Archive for the ‘Work Life Balance’ Category

A boating life

June 12, 2019

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

June 12, 2019

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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Taking in the views

June 12, 2019

Jane Tricker, freelance writer, is chilling out!

I have swapped my office and the rattle of keys for the beautiful Corbiere hills, birdsong and the gurgle of the pool pump this #medcomms day.

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Closing down in New Zealand

June 12, 2019

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

June 12, 2019

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

June 12, 2019

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

June 11, 2019

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

June 6, 2018

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

June 6, 2018

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

June 6, 2018
kaige_01Jill Kaige is a freelancer specialising in manging Zinc MAPS and Vault Promomats, based in Oxford.
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

June 6, 2018

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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Bringing up Bébé in the Industry

June 6, 2018

We’re getting moving in the USA now. Crystal Hanington is Senior Account Manager at inScience Communications in Philadelphia.

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“Alexa, play Lullaby Renditions of Led Zeppelin, by Rockabye Baby.” Some variation of that phrase now starts and ends every work day. If you’ve never heard these records, they are familiar in that these are typically quite popular songs by well-known artists, and brand new in that they are completely instrumental, made – you guessed it – with little ears in mind. They bridge the gap between kid- and adult-friendly music.

If I haven’t already let the cat out of the bag, I’m a new mother. The arrival of my son late last year brought with it the usual suspects – sleepless nights, endless worry, and doubt that creeps in reminiscent of John Carpenter’s The Fog. What it also brought, however, was incredible support from my company; inScience Communications, a brand of Springer Healthcare; and from my colleagues and managers. There was the initial excitement shared with all when announcing that I was expecting, coupled with immediate and ongoing support from management, and Human Resources. As his arrival approached, there was an unbelievable outpouring of support and well-wishes received from colleagues and managers. Now that I am back to work full-time, following leave, the support continues in the form of company policies that foster a healthy work-life-balance, and encourage me to set new professional goals to enhance my position here; Senior Account Manager, Client Services.

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Freelancer medical writer on board

June 6, 2018

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!

June 6, 2018

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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Is that more cake I see before me?

June 6, 2018

A brief reminder that MedComms Day 2018 is being sponsored by Concise (thanks again, guys). Caroline Buttery, their Head of BD and Marketing, has just written in to support the importance of cake in agency life, which is currently getting a lot of mentions over on Twitter! Of the many that have made an appearance on the #MedComms twitter stream so far today, I think we have to agree theirs is the best iced cake so far, but we’ve a long day ahead of us still…

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Happy MedComms day from Ubud, Bali!

June 6, 2018
Margot Baldwin, a freelance Zinc-er and expert in Vault Promomats is feeling the heat.
I’m writing this from the sweltering and beautiful co-working space that is Hubud in Ubud, Bali. Today’s activities include eating delicious food, swimming and a quick massage before it’s back to the grindstone (or is it really….?) to work. The most stressful part of my day is making sure that the (extremely bold) monkeys steer clear of my computer, electrical equipment (and, of course, food!) Oh and I mustn’t forget to mention the extreme festivities of Galungan descending upon me, assaulting and delighting all of the senses. Galungan is the extended Balinese holiday celebrating the victory of good over evil. So no biggie then.

Quite a juxtaposition to this time last year, when I was huddled over my laptop in sub zero temperatures of Edinburgh. A completely different beauty surrounded me then, as did a vastly different culture and climate. This is why I love freelancing so much – I never know where I’ll be one year to the next.

The REALLY great news, is that I can provide an overnight service for all my UK clients. It’s win-win for everyone!

No more commuting for Alice

June 6, 2018

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.

Greetings from a freelancer in Sweden!

June 6, 2018

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!

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