Having stumbled into doing a PhD almost by accident as part of my research assistant role at Imperial College London, I had never really intended to pursue a career in academia. However, I soon found myself loving the lab with a flair for growing parasites and a taste for diligent documentation. I couldn’t believe that I was getting paid to play in a lab all day long – I had found my happy place. So, when the good times ground to a halt, and my endeavours in the lab were failing, and the politics and diplomacy of seeking funding began to weigh heavily, I was in all honesty devastated at the prospect of leaving the lab. A friend of mine had moved on to MedComms not long before me with favourable reports, so I took the leap as well. I thought that it would be a tough adjustment, but I truly have not once missed the lab, and have instead found a new passion for MedComms.

My first role was a hybrid between a trainee medical writer and an account handler. This was a great introduction to the world of MedComms, but I knew that writing was my forté, and that I wanted to pursue it as a career. I was thrilled to move to AMICULUM in a full-fledged writing role at Mudskipper and haven’t looked back since. I have had the opportunity to partner with clients on practice-changing data, working across medical education initiatives, market access and publications. Every day is different – I love thinking strategically about the bigger picture, how everything we do is interwoven, whether it is across client business functions or throughout the healthcare landscape. For me, the secret of success is storytelling. I still get a little thrill when something has been articulated in a clear, engaging manner, and if this can be done with fewer words and better visualisation – even better!

After nearly 10 years at Mudskipper, I am grateful to have been able to move sideways to join AMICULUM’s newest full-service MedComms agency, Cogent. This has opened a whole new world to me, and I am really excited about being part of something new but still having the security and values of AMICULUM behind us.

One of my best days in MedComms was when a letter written by a patient to our client’s chief scientist – the ‘inventor’ of a drug – was filtered down to us. It was genuine letter of overwhelming appreciation for the difference this drug had made to the patient’s life. It was heart-warming to be reminded of the difference these new treatments make, and ultimately of why we all do this job – to improve patients’ lives.


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 McCann Health Medical Communications on 19 September. Meanwhile, find out more about them here.

One thought on “Debbi Gorman, Cogent, an AMICULUM agency

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