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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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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More cakes, please

Juliet Fawcett, Freelance Medical Writer, is baking while she’s working. Cake making is important in MedComms…

One of the joys of being a freelancer is the opportunity to do tasks at home whilst working. So, today I’ll be finishing off my report on hypoglycemia treatment whilst making cupcakes for my son’s birthday tomorrow!! (which coincidentally is also the Alzheimer’s Society fundraising cupcake day)

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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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Writers, keep on moving

springer_01Catherine Rees, Team Leader, Medical Communications Writing Group at Springer Nature has some useful advice for all of us…

As many MedComms writers will know, it can be challenging to find time to maintain an active lifestyle when working full time. Our Springer Healthcare Auckland office is currently running a “Wellness Block” to improve our awareness of exercise and looking after ourselves. Now that we are heading into the winter months and many of our team are struggling to fight off colds, this is a timely reminder that the life of a medical writer generally involves sitting at the desk for most of the day without moving very much. So much so that my recently-acquired smart watch asked me the other day if I was asleep between 9am and 5pm!! The moral of the story is that it is important to be active whenever you can – get a cup of tea, take a 5-min walk or just have a stretch. It keeps the mind alert and stops your smart watch from thinking you’ve fallen asleep at your desk!!!

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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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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Nearing the time for sun downers

It’s become a tradition, as we head towards the end of another #MedComms Day, that Sarah Smith, a freelance medical writer and editor based on her boat in the Caribbean reminds us that you can freelance in #MedComms from anywhere these days… today that’s Calvigny Island in the background. A playground for the rich and famous apparently! Well played, Sarah!

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It’s only rock and roll

A message here from aging rocker, John Gonzalez of Solanum Medical Communications (no, I’m not jealous!)

It’s been a tough day trying to concentrate on an assignment I am working on, my ears are still ringing with the sound of rock and roll from last night. Along with some other 50,000 fans and my concert buddy, who incidentally works in pricing and market access, we went to see the Rolling Stones at the Old Trafford Stadium Manchester last evening. After over 50 years of touring, Mick Jagger and co-workers can still draw crowds, fill a stadium and BTW it’s not just ageing rockers that attend. How can they still do this in 2018?. Well charisma, great songs, skilled musicians and a stunning show is probably the answer.

You’re probably thinking what on earth has this got to do with MedComms? What occurred to me last evening were the parallels with organising a successful satellite symposium or conference i.e. when the event you have organised fills the auditorium or congress room and there are no seats left. So what get you this level of success? Charismatic and expert speakers with great presentation skills, interesting content that will resonate with the audience and finally, excellent delivery and organisation of the event. I would say no different to a great rock concert. And to any of you Stones fans out there in the MedComms world “Its only rock and roll but we love it”!

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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.

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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