Bioscript were wholly supportive, allowing and facilitating a move to set up a Bioscript office on the West Coast. It was time to let the sun set over Macclesfield and awaken to a new dawn of opportunities in the US.

Living and working in the Bay Area obviously has its pros, however, getting up for 6 am teleconferences with colleagues and clients in Europe is not always the easiest way to start the day. However, once Europe has gone to bed, your email alerts cease and you can focus on the jobs at hand. Step out at lunchtime for a daily dose of vitamin D and your mind is clear and you can’t help but smile.

MedComms is not without its challenges (tight deadlines, authors going AWOL etc.), but I believe you need to be challenged in order to develop, whether that’s professionally, physically or personally. So, if you’re undecided about making that step from academia, all I can say is get into MedComms, find an agency that is a perfect fit for you and see where in the world that decision takes you.

Did I mention it’s sunny over here?


Working life in Philly

MushrockRegina Mushrock, Account Manager – inScience Communications, Philadelphia describes her typical #MedComms working day.

A typical day-in-the-life starts with cruelly being awoken around 5:00am to the screaming alarm of my mobile vibrating nearby and promptly smacking snooze until the sirens begin again precisely 9 minutes later. This sometimes goes on twice!

Hopping into the car around 6:00am after my morning preparations, I head to the train station. There’s a train scheduled a 6:44am, but I’ve only ever made that once and only by chance.! I usually end up on the 6:59am train.  The one hour trip always involves earbuds in, Amazon music on, and the playlist on shuffle. Thank you, Bose, for always being there for me when I need you most.

Occasionally, I’ll run into my colleague at Jefferson Station and we head into the office together. When it’s nice out, it’s very likely a walk will follow from the station to the office building. If it’s gross out, too many things waiting at the office, or laziness overtakes, the subway is a classic and frequent decision.

It’s slightly after 8:00am. I arrive at the office and greet my other early-bird colleague and proceed to filter through mail, organizing myself for the day as other teammates arrive. The view from the window is pricelessly wonderful here in Philadelphia and it’s rather amusing to be able to receive your news information from the messages filtering across the FOX NEWS banner.

In our news, it’s congress season, so there’s a bit of chaos in the office these days. There’s lots of open dialogue to let out frustrations but also to express excitement in the wins. The successes are so important.  We have responses from authors and successful submissions, as well as praises from clients. This is all in addition to the typical meetings scattered throughout the day, both internally and externally with clients. Amazingly, all my meetings were canceled and I’m appreciating the extra time to get through things, like applying pressure to reviewers, cleaning up Datavision, working on financial items, redoing timelines, and calming anxious clients. As they say, “there’s never a dull moment in publications!”

Since it is busy nowadays, lunch is often taken at desks or quickly obtained and brought back, but escaping in the afternoon becomes essential to ones sanity in the workplace.

All of a sudden it’s 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Where did the day go?  There have been highly entertaining conversations about food or fun to break up the day; I’m convinced that laughter is contagious as we share crazy stories or sarcastic retorts. We certainly aren’t a dull group! At the end of the day, we’re all in this together!


At Solaris Health, it’s a case of Simon says…

Read on, it’s worth it….

The day typically begins with a warm welcome from colleagues when I walk through the door.


It’s 08:50 and already the office atmosphere suggests another busy day. The buzz of activity at Solaris Health could give a visitor the impression that we are an extension of the London Stock Exchange – all this energy and running around.

No sooner am I comfortably settled than the call goes out for our monthly breakfast team meeting. Always well attended, I’m told that this is due to the educational content and news updates, but I cannot help thinking that the coffee and pastries help! Today there are two main topics. Firstly, we receive advice from the management team on how to build strong and effective working relationships with the very important procurement managers at our client companies. This is quickly followed by an update on World Bedwetting Day and the tremendous profile-raising social media campaign that we are coordinating. This generates loud applause, much discussion and a genuinely happy team. Finally, we have some news regarding another new business win, two pitches to which we have been invited, and a couple of forthcoming social events. Looks like we’re going to be busy, both working and playing.

Continue reading “At Solaris Health, it’s a case of Simon says…”

Cake and Comms

Simon Page, Managing Scientific Director at Cambridge Medical, sends this update from Cambridge…

At Cambridge Medical, we are always on the lookout for good reasons to have cake, and #MedComms Day 2017 provided another golden opportunity. These two baked delights were decided upon because of their similarity to every proofreader’s favourite punctuation marks – the oft-confused hyphen and en dash (or “N-rule”). Over cake, the Cambridge team enjoyed taking part in @OxPharmaGenesis’s treasure hunt around Oxford – thanks guys!

