Day in the life of a Principal Medical Writer

Written on Tuesday 3rd October 2023

We spoke to Charles Geary, Principal Medical Writer, to learn about his role.

Can you tell me a little bit about your role?
My primary role is to lead the team in creating or facilitating the creation of high-quality scientific content that aligns with our clients' strategic needs, which can vary based on their products, therapy areas, and target audiences. A large part of this is ensuring that teams are appropriately supported throughout the content delivery process – whether this requires content development, strategic insight, or review to ensure our high-quality standards are maintained.

I consider myself fortunate to have a network of highly knowledgeable and skilled colleagues that adopt a collaborative approach, enhancing our work and contributing to a better understanding of complex therapy areas. There are numerous facets to consider, but our ultimate goal is to benefit the scientific community, whether through engaging key stakeholders or helping to meet the educational needs of patients and clinicians.

Can you tell us about some of the projects you work on?
We've been engaged in several intriguing projects lately. One of these involves collaborating with our clients to continue building an internal training academy. The aim of this is to upskill teams on how to confidently communicate how their product can address the unmet needs of patients, as they move towards launch. Our goal is to distill the most pertinent scientific content and ensure that their teams are well informed. Our strategy to achieve this includes creating engaging workshops and case-led sessions while partnering with key opinion leaders to share their clinical insights with these teams.

Another exciting activity we are delivering is creating animations which feature key opinion leaders discussing patient case examples and their management approaches for adverse events. This content allows these clinicians to share their valuable insights with other healthcare professionals who may not have as much experience with prescribing this product or managing these adverse events.

Similarly, our team has ventured into podcast production, providing a platform for multiple clinicians to share insights on their clinical practices, patient management, key data, and unmet needs within the therapy area. We aim to identify ways that our clients can contribute towards addressing these unmet needs to enhance patient outcomes.

What part or aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
I thoroughly enjoy my job because it allows us to interact with and gain insights from clinicians who are devoted to enhancing patient outcomes through their contributions to managing clinics, publishing research, and leading clinical trials. It’s a genuine privilege to hear them discuss the future of treatments and how these will address the existing unmet needs of patients.

I also greatly appreciate the chance to both share my knowledge with fellow team members and learn from them as well. OPEN Health provides a level playing field where we can all freely exchange knowledge regardless of seniority, creating a truly collaborative dynamic that allows us to learn valuable insights from each other.

What training and development opportunities are available to help you excel in your role at OPEN Health?
OPEN Health offers a wide range of opportunities across teams. These can focus on role-specific skillsets; for instance, there is a training program for associate medical writers that is designed to help them develop core skills alongside their peers, ensuring they have a strong understanding of what's needed to excel in their roles.

As you progress in your role, we offer additional training opportunities, such as the senior medical writer training program. This program encourages more interactive and discussion-based learning to introduce key concepts and then engage in meaningful discussions. This process helps us identify and address any knowledge gaps, which has proven to be highly beneficial.

Beyond formal training, we also emphasize continuous team‑based learning; for example, we have a collection of senior medical writers who run weekly therapy area updates for one of our accounts. These serve as a platform to share important publications, project insights, and discussions that have taken place with clinicians. They are a great opportunity for mutual learning, and we encourage junior team members to participate, providing an opportunity for them to build confidence and expertise from the ground up.

How would you describe the culture at OPEN Health?
I think the culture is a massive part of why I enjoy my job. The nature of our work can be quite demanding, which we tackle by building a sense of shared ownership. This helps us to band together effectively, especially during busy periods of tight deadlines and heavy workloads. I appreciate the sense of community that OPEN Health fosters within its teams; we prioritize working together, and this approach leads to better outcomes. Regardless of one’s role, everyone contributes to share any burdens, instead of leaving individuals to struggle alone.

We’re a sociable bunch, organizing regular activities that provide an excellent opportunity for teams to relax. These events serve as a valuable outlet for unwinding after putting in hard work together.

What sets our team apart is the strong sense of camaraderie. While we are dedicated and work diligently, it’s the close-knit relationships with our colleagues that truly make the difference.


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