200120172020
employee stories

Life as a Lead Medical Writer in Conshohocken

Lead Medical Writer, Frank Golder, takes you through his typical day working in Fishawack Health’s Medical Communications team, based in Conshohocken, near Philadelphia in the Unites States.

Frank Golder

Lead Medical WriterPennsylvania, USA

Why did you want to become a Medical Writer?

Before joining Fishawack Health, I had a career in academia as a veterinary clinician and bench-top scientist. I had joined a small pharma startup that folded, as they often do. After that, I decided it was time for a career change. I knew I wanted to combine my clinical and scientific training with my writing experience and needed to think outside the box. In the end, a friend suggested I look into medical communications – I had no idea what it was despite being in academia for years.

I did a little research, and the job appealed to me right away. I could leverage my training in veterinary medicine and science while also utilizing my medical language skills. I love writing – so it was a natural fit.

What’s a typical day like?

I’m lucky enough to have a role that combines my prior career in a different industry while also allowing me to think strategically and take on a people-facing role. There’s a real mix of diving into the science of a therapeutic area and collaboration with clients and the wider team.

I review medical content created by the team and develop content myself. Sometimes I’ll work on a more strategic piece of work, such as publication planning, which gives me the opportunity to solve new problems, and dive into new therapy areas and new science.

Often, I’ll meet with clients to get feedback, explore insights, and kick off new projects. Then I have internal meetings with our team to align on workflow and timelines and develop a plan to roll out the work.

There is a process at Fishawack Health for our scientific content, so it’s also a matter of making sure things are moving along timelines to ensure the client receives the deliverable on time.

Another element of my job is management and training, for example, briefing and coaching more junior writers.

 

“I like the team, and I feel valued. People are always quick to share feedback, encouragement, praise, and recognition.”

 

Why Fishawack Health?

At Fishawack Health, you aren’t just a cog in the machine. Even though the company is growing, I still feel like I work in a small company because we’re in a small team, so we get to know each other fairly well.

I like the stability of being in a larger company, I like the team, and I feel valued. People are always quick to share feedback, encouragement, praise, and recognition. Importantly, I’m seen as an individual and I feel my voice is heard.

There is a clear path for advancement from medical writer to Scientific Director. My development goals align with my specific needs and personal goals for career development.

With all that work, is there time for play?

I think because Fishawack Health is a UK-based company, we get a good amount of vacation allowance no matter which office you work in across the world.

We also have some flexibility in our working hours, so you can plan your day as needed, building in time for a lunchtime workout or to take the dogs out for a walk.

At the start of the pandemic, our team set up a half-hour dial-in session on Mondays to chat about anything but work, which has been invaluable as we’re all remote working due to lockdowns. It’s good to hear about what others have been up to and often the calls are a reminder that you’re not experiencing problems alone.

After my working day, I usually socialize, go to the gym and eat out. However, due to COVID-19, the world looks a little different now. During the last month, I ordered gym equipment and hired a coach to give me a cross-fit type program to do, and I’ve teamed up with a friend so we can keep each other motivated.

My family is in New Zealand, so we usually catch up over a Zoom call in the evening, or I’ll meet with friends in the park to have a socially distanced coffee or picnic.

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