Vicky – Associate Principal Editor

I have always been fascinated by human biology and chose my degree (a BSc in Human Sciences at University College London) because it gave me the opportunity to study a broad range of disciplines. In my final year, as well as specializing in neuroscience and developmental biology, I chose a module called ‘Communicating scientific ideas’. This ignited my passion for clearly presenting and communicating science to various audiences, and I therefore decided to embark on a career in scientific publishing.

After more than 10 years in journal publishing, where I was mainly editing and commissioning articles for scientific journals, I stepped sideways into the medical communications industry. I was attracted by the high quality of the finished products and wide range of projects. As soon as I began working at Oxford PharmaGenesis, I was on a steep learning curve to pick up the new skills required when editing for pharmaceutical clients. After 2 years, I had gained enough experience to be promoted to Senior Editor, and 2 years after that, to Associate Principal Editor. In addition to increasing my knowledge of a number of therapy areas, I have discovered an aptitude for working with graphics and layouts to maximize the visual effectiveness of digital and printed materials.

At Oxford PharmaGenesis, editors work in client-focused groups, editing and overseeing the production of a variety of deliverables that span a range of therapy areas. A typical week’s work could entail: reviewing edits of more junior colleagues; editing and improving the visual impact of a slide deck; working with a client team to cost a proposal; providing training to colleagues on editorial processes; checking company items for adherence to our branding guidelines; and working with a designer on visuals for a training programme.

I gain a lot of satisfaction from knowing that I play an important role in ensuring that healthcare professionals, patients and those responsible for setting healthcare budgets are given clear, concise and accurate information.

The medical communications industry is continuing to expand and there is increasing demand both for skilled, experienced editors and for trainee editors with an exceptional eye for detail, consistency and layout. If a life of laboratory work is not for you, consider becoming a medical editor – a career that offers intellectual stimulation, job satisfaction and new opportunities.