A day in the life of a medical writer

A medical communications agency’s core work can be divided into three broad categories:

– Scientific editorial outputs, such as manuscripts and posters
– Medical professional meeting support
– Communication strategy development

However, we can be involved in a wide variety of projects – you never know what you might be working on next!

Medical communications is a fast-paced and innovative environment. Our teams work across many therapy areas and provide materials for a range of audiences, but most are aimed at medical professionals

Medical writers play a central role in preparing these materials by using their scientific knowledge, communication skills and creativity to accurately and effectively present data to specific audiences.


9:00 am
Coffee and a chat with some of the writers. Yesterday, I returned from running a symposium in Barcelona with our oncology team; everyone wants to know how it went. We had a couple of late nights preparing slides and workshop materials, but by working together, we delivered a successful meeting!

9:15 am
Check emails. There’s one from an author telling us that a manuscript we worked on has been accepted for publication. Good news for everyone involved!

9:45 am
We’re preparing a poster on a diabetes clinical trial, which will be presented at an international conference in less than 3 weeks. I spend some time incorporating the investigator’s feedback on the copy and pass it to our team of editors, who check it for grammar and consistency. Next, our design team will lay out the text and figures into poster format.

11:15 am
An unexpected and urgent request for a literature search comes in from a client. I know I won’t have time to do this, but one of the other writers has some capacity, so we agree that he will take care of it.

11:30 am
An author has asked us to suggest suitable journals for a paper reporting on an observational clinical trial. I spend some time researching the possibilities and find two that are appropriate.

12:15 pm

1:15 pm
I start writing a post-meeting report summarizing the symposium we ran in Barcelona. The client wants this finished while the meeting is fresh in everyone’s minds. We must move quickly so it can be reviewed and edited before going to the client tomorrow.

4:15 pm
I have a meeting with an account manager to discuss the finances on a long-running project. The client has asked for additional work, which will make the project more expensive. We’ll need her approval before continuing with the work.

4:30 pm
We have a teleconference with another client to discuss ideas for a symposium on rheumatoid arthritis to be held later this year in Prague. He would like an innovative way of communicating the new clinical data. We agree to come up with some ideas by the end of the week; we’ll need to be creative to produce something new and exciting that’s also scientific and appropriate.

5:30 pm
Home time!

Go Back to Your career


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