Training as a medical writer

amy_hollowayAmy Holloway has recently started as a Trainee Medical Writer at Caudex…

After I completed my PhD in Medical Sciences, I knew that I didn’t belong in a lab – I was one of those people that enjoyed collating all my research in writing my thesis than actually doing lab work. So when I finished, I looked for job that would allow me to use my scientific knowledge and to keep up-to-date with scientific developments. Working as an editor for a science journal ticked these boxes for a time, but eventually I wanted something with more variety, greater opportunity for progression and faster pace. Medical writing was something I’d heard about at various career events as I was completing my PhD, so I started looking into opportunities. After successful completion of a writing test and an interview (accompanied by an on-site test), I excitedly (and with a healthy dose of trepidation!) accepted a trainee medical writer positon with Caudex.

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Starting out in Client Services

kieran_milwardKieran Milward has recently started out as an Account Co-Ordinator at Caudex…

Starting a new job can be a nerve jangling experience, especially if you are heading into a new field, like I was. Coming in from a journalistic and more media based client service background, I had little to no knowledge of how the MedComms world turned, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Would I be expected to know any science? (Looking back at my C in GCSE with particular trepidation!) Would I be diving straight in to client facing situations?

As it turns out, I had no reason to be fretful at all and I was staggered by the amount of detail and planning that goes into inducting new starters at Caudex. It is certainly not a level of support and learning that I had ever encountered before when starting a new job.

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From academia to MedComms

simon_wigfieldSimon Wigfield has recently started as a Trainee Medical Writer at Caudex…

I have been working for Caudex for a little under 2 months now. I came into MedComms after 15 years in academia. I really enjoyed research, but the lack of career structure and the squeezing of funding lead to me search for alternatives. It was after attending one of the MedComms events run in Oxford that I decided that this was the next move for me. The promise of a career structure, a reward for hard work but also still being involved with cutting edge research was the clincher for me.

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From graduation to medical communications

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Nina Bull describes her experience, six months after starting work as an Account Executive at Porterhouse Medical.

During my final year of studying biochemistry at the University of Bath, I started applying for graduate jobs but found it difficult to find one I liked the sound of. Having realised that I didn’t enjoy lab work, in my third year I had undertaken an office-based placement doing clinical study management at a pharmaceutical company. I felt that I thrived in the office environment, but found the role quite slow-paced. However, I wasn’t aware of similar jobs in which I could use the knowledge and skills I’d gained from my science degree.

On a trip home for Christmas, I spoke to a friend who had studied biology at university and was now working for a medical communications agency, which prompted me to look into this industry. From what I could see, it seemed like exactly what I was searching for.

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My internship in medical communications

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Elliott Gray, Intern at Porterhouse Medical reflects on his recent work experience.

I’m now five months into my one-year internship at Porterhouse Medical, and I couldn’t be enjoying it more.

Although I’ve always enjoyed science, I knew that a lab-based placement year wouldn’t be for me. However, I recognised that taking a year out from my studies would still be an opportunity to try something new. Outside of academic study I’m very sociable and enjoy engaging with other people, and so a role in medical communications seemed like a natural fit for me.

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Life as a new Associate Medical Writer by Emily Fisher

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I am now seven weeks in to my role as an Associate Medical Writer at CircleScience, one of the agencies within Ashfield Healthcare Communications, part of UDG Healthcare plc. As expected my first few weeks have been a whirlwind of information and training.

Since my first week, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a range of projects, on a variety of disease and therapy areas. Already, after seven weeks of work, I’ve gained experience in many different types of scientific writing, from reviews to slide decks to paper summaries. In a short space of time, I’ve been given a large amount of guidance and developed many new writing techniques which has really improved my writing skills. I receive constructive feedback on all of my work, which is always very clearly explained. At first, I was worried that this would seem like criticism, but it doesn’t. I’m always praised for things I’ve done well, and any suggested improvements are always thoroughly explained, so that I can incorporate them into future writing and, ultimately, improve my technique. I’m now gaining more confidence, greater responsibility and starting to take control of my own projects, with constant guidance of course!

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My thoughts on medical writing: Three months in

maxwell_221116I’m Ellen Maxwell, and I started working as an Associate Medical Writer with QXV Communications (an Ashfield Healthcare Communications agency, part of UDG Healthcare plc) three months ago after attending the Ashfield Medical Writer’s Assessment Centre.

It was only two months prior to this that I discovered the world of medical communications – or “medcomms” to the insiders. I was working as a frustrated post-doc in cancer biology and started to do a lot of reading into the field. After attending a few career events and getting in touch with medical writers via LinkedIn to get an insight into their working lives, I decided this was a career with fantastic prospects and a great opportunity to work on ground-breaking drugs in therapeutic areas that directly affect patients’ lives.

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