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A Day in the life of a Medical Writer

What does a normal working day as a Medical Writer within the Medical Communications industry look like to you?

First, I check any emails I've received overnight and update my to-do list. Then, depending on any meetings/catch ups I've got scheduled, I start to work through my to-do list; what this looks like varies day-to-date. Currently, I'm working on a number of publication activities, including congress abstracts and presentations, as well as several ongoing manuscripts. The tasks on each of these can include planning for the initial project kick-off, liaising with clients and authors, writing drafts, incorporating feedback, reviewing content/poster layouts, and addressing journal comments. Priority is usually given to projects with 'hard' deadlines, such as congress materials.

In addition to keeping my ongoing projects moving, a normal day would involve catching up with team members to ensure that they are also progressing their projects and ensuring that all projects/tasks are assigned and that nothing important has been missed. 

What hours do you typically work?

Typically 9 to 5, although this can vary around deadlines (such as congresses) and client/KOL schedules.

 

What do you love most about your job as a Medical Writer?

The flexibility my role allows, the variety of work and the exposure to different therapy areas, drugs, clients and projects. 

 

What's the most challenging thing about the work you do?

Working on multiple client accounts can make managing conflicting deadlines difficult, particularly around congress/meetings time. 

 

Can you give us an interesting fact about your job as a Medical Writer? 

Although have a PhD is often seen as a prerequisite for medical writing, this isn't always the case. In fact, the most talented writers I've worked with started life as Associate Medical Writers fresh out of university. 

 

Finish this sentence: The ideal start to my work day involves...coffee and no unexpected client requests or surprises overnight. 

 

What's life like inside a medical communications agency?

Compared with life as an academic, life in a med comms agency is very fast-paced and can change very quickly. You have to be adaptable, flexible and happy to work outside your comfort zone. There's a real collaborative feel to agency life - at busy times everyone pitches in and helps to get the work done, which differs a lot from my experience as a post-doc.