Writing skills for medical writers: what MedComms agencies expect

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Location

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The Windsor Centre

15-29 Windsor Street

London

N1 8QG

United Kingdom

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Refunds up to 30 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Event description

Description

This one-day workshop is designed for those who intend applying to work as a medical writer for a MedComms (medical communications) agency. Led by John Dixon, Trainer in scientific writing and presentation skills, this is a FirstMedCommsJob.com initiative (supported by AMICULUM Ltd, Ashfield Healthcare Communications, Envision Pharma Group, Fishawack Group, Helios Medical Communications, Highfield:Communication, Lucid Group and Oxford PharmaGenesis.)

The programme is split into nine topics, encouraging you to be: a planner, clear, readable, coherent, concise, relevant, correct, visually aware and consistent. We will use examples and short exercises to illustrate important points. Over lunch, a recruitment consultant from Media Contacts will join the group to pass on tips about writing your CV.

All attendees will receive a certificate of completion.

John Dixon MA FRCS MRCGP MBA. John initially qualified in medicine and worked as a surgeon and GP in the UK NHS. Since 2003, John completed an MBA at Warwick University Business School. He then spent five years as Director of Medical Communications in a UK medical communications agency, becoming a freelance consultant in healthcare communications in 2013. He now provides training in scientific writing for medical writers in UK medical communications agencies and for researchers from a diversity of scientific disciplines in universities and research institutes across Europe. John is coauthor, of: How to Publish in Biomedicine: 500 Tips for Success. Third Edition. Nov 16, 2016. CRC Press

OUTLINE PROGRAMME DETAILS

Please arrive in time for a prompt start. Refreshments available for you on arrival.

09:45 Introductions and programme overview

Be a planner

The writing test: what agencies look for, types of test, be clear about the brief, and keep to the deadline

Preparation: get up to speed, perform a relevant literature review, know your audience, and be sure you know what output format is expected

Discussion:

  • Any participant experiences of writing tests
  • Share ideas on how people approach new writing tasks

Be clear

Write for your audience, keep it simple, use an appropriate degree of formality, avoid pomposity and arrogance

Sentences: structure, length, unclear sentences, embedded phrases, active and passive voice, avoid noun-adjective strings and wordy phrases, smothered verbs, tenses

Words: use shorter, familiar words, unnecessary and imprecise words, think carefully about adverbs and adjectives

Exercises/discussion:

  • Examples of unclear sentences: what’s wrong and how to improve them
  • Complex sentences: smothered verbs and the passive voice

Be readable

Shorter sentences, shorter non-technical words

Exercises/discussion:

  • Readability: compare the readability of extracts from two papers
  • Using readability statistics: analyse a piece of your own writing

11:15 BREAK

Be coherent

Group ideas, coherence between sections, coherence within paragraphs, transitions, flow and impact, parallelism

Exercises/discussion:

  • Compare two passages – how can flow and impact be improved?
  • Create a parallel structure list

Be concise

Delete, replace, reduce, change, avoid

Exercises/discussion:

  • Mini exercises in concise writing
  • Condense a wordy abstract into more concise text

12:45 LUNCH

CV clinic : During lunch, a recruitment consultant will look over your CV and suggest how you could improve it

13:45 Afternoon session

Be relevant

Consider your audience, their level of expertise, and what information they need

Examples considered: ‘Introduction’ to research paper vs. full literature review; which results matter in ‘Results’; the ‘value message’

Short writing task

  • Develop some concise value messages describing how a product provides an additional benefit to a stakeholder compared with an existing product

Be correct

References and citations, punctuation, dashes, possessives, numbers, units and spaces

Interpretation and language: fact vs. opinion, interpretation of results, medical jargon

Exercises/discussion:

  • Critique of selection of statements: correct the statement/language used

15:00 BREAK

Quiz: words, grammar and punctuation (given for completion prior to workshop)

  • Answers and review any outstanding matters

Be visually aware

White space, lists, headings and subheadings, spacing, graphics

Exercises/discussion:

  • Format a graph and table

Be consistent

Technical terms, spelling, abbreviations, lists, capitalisation, heading style, symbols in graphs, special characters, parentheses and brackets

Check methodically: from sections/titles to spelling/punctuation (macro to micro)

Check your work against: any style guide

Exercises/discussion:

  • Any consistency-related issues
  • Proofreading exercise

16:45 QUESTIONS AND FINISH

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Date and Time

Location

Media Contacts

The Windsor Centre

15-29 Windsor Street

London

N1 8QG

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 30 days before event

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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