I started working in medical communications not long after graduating from the University of Birmingham with a BSc in Natural Sciences. My degree combined biology, maths and Spanish, but I chose to specialize in biology, completing a literature review project in my final year. This involved reading a lot of journal articles, which made me appreciate the importance of clearly written and well-structured text. In my spare time, I became a Science Editor for the university newspaper, which gave me my first taste of editing, layout and design.
I was introduced to medical communications at a university-run workshop about non-laboratory-based careers in science, but editing wasn’t very well advertised as an option. I initially applied for writing roles before being contacted by a company who informed me that, based on my CV, I might be better suited to editing. I decided to give it a go and got my first job as an Editorial Project Assistant. I was delighted to discover that being a medical editor is both interesting, giving me plenty of opportunities to use skills from my degree, and satisfying. I feel like I make a difference; after all, it is extremely important for medical information to be conveyed clearly and accurately, and in a way that is appropriate for the audience. After short stints at two other companies, I joined Oxford PharmaGenesis in 2018 and am now an Associate Principal Medical Editor.
For me, one of the best things about working at Oxford PharmaGenesis is the variety of work. The Editorial team that I belong to works with four different project teams, each of which has a variety of different clients and therapy-area focuses. As editors, we are familiar with our clients’ specific style preferences and work flexibly to provide the different levels of editorial input required at each stage of a project. In terms of project types, we do a lot of work on publications, such as journal articles and abstracts, which require focus on flow and scientific accuracy, as well as on spelling and grammar. We also do a lot of work with posters, PowerPoint presentations, booklets, meeting materials and newsletters, for which layout and design are important considerations as well.
I am a hybrid worker, meaning that I go into our Oxford Barns office once or twice a week and work from home the rest of the time. This flexibility is fantastic for balancing work- and home-life responsibilities, and there is plenty of support to ensure that, even when working remotely, team communications are regular and easy.