Inside the award-winning Allegro Programme

image1This article has been contributed by Deborah Porter, an Associate Medical Writer at Ashfield Healthcare Communications.

As someone who has spent their entire working life in the NHS, I thought I was a bit long‑in‑the‑tooth for a change of career. For years I had wanted to take a different path in my scientific journey, but never quite found the courage. Then, at the start of 2019, I decided I was going to be brave and go for it. I knew I wanted to stay in science and that I wanted to write, so it seemed like a good choice to become a medical writer. I began applying for Associate Medical Writer positions, and was lucky enough to catch the attention of the Allegro team at Ashfield Healthcare Communications.

During the interview day I was nervous, which wasn’t helped by the fact that I was in a room surrounded by a lot of very intelligent, well-educated people. I didn’t think I stood a chance, but I gave it my best shot. Imagine my surprise and delight when I got that phone call telling me I had been selected to join the Allegro Programme. I knew from speaking to previous Allegro intakes that the eight week training programme was very intensive, but I also knew it was going to be worth the effort.

On the first day it was great to see a number of faces I recognised from my interview day, and it didn’t take long to relax and feel at home. Week 1 went by in a blur of excitement and challenging tasks. I loved it! I knew this was the right move for me, and I was hoping I could live up to the expectations of the Allegro team.

Through the weeks, we have been put through our paces, and back again, learning all the skills needed to make us into, not just great, but exceptional medical writers. Every step of the way we have been encouraged, and there has been constant one-to-one feedback and support. The programme is a great environment in which to learn, and although it is demanding, as the weeks have progressed it has become clear the training is specifically designed to ensure that we achieve our maximum potential. I have gained a considerable amount of knowledge, and it is hard to believe I have learned so much in so little time.

We are now in week 7, and my time in the training phase is drawing to a close. I will be sad to say goodbye, for now, to the other members of the fifth Allegro intake; however I am excited to be preparing for agency life, and I am looking forward to the challenges that come with it. For those of you who have thought about medical writing as a career path, my advice would be to go for it, and if you are lucky enough to get an offer from the award-winning Allegro team, then make sure you grab it with both hands.

More about working life at Ashfield Healthcare Communications and the Allegro programme can be found at

More about Ashfield Healthcare Communications can be found at

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