Medical Writing Authors Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström
Section Editor - Lingua Franca and Beyond


Maria Kołtowska-Häggström, MD, PhD runs Proper Medical Writing, the first Polish medical writing agency. Between 1991 and 2013, she worked within the pharmaceutical industry where she gained experience in orphan drugs and rare disorders through her wide-ranging responsibilities for large research databases, including project manager, project director, medical director, and senior medical director.
Maria was a leading member of numerous research groups investigating pituitary disorders managed in the real-life clinical setting, and has an extensive track record of quality of life and patient-reported outcomes research.
Maria authored over 80 peer-reviewed publications, many of them relating to rare disorders.
She is a member of the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA), European Association of Science Editors (EASE), European Society of Endocrinology (ESE), and Growth Hormone Research Society (GRS); a reviewer for a number of journals; and an Associate Editor for BMC Endocrine Disorders. As a long-time EMWA member, Maria is a trainer and a workshop leader, section editor for Medical Writing and a leading Expert Seminar Series Organizing Committee member.łtowska-häggström-b914894/ 


Outgoing President's Message - Volume 33, Issue 2

Time flies – nothing new in that then! The year of my presidency is finished, so it is time to look back and summarise. It was my first task as a president to introduce a 5-year strategic plan for 2023–2027, and together with the whole Executive…

President’s Message - Volume 33, Issue 1

See you in Valencia… Time is flying. We just left the autumn conference and now are approaching our main EMWA event – the spring conference, to take place May 7– 11, 2024. This time we go to Valencia, and I am sure that no one needs to be…

President's Message - Volume 32, Issue 4

Moving to the virtual space… EMWA’s fall conference was a virtual event, but with a twist – local hubs were established to permit a face-to-face experience for participants in Benelux, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Serbia, and Switzerland. In…

President's Message - Volume 32, Issue 3

A look forward – and back! - at AI in Medical Writing This issue of Medical Writing is devoted to automation and artificial intelligence (AI), the hot topic that interests all of us and that is likely to change our lives dramatically, at least our…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 32, Issue 2

Plagiarism, lack of acknowledgement, and image fraud Plagiarism is the use of text written by other people but without indicating where the text comes from. This worries journals because they want to be sure of the link between the text of the…

Incoming President's Message - Volume 32, Issue 2

In with the new! When I joined EMWA in 2010, I never imagined that 13 years later I would attend the the 55th EMWA Conference as President and be part of the Executive Committee, a body which for a few years I had watched timidly and … with…

Lingua Franca - Volume 32, Issue 1

British, American, Canadian, and Australian spelling In this article, the author explores the why and how of differences in spelling of words among English-speaking countries. Contributors: Christa Bedwin (author), Maria Kołtowska-Häggström…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 31, Issue 2

In this issue, Yateendra Joshi, ELS (D), is our contributor. Yateen has been copyediting research papers for more than 30 years and has been teaching researchers how to write, publish, and present scientific data for more than 15. Maria…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 31, Issue 1

How to make our life easier? It was my pleasure to invite my colleagues from the European Association of Science Editors (EASE) to share their editorial experience with us medical writers. By doing this, we can improve our writing, which will…

Medical decision making and health technology assessment - Volume 30, Issue 3

Many of the key decisions in our lives concern our health and well-being.These decisions are often made for us at the societal level, but as individuals we have increasing say in the management of our own healthcare and in societal decisions. Having…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 30, Issue 2

Our mentors It is my great pleasure to introduce this article written by Julia Bates from Australia, who in a very personal way describes her journey to becoming a very professional and experienced medical writer – a journey that often went across…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 29, Issue 3

Tower of Babel – speaking different languages and still striving to communicate & An American lucky to be among Finns

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 28, Issue 4

A real-life experience with predatory journals: Are we smart enough to avoid them? I would like to start with “once upon a time, there was a medical writing agency…” but no, it is not a good start; unfortunately, it has all happened quite recently.

