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4 things you need to know to get ahead in Medical Communications

Posted on: 12 Jan

Getting a foot in the door in the world of Medical Communications is only the first step in your journey to a successful career as a writer or editor. Not only do you need to balance your excellent writing skills with the scientific knowledge required to speak authoritatively about your chosen subject to GPs, academics and more, you also need to develop the business smarts needed to climb the career ladder.

With the UK Pharmaceuticals industry flourishing - and with R&D spending hitting £4.8 billion in just a year - the demand for skilled Medical Communications professionals to spread the word about the latest developments in devices and drugs has soared. Indeed, the time is ripe for you to seize the moment and develop your career. 

Here’s how.

Work on your expertise

Though you might think that you know everything you need to about the Medical industry- and about your area of expertise- it’s never too late to continue improving on your knowledge. The Pharma industry is developing at a colossal rate: in the last ten years alone, we’ve seen the birth of gene-editing technology, ever-smarter Biotech solutions to a variety of diseases and ailments, and much more. As scientists continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in science, and new products enter the market, don’t get left behind. Subscribe to pharmaceutical magazines if you don’t already: it’ll give you a good knowledge of what’s going on in the industry, and who the movers and shakers are. It’s not just the medical sector you need to brush up on, either: knowing how to research and condense your research into a succinct message is key to being a successful professional working in Medical Communications, but so is knowing how to market yourself, and get key marketing messages across in your work. Brush up on your techniques: go to content marketing or Medical Communications conferences and find out what the latest trends are in the industry. It will come as no surprise that written communication is one the top skills you need to be a successful Medical Writer because it will allow you to offer a cutting-edge service to your clients.

How organised are you?

59% of employees are disengaged or actively disengaged at work, and whilst you may not be one of them, any kind of lethargy or inability to finish projects on time can prove dangerous when it comes to building a successful career in Medical Communications. Being a good Medical Writer is all about being able to work to deadlines and manage multiple projects effectively. After all, how will your clients trust you if you can’t deliver work on time?  

Whether it’s by timetabling slots for certain tasks, working in forty-minute segments with ten minute breaks, or assigning time at the start and end of the day to deal with the pesky emails that can soak up a lot of your time and concentration, make sure that you keep a cool head and keep up to date with everything that you’ve promised to deliver.

Find a mentor

Building on your experience is essential if you want to forge a strong career in Medical Communications, as is building up a strong client base. For that, you need to network and it’s one of the most helpful tips for becoming a medical writer. The more comfortable that you are in speaking to senior people in the industry, the better you’ll become at client meetings, at pitching, and at finding the information you need to write great pieces for your job.  

There are multiple ways you can start cultivating your network, the most traditional being attending industry events. But with technology continuing to change the modern workforce the digital space is a great place to take your networking and meet new contacts. There are multiple Medical Communications groups online, such as MedCommsNetworking or LinkedIn groups like Healthcare Marketing Network or the Forum for Healthcare Strategists where you can swap insights with the rest of the industry and expand your knowledge of the latest trends.

Find the right company for you

One of the most important things you can do if you want to advance your career in Medical Communications is ensure that you work for a company that suits you. Getting started in Medical Communications can seem daunting at first since it’s such a huge and varied industry: you could be working for a small agency, or for a Pharma giant, so make sure your values and motivations line up with those of your prospective employer before you start looking for new jobs- or decide to stay in your current one. Are they working in a sector that you’re passionate about, or that you’ve done a PhD in? Do they have a good company culture? Once you’ve found a place that suits you, you’ll be much more motivated and enthusiastic about what you’re doing, and go further as a result. After all, happy employees are 13% more productive.

Go further at IQVIA

We go the extra mile to connect talented professionals with jobs where they can thrive. We have over 10,000 field professionals helping our clients to launch and promote their products around the globe and bring patients closer to treatments that will save or improve their lives. Take the next step in your career with us and browse our medical communications jobs today; alternatively, why not browse our articles for more insights into life in the Pharma industry?