Life as a Senior Medical Writer
Technical excellence and tea-fuelled multitasking
The first thing I like to do when I arrive at my desk in a morning is check my emails and update my to-do list from yesterday afternoon, based on anything that’s come in overnight. Sometimes there’s lots of messages, particularly during busy periods in preparation for congresses, but fortunately there’s just a few additional actions for me today.
To-do list updated, it’s time to get to work!
One of the things I really enjoy about being a writer is the variety of work I get involved in across the three client accounts I work on. Working across rare diseases, vaccines and respiratory diseases means that no two client briefs are the same. One day I could be developing a range of medical or scientific materials for an event and the next I could be liaising with a client and authors to support their publication process.
At the moment I’m working on a presentation slide deck for a client’s symposium to be held at a haematology congress in Denmark. There’s no time to waste as there’s lots to be done! Most of my morning involves collating, reviewing and addressing the contributions from the expert faculty and I also brief our studio team to have figures redrawn, to ensure the slides are not only scientifically correct but as visually attractive as possible before they’re circulated for second review. By lunchtime, I’ve completed my review and instructed my colleagues in the wider team. I’ll wait for the updated figures to come back from our studio and editors and then look at the slides again before they’re sent out.
What’s nice about working at Bioscript is that we’re always encouraged to step away from our desks and take a break so it’s nice to pop to our Swedish-inspired Fika room to catch up with colleagues, play a game of table football (I volunteered to organise our inaugural tournament, so regular practice might pay dividends!), or if the weather’s nice, stretch my legs and pop to the shops in town.
After lunch I join a kick-off call with another of my clients to discuss an exciting new digital project we’re working on. This innovative, interactive tool will educate HCPs on the burden of living with an infectious disease and provide information to communicate to patients about the different treatment options available, with a view to improving patient outcomes. Not only will the resource be made available to HCPs at a congress booth but, subsequently, to pharma representatives to present the materials when they meet with HCPs. I’m really looking forward to working with our digital team to develop the content once the actions and timelines from the call have been approved by the client.
Check – check – check
I find that tea-fuelled multitasking is an essential skill to have in this sector and the rest of my day is filled with a few different jobs:
1. Coordinate a manuscript submission with our editors – check
2. Liaise with Client Services regarding an international visit to a new client – check
3. Respond to emails that have landed in my inbox since this morning – check
4. Double-check the figures and other comments that have been incorporated into this morning’s slide deck by studio – check
Wow, that was a busy day, where has the time gone!? Before I finish for the day, I like to formulate a to-do list for tomorrow so I can be off to a flying start bright and early in the morning. I’m lucky enough to commute to and from work on foot and I really enjoy the 25-minute walk home to wind down. As well as a demanding, yet rewarding, job I also have a demanding, yet rewarding, toddler waiting for me at home! So it’s nice to clear my head before getting back and helping with his bedtime routine before (hopefully) getting some time to relax!
Written by David Griffiths, Senior Medical Writer