Q: How did you move from research to medical communications?
By chance. I thought I was going to be in academia for life, but I ran into the typical roadblocks of an academic career. I looked around to see what else I could do. Since I always liked writing and presenting my work, one day I answered an ad for a medical communications position. I didn’t even know this field existed, but most of the skills required were those I had developed in the PhD program.
Q: What’s changing in the industry?
The basic concept of trying to get our messages across in a concise and compelling manner is the same, but the compliance regulations governing our clients are stricter. The companies are also more budget conscious. This pushes us to be more creative in how we gather expert opinion and communicate our findings. We’ve recently begun producing animated summaries of medical publications in which we communicate the data in a two-minute animation.
Q: What do you look for in a colleague?
First, they must have the necessary skills and scientific acumen. Then they must fit in with the team. What I mean by that is, they need to be curious, to be quick on the uptake, to be innovative, because we switch quickly between projects and topics. At Medicalwriters.com, we check our egos at the door. We are essentially a conduit for our clients’ work, and we must embrace that.
Q: How is Medicalwriters.com different from other agencies?
While the more traditional agencies stick to their processes and repeat what they know, at Medicalwriters.com—and this comes from the top—we are not afraid to try new things. Innovation is not only encouraged, it’s part of the job description. Even as we expand our reach around the world, we have the freedom to experiment.