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 entailed researching and writing news articles, and producing and presenting a radio programme. 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 a brief stint as a Marketing Assistant for a medical communications company in London, I worked in various editorial roles in a number of publishing companies, mainly editing and commissioning medical journals. After more than 10 years in journal publishing, I stepped sideways into the medical communications industry, attracted by the high quality of the finished products and the variety of projects. As soon as I began working at Oxford PharmaGenesis in March 2012, 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. 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 the Production department, as part of a team that oversees the production of all of the company’s output. We work across writing teams and clients, so I am involved in a wide variety of therapy areas and in many different types of project. A typical week’s work could entail: editing a couple of journal manuscripts and checking the redrawn figures; checking the layouts of posters and liaising with the writer to resolve any issues; editing a slide deck and improving its visual impact and consistency; providing training to colleagues on the use of PowerPoint; 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.