Energised by the cake, the team returned to their desks for a varied afternoon of medical communications projects, with team members working on a mix of publications, medical affairs projects, and value materials. The work proves to be as varied as the weather, however, and as team members start to head off at 17:00, the sun has disappeared and it looks like we could be in for a wet cycle home!

MedComms Cakes!

Brain cells…

dmcFrances O’Connor, Business Unit Head at new MedComms agency, DMC has provided an update on Riley’s progress, having first introduced us to him 2 years ago!

It has been one of those typical ‘mad’ days for me today, where, since 8 am, I have run from meeting to meeting. Looking back at the last few years of #medcommsday updates, I get to take a step back and drink in this crazy life I lead and count the brain cells I still have control over.

Two years ago on #MedComms Day, I tweeted a picture of my 4-day old baby. Today, the day after his second birthday, I’ve just video conferenced the very technologically-able little person to say Hi while he splashed Daddy’s phone with bath water (Sorry Hubs). The attached image has nothing to do with MedComms, but everything to do with the hourly updates I get from our lovely Nanny Karen, so I can still feel part of Riley’s day.

I’m staying late to get myself ready for a couple of new business meetings tomorrow, but mainly, because I have fallen in love with a new local-to-work fitness class involving trampolines that starts at 19.30, so it is not all ‘work and no play’ for me here in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

In fact, our new venture is going so well, we’ve added three new people to the team in the last two weeks. Jack started today as our Business Development Director and he will be followed closely by another Medical Writer and Account Director. Although it is hard, hard work at the moment, I am loving every.single.moment. It feels like we’re really making a difference with some of the programmes we’re working on, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted from #medcomms.

So it is back to swotting up, then some exercise, quickly followed by falling into bed, hope you’ve all had a lovely day!

Cat included…

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.


Virtual team meetings

Emily Mitchell writes in with news of what’s planned for later today at Caudex.

At Caudex, we’re preparing for an Employee Engagement Survey Workshop this afternoon. Three office locations (New York, Macclesfield and Oxford) and some of our Homeworkers will be Webexing in to discuss the outcomes of our survey and action plan for the hot topics. Should be an interesting afternoon, covering everything from internal communications, to rewards, to resourcing and flexible working.


An office with a view …

Liz Johnson, a medical writer at Bioscript Group, reports in from the North West UK…

Bioscript Group is based at Alderley Park, in the heart of the glorious Cheshire countryside. Alderley Park is also home to a number of biotech companies, so there’s a great community atmosphere and always lots happening in the on-site cafés and restaurants. Luckily, there’s also a gym and woodland walks around the lake.

I’ve been here for almost 6 months and really enjoy the buzz in the office and the variety of the work that we do. A quick survey of my colleagues on #MedComms Day revealed that we are currently working on two briefing books, two protocols, a Clinical Overview, a Summary of Clinical Efficacy, and an Investigator’s Brochure. Pretty typical really!


That to-do list never seems to get shorter

farrellKelly Farrell is the Editorial Team Lead at InspiredScience and here she describes her day.

After navigating the ‘efficient’ train systems of South London, I grab a morning coffee on my way to the office and begin by reviewing my calendar for that day. I check in on the editorial team to ensure they are comfortable with their workloads. As Editorial Team Lead, my role involves ensuring the medical writers get the opportunity to support on an interesting mix of projects, while being on hand to support with requests from the wider company, as well as any last minute requests from clients. Luckily, my role still involves a significant amount of writing, where I lead on a number of projects ranging from cardiovascular disease to immuno-oncology and nutrition. I will prioritise my writing jobs for the day and get a couple of small tasks ticked off my list.

The next part of the day is a ‘Knowledge Share’ meeting. As one of our accounts has a large number of projects currently ongoing, I ensure to run a monthly ‘Knowledge Share’ meeting to keep the team up to date with the current trends and practices in immuno-oncology, while providing them with a platform to learn further.

We at Inspired Science love a good team lunch! Today we went on a trip to Flat Iron Square, which helped us get through hump day.  The afternoon flies by as I review a slide deck, go to have a new headshot taken, and finish a manuscript outline.

That list never seems to get shorter but I do enjoy having a proper mix of work (and challenges!) to fill my day. Happy MedComms day everyone!