Medical Writing Medical Writing Around the World Medical Communication

Volume 22, Issue 2 - Medical Writing Around the World

Medical Communication


I'm sitting down to write this having just returned from the DIA Euro meeting in Amsterdam. As always, it was a busy and successful meeting, with many ‘themes’ of presentations being given at once. However, this year there were many presentations given around the theme of writing for patients and the lay audience; how risk and benefit should best be communicated to them, and even a whole session about how poorly the information sent to doctors and put inside package leaflets is written. I assumed that these sessions would be tucked away in a broom cupboard somewhere, and that the single other attendee and myself would have a pretty dull time of it, but I was delighted that not only were some of the sessions scheduled for the main auditorium, but that they were extremely well attended and generated lively debates following the presentations. It showed me that there is a real acceptance in the industry that we need to ‘do more, better’ for patients and prescribers, and that Pharma is very keen to do so. As medical communications writers, this is music to our ears (and not a new story), but I've returned hopeful and enthusiastic about the future of patient information.

This edition's article, by Jean-Louis Carsol, is a fascinating and brutally honest view of what it's like to make the transition from an academic background (in Jean-Louis' case from a PhD) into the hectic and highly stressed environment of a medical communications agency. Jean-Louis' background and transition is very similar to my own, and although I didn't go straight into an agency, many of his experiences are echoed by my own in the medical communications world of pharmaceutical companies. Jean-Louis has also ‘stepped outside’ of himself and offers an assessment of the many skills and attributes of someone with a PhD, and how they might equip someone for the world of agency writing. If you've never considered this type of writing before, Jean-Louis' article might help you to decide if it's ‘for you’ or not.

I hope that you enjoy the section and Jean-Louis' article, and as always, I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Lisa Chamberlain James


Download the full article


  1. Moon A. From academic to medical writer: a guide to getting started in medical communications. Oxford, UK: NetworkPharma Ltd; 2012.
  2. Ellwood I. The essential brand book over 100 techniques to increase brand value. 2nd ed. London, UK: Kogan Page Ltd; 2002.
  3. The IAPI Guide to finding the right agency [Internet] Available from:
  4. WFA/EACA guidelines on client-agency relations and best practice in the pitch process [Internet]. Available from:
  5. Bly RW. The copywriter's handbook. A step-by-step guide to writing copy that sells. 3rd ed. New York: St. Martin's Griffin; 2005.
  6. Kover AJ. Copywriters' implicit theories of communication: an exploration. J Consum Res 1995;21:596–611.



Medical writing around the world
Message from the President
The yin and yang of medical writing in China
The changing face of medical writing in India
Medical writing in India at a crossroads
Medical writing in the Middle East
Medical writing in Finland
On the western edge of Europe – medical writing in Portugal
Announcing AERTeM, the Spanish Association of Medical Writers
From editors abroad into businesswomen back in Brazil
Science writing workshops for AIDS vaccine researchers in Africa
Medical postcard from Australia, the world's largest island
Teaching English for Medical Academic Purposes at the Faculty of Medicine in Belgrade, Serbia
Regulatory medical writing in Switzerland
Medical writing in the Russian Federation: Promises and pitfalls
Report on the EMA Workshop on clinical trial data and transparency
Potential implications of wider data transparency in medical communications
The need for registration of preclinical studies
Mentorship in EMWA: A perspective
In the Bookstores
The Webscout
Regulatory Writing
English Grammar and Style
Medical Journalism
Medical Communication
The Light Stuff
Out On Our Own


The Write Stuff Archive Contact Instructions for Authors Article Template (Word) Journal Policies

Editoral 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