I began my career in science when I was 18. Pfizer’s European research headquarters were near my hometown in the UK, and they ran a programme for local school leavers in which you could work in the labs at Pfizer while also going to university and studying for a part-time degree (almost like a science apprenticeship). After Pfizer downsized their presence at the site, I worked for various smaller pharmaceutical companies in the UK, before making the decision to move to New Zealand and work at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, based at the University of Auckland. After working for some time in academia, I began to feel that my time in the lab was coming to an end and so I started looking for something different, which would also draw on my experience as a scientist. Luckily, I saw an advert for a role as a trainee medical writer at AMICULUM New Zealand, and the rest, as they say, is history!
One of my first projects at AMICULUM was supporting the development of a slide deck to be used by our client as an internal educational resource. It was a great introduction to the world of MedComms, and I found myself really enjoying developing this type of project. I also began supporting congress activities and developing manuscripts. I love developing presentations and posters that report data to large audiences, especially those which may directly affect patients.
It has been noticeable in the past 5 years how much medical education has changed, especially in regard to patient-focused materials. Congress presentations are now developed with a whole raft of additional educational material, including plain language summaries and animations for patient use. AMICULUM works closely with clients when developing these materials, and I have been fortunate in being involved in a number of these projects. Adapting your writing to focus on patients instead of healthcare professionals can be a challenge yet it is also gratifying knowing that you are directly communicating with people and potentially helping to improve their lives.
Working at AMICULUM has provided me with the opportunity to work in a number of therapy areas and gain experience in different projects. As well as the previously mentioned educational resources and congress activities, I have also had the chance to develop literature reviews, attend advisory board meetings and support satellite symposia at international congresses. I have gained experience in account management and have really enjoyed forming and cementing relationships with clients.
I have now been working at AMICULUM for over 5 years, and as a more experienced writer I review colleagues’ work and provide support for new writers where needed. Again, this aspect of my role is rewarding, and it’s wonderful seeing people develop and become accomplished writers.
In summary, I have loved every moment of my career at AMICULUM. I would encourage anyone with a passion for science and education to pursue a career as a medical writer.
This personal profile first appeared in the FirstMedCommsJob careers guide, Ensuring timely dissemination of research: a guide to working as a medical publications professional, published September 2022