Quality of life measures – an overview - Volume 27, Issue 4

HR-QoL measurements attempt to turn subjective information into objective information. In this article, I describe the different kinds of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) measures, how they work, and how they can be interpreted. Main types of…

Measuring quality of life – theoretical background - Volume 27, Issue 4

Patient-centred medicine has come out of the increasing importance of patients’ voices in disease management. As part of this, health related quality of life (HR-QoL) has become an important part of assessing treatment outcome and the quality of…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 27, Issue 3

Maria asked: “Write an article about editing for non-native speaking medical writers. … does not need to be long, and preferably ‘lightly’written. … [with] funny but at the same time educational stories to share in Lingua Franca…”

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 27, Issue 1

“What is written without effort is, in general, read without pleasure”.

RCTs: Can the treatment work? Patient registries: Does the treatment work? - Volume 26, Issue 3

The first part of this article compares the main features of studies based on patient registry data with those of randomised clinical trials, providing a basis for better understanding the differences between the two. The second part details how to…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 26, Issue 1

This issue of Medical Writing is devoted to the improvement of our writing skills. Can you think of a better topic for our section? There is always room for improvement; whatever you do, and whatever you write improving your skills is a challenge,…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 25, Issue 3

In this issue of Medical Writing, I would like to recommend two articles. Szymon Musiolshares with us his thoughts on a statistician’s role in research overall and also in the process of preparing publications. He takes a medical writer’s…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 25, Issue 2

Communication, communication and even medical communication What is it about? Let’s start with the Wikipedia definition: “Communication (from Latin comm - ūnicāre, meaning ‘to share’) is the purposeful activity of information exchange between two…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 25, Issue 1

Authors and co-authors This issue of Medical Writing is about Authors and Authorship, a topic, which despite stringent rules and regulations is sensitive, culturally-dependent and often full of emotion. I guess that we could have endless…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 24, Issue 4

Knowing that the main theme of this issue of Medical Writing is writing for the lay audience, I was thinking hard about what would be the most relevant topic to discuss in the Lingua Franca and Beyond section. My thoughts went to a topic that…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 24, Issue 3

Business models in the field of medical and regulatory writing – can you think of a more suitable topic for discussing: collaboration, team working, and sharing complementary skills across different native languages? In this issue of Medical…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 24, Issue 2

It is my real pleasure to welcome you to the second issue of Lingua Franca and Beyond, a regular feature of Medical Writing for non-native English speaking medical writers. As soon as I'd written those words, I realised that this section should not…

Lingua Franca and Beyond - Volume 24, Issue 1

Writing is something that I have always loved. Actually, as a teenager I would have studied literature, but I changed my mind at the last year at school. I became a paediatrician instead for a few years but then little by little, my career turned…



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Medical Writing is a quarterly publication that aims to educate and inform medical writers in Europe and beyond. Each issue focuses on a specific theme, and all issues include feature articles and regular columns on topics relevant to the practice of medical writing. We welcome articles providing practical advice to medical writers; guidelines and reviews/summaries/updates of guidelines published elsewhere; original research; opinion pieces; interviews; and review articles.

Medical Writing is listed in the following indexes:

Editorial Board


Raquel Billiones


Evguenia Alechine

Jonathan Pitt

Managing Editor

Victoria White

Deputy Managing Editor

Alicia Brooks Waltman

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

Jennifer Bell

Nicole Bezuidenhout

Claire Chang

Barbara Grossman

Sarah Milner

John Plant

Sampoorna Rappaz

Amy Whereat

Section Editors

Daniela Kamir


Jennifer Bell


Nicole Bezuidenhout 

Digital Communication

Somsuvro Basu

EMWA News 

Ana Sofia Correia 

Gained in Translation

Ivana Turek

Getting Your Foot in the Door

Wendy Kingdom / Amy Whereat

Good Writing Practice

Alison McIntosh 

In the Bookstores

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Lingua Franca and Beyond

Maddy Dyer


Lisa Chamberlain-James

Medical Communications/Writing for Patients

Payal Bhatia

Medical Devices

Evguenia Alechine

My First Medical Writing

Anuradha Alahari

News from the EMA

Adriana Rocha


Tiziana von Bruchhausen


Clare ChangZuo Yen Lee 

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

Regulatory Public Disclosure

Claire Gudex

Teaching Medical Writing

Louisa Ludwig-Begall / Sarah Kabani

The Crofter: Sustainable Communications

Louisa Marcombes

Veterinary Writing

Editors Emeritus

Elise Langdon-Neuner

Phil Leventhal

Layout Designer

Chris Monk