Please login to the form below

From Cowgirl to Medical Writer - How did that happen?

Amy Jackson, Editorial Director, Lucid Group discusses her unlikely path into Medical Communications.

Growing up I wanted to be a cowgirl – ahh, that’s the life for me, I thought. Never mind the inconvenient truth that there were few opportunities for cowgirls in Suffolk and I had never ridden a horse. The subsequent years saw the birth and death of many more dreams: the yearning for the open plains of New Mexico gave way to wanting to be an astronomer and then a diplomat (Ferrero Rocher? Why yes please!). Not once did it cross my mind that I wanted to be a medical writer.

And that’s because I’d never heard of medical writing. Certainly not as a child, nor adolescent, nor a student. After leaving university, all I knew was that I wanted to use my whole brain – to have a job that allowed me to combine the arts and the sciences, something that had driven the academic choices I made: an esoteric mix of A-levels, then archaeology and anthropology at Durham and biological anthropology in Cambridge. Nothing pure, nothing specialist, nothing particularly useful, but areas of learning that coalesced into a well-rounded mix of mental stimulation. So, I chose scientific publishing, which ticked the ‘well-rounded’ box (circle?), and then luckily happened across the allied industry of medical communications.

My first medical writing job was liberating. I was creating content from scratch, rather than copy-editing text supplied by authors. I enjoyed writing, a distinct advantage if you want to be a medical writer, and I didn’t feel as uncomfortable as I anticipated when writing about the previously unfamiliar. You will be amazed at how quickly you feel like an expert in a disease or therapy area: don’t think that your studies will limit you. A few weeks of working on an account and you will amaze your friends and family with your knowledge of a particular disease; they are unlikely to be interested, but the point is that you will quickly assimilate new information and learn how to communicate effectively to a range of audiences. To work with experts at the vanguard of healthcare research is a privilege, and to work with clients to create magical programmes is hugely stimulating.

At Lucid, we never forget that our ultimate goal is to transform patients’ lives; we usually do it indirectly through medical education, but occasionally we glimpse the real difference we make, through patient testimony. This brings with it a sense of enormous satisfaction – something I did not realise I valued before embarking on a career in medical communications but which I now place as a chief reason for continuing in the profession. That said, my job now is very different from that first medical writer role: you may realise you have a particular talent for people management, generating new business, or understanding and shaping your clients’ strategy, each of which can open new avenues of professional development. But you have to start somewhere, and medical writing − if you enjoy writing and science, love learning and want to make a difference to patients’ lives − is a great place to start.

This article was written for and published in the MedCommsNetworking.com Medical Writing career guide. Download your full copy here.

20th March 2019

Share

Tags

Company Details

Lucid Group Communications Limited

0345 0536671

Contact Website

Address:
First Floor, Jubilee House
Third Avenue
Globe Park
Marlow
Bucks
SL7 1EY
UK

Latest content on this profile

We let your whole self shine
People are at the heart of who we are. Our aim is to transform the lives of those we touch without prejudice or discrimination. At Lucid, the magic we create relies on harnessing the unique, diverse and individual talents of those we work with. To do this we must empower each person to bring their whole self to work so we can be fully inclusive and collaborate with a full heart – fulfilling the potential of everything we do and everyone we work with. Equally.If you're looking for a purpose-driven healthcare communications consultancy with a mission to transform the lives of those it touches, including patients, clients, our teams and our community, then please get in touch.Our industry-leading learning and development programmes are designed to support your ambitions and professional growth.So come and join our gang; let's be the change together and help transform lives.You can check out our open roles here https://bit.ly/3rbPIiYOr contact one of our talent acquisition managers for a chat:Elaine DowneyDaniel NewburyJon TurnerEllen Field Assoc CIPD
Lucid Group Communications Limited
Climbing my own Lucid Ladder

Lucid Group Communications Limited
A Lucid Thirsty Thursday D&I Special

Lucid Group Communications Limited
Connecting capabilities in healthcare communications

Lucid Group Communications Limited
Connecting capabilities in healthcare communications
The account management/medical writing paradigm was the cornerstone of medcomms for many years, but evolution in technology, storytelling and an increasingly sophisticated audience has changed this.Instead, today's environment requires an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to cut through the noise, change behaviour, build mental availability for a brand, and advance health outcomes.Connecting multiple capabilities has never been so important. So, how are agencies managing this today?In this webinar, we discuss how our client teams have evolved and how traditional roles have had to change and adapt to help solve today's healthcare challenges.The Lucid Group panel are Jonathan Andrew, Hannah Clarke, Cheryl Harrison Doyle and Madeleine Tye. Please reach out to them on LinkedIn should you have any questions relating to this. As you will hear in this webinar, we are constantly evolving and growing our team's capabilities; both through talent acquisition and internal training opportunities. So, if you're looking for a new career move with a company that offers industry-leading learning development opportunities and growth within your role, please check out all our open roles here:  https://bit.ly/3C9NEva
Lucid Group Communications Limited
Lucid Group: Orange the World

Lucid Group Communications Limited