Chatting with Julie Van Onselen, Director at Dermatology Education Partnership


Julia Walton at Media Contacts has chatted with Julie Van Onselen, Director at Dermatology Education Partnership

What attracted you to this career in the first place?

I started off as a nurse and still practise clinically as well as working in medcomms. I diversified into medcomms in order to have more variety, at the same time as specialising in dermatology – the area I am passionate about – and the opportunity to set up my own business

What’s your favourite part of your job?

Every day is different but I love the feeling that the educational work I do ultimately makes a difference to help patients get better care and improve people’s lives

What is the most challenging experience you have faced?

Learning about developing online education and different strategies for online, virtual audiences especially in the early days! Now the possibilities are endless and developments for these learning platforms very varied and exciting.

What’s the highlight of your career so far?

I’ve won a few awards but the highlight was developing an early digital education package, called ‘Scratching The Surface.’ Twenty years on people are still talking about it.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Julia Roberts

What would your key tasks in a typical day be?

I’m either in the office or out and about and there is a mixture of writing, consultancy, training and educational development.

Thanks, Julie. Have a great day!

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?

Safi Dale’s MedComms Day Diary


Safi Dale takes a moment on MedComms Day, to reflect on her work experience placement with Nucleus Global.

I finished my A-levels last summer and am looking forward to going to Manchester University in September to study Biochemistry. Taking a year out has been really exciting and a great experience. However, I’ve been very conscious that I didn’t have a clear understanding of the avenues I could pursue after I graduate. So I was excited to arrange work experience at Nucleus Global and see what life is like in medical communications, which I hadn’t previously known much about. Continue reading “Safi Dale’s MedComms Day Diary”

A Prime Global MedComms Day

This in from Kate Shepherd of Prime Global

For this year’s MedComms Day, Prime Global discussed what makes a good MedComms team and how the Prime Global culture provides a balance that ultimately benefits our clients. We posted quotes from our amazing staff and any team events taking place in our global offices. This generated record numbers of impressions and engagement on social media.

Here are some highlights…






Long conference days

eularElaine Bell, freelance medical writer, has sent this in from Spain…
It’s 4.30pm here in Madrid and I am nearing the end of a long working day that began at 6am! I am in Madrid for EULAR to attend a number of video recordings. My role on this trip is as a freelance strategist for Medscape….. the recordings bring together key faculty to discuss hot topics in rheumatology which are then transformed into accredited online learning activities. I really enjoy the discussion of cutting edge science and catching up with key rheumatologist.
I have also been revising a proposal for another client among more mundane tasks such as hunting down key references and abstracts and double checking data.
Tomorrow I will be leading a steering committee meeting and trying to attend some conference sessions followed by another recording on Friday and a poster presentation on Saturday before my flight home.
Meanwhile I plan to catch up with friends for some drinks on one of Madrid’s lovely roof top bars. Adios!