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 Medical Writing career guide. Download your full copy here.

20th March 2019



Company Details

Lucid Group Communications Limited

0345 0536671

Contact Website

First Floor, Jubilee House
Third Avenue
Globe Park

Latest content on this profile

My Lucid journey from PMW to Head of Medical
Working in Medical Communications has never been about the nine to five. Fusing science and language in the service of both clients and patients, this is typically a fast paced and demanding industry, but one which offers enviable flexibility, variety and intellectual challenge. Leading agency Lucid Group prides itself on the many growth and development opportunities it offers its people. In this article, Katherine Duxbury, Lucid’s Head of Medical, reflects upon her own bespoke working journey over the past 12 years and explains how creativity, collaboration and a passion for science have led to a rewarding, stimulating and self-curated career.
Lucid Group Communications Limited
Listen, learn and lift off

Lucid Group Communications Limited
Launch excellence

Lucid Group Communications Limited
Meet The Lucid Group Talent Team
Meet our talent team, they're here to help and transform your career.We have some exciting roles at all levels in account management and medical writing.If you choose to take your career to the next level with us, you can be assured that you'll have a whole group of people here cheering you on.So, if you’re feeling stuck or unfulfilled in your current role and looking for a company that will provide the personal and career development you need, please check out our open roles here: contact one of our talent acquisition managers for a chat:Ellen Field Assoc CIPDElaine DowneyJon TurnerDaniel Newbury
Lucid Group Communications Limited
Extraordinary lives: advancing change in rare diseases (Part 2)

Lucid Group Communications Limited
Extraordinary lives: advancing change in rare diseases (Part 2)
In support of Rare Disease Day, we're excited to launch part 2 of our video series; Extraordinary lives: advancing change in rare diseases.Why is raising awareness of rare diseases so important?Because 300 million people worldwide are living with a rare disease. This means that, collectively, the number of people living with a rare disease is equivalent to the population of the world's third-largest country (USA).While we have come a long way since the inception of Rare Disease Day, there's still plenty of work to do.Part 2 of this series focuses on important topics including the role of technology and the opportunities it presents for the rare disease community. The panel also hold captivating insights on how the pandemic has impacted the use of related digital technologies, the role of gene therapy, the major challenges and successes for pharma companies in supporting the rare disease community over the last 13 years, and much, much more.If you’d like to know more about the work we do in rare diseases or would like advice on any healthcare communication challenges please get in touch with Clare Reynolds on LinkedIn or by email: clare.reynolds@wearelucidgroup.comAbout Lucid GroupFounded in 2007, Lucid Group is a global multi-capability healthcare consultancy with core expertise in medical strategy, healthcare communications, creative and brand strategy, motion, digital and technology, behaviour change, metrics, and data analytics.  We partner with the pharma and biotech industry, delivering life-transforming value with connected capabilities to create pioneering solutions that change behaviour, improve clinical practice and advance health outcomes.  Transforming lives. Always.
Lucid Group Communications Limited