My route into MedComms wasn’t what some would call ‘typical’, but was instead based on a love of science, a desire to make a meaningful contribution to healthcare, a few wrong turns and a few key interactions.

I graduated with a BSc (Hons) in biochemistry and felt ready to take on the working world. I interviewed for a pharmaceutical PR position, and realised it wasn’t for me, before landing a job as a commissioning editor for a healthcare journal. I loved the job and acquired some great insights; however, the London commute was too much. I got in touch with a recruitment agent who introduced me to the world of MedComms and set up an interview at Complete Medical Communications (CMC) for an account executive position. I will forever be grateful to the individuals who interviewed me, saw promise and suggested I instead do the associate medical writer (AMW) test.

I got the AMW position, moved to Macclesfield and began my now 17-year career at CMC (now CMC Connect). Had I been making that move now, I’d be entering our Future Experts and Leaders (FuEL) programme, which offers a variety of role, industry and personal development, as well as a networked learning community designed to maximise all the benefits of the McCann Health Network.

Career satisfaction is top of mind at CMC Connect and everyone is encouraged to take ownership of their development, be inquisitive and authentic, put their hand up for new opportunities and to lead in their own unique way. Being a large, established agency, CMC Connect has offered me opportunities spanning the full spectrum of MedComms deliverables across a wide range of therapeutic areas and at all stages across the product lifecycle. I have enjoyed working on publications, which lay the foundations for many of the other deliverables, but I thrive on meetings work and I love a good advisory board! As I’ve developed in my career, I’ve particularly enjoyed creating meaningful partnerships with clients, allowing me to ask questions, challenge their thinking and design innovative solutions to meet their needs.

I have never had to look far for opportunities to develop as an expert and as a leader, and the company’s unwavering commitment to my development, coupled with my passion and determination, has allowed me to maximise my potential as I progressed through the Medical Services Career Pathway, up to SVP, Senior Medical Director. More recently, I maximised the opportunities open to me in our Career Pathway and made the leap over to Client Services as SVP, Portfolio Director to try and match my medical knowledge with commercial insight.

I’m frequently asked why I have been at CMC Connect for so long. There is one simple answer… the people. Yes, I’ve been lucky enough to work on cutting-edge science, with world-leading physicians and pharmaceutical clients who are just as committed to making a meaningful difference to people’s health and wellbeing, but it’s the people I work with each day who have kept me at CMC Connect: like-minded supportive colleagues who are focused on developing the next leaders, not only of CMC Connect but of the MedComms community in general.

This personal profile first appeared in the FirstMedCommsJob careers guide, From academic to medical writer: a guide to getting started in medical communications, published March 2022.

Meet representatives from IPG Health Medical Communications on 19 September. Meanwhile, find out more about them here.

2 thoughts on “Belinda Dean, SVP, Portfolio Director, CMC Connect, a McCann Health Medical Communications Agency

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