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AMWA Voices 4

April 4th, 2016


Jim Hudson and Sue Hudson

"I looked at the Sundaynewspaper and saw an opening at Medtronic. They mentioned that they had a 4-daywork week and 36 hours. Bingo! Off I went for a job interview."

—Jim Hudson

"Your client asked if you knew anybody who had expertise in FrameMaker, which was an authoring tool that people used for writing manuals. It happened that I did; I had a lot of experience with FrameMaker. So they hired me to do some conversions of documents intoFrameMaker. While I was converting, I noticed a lot of things that needed editing, andI got permission from the company to edit it. Eventually, I was working for them as aneditor and a writer, all freelance. From there, I joined AMWA, and many of my AMWAfriends gave me leads on other jobs. That’s how I got into medical writing."

—Sue Hudson

AMWA Voices 12

December 17th, 2015


Melanie Fridl Ross and Victoria White

"I think also as far as AMWA’s contribution to my own professional development, having been able to get involved in committee work and then to work in an officer position at the state level as president of the Florida chapter and then from there, national level committees and the Executive Committee and then eventually, assuming the role of president. Those leadership skills that you learn along the way carry over to the workplace."

—Melanie Fridl Ross

"One of the things that really has always stuck with me was a class I took with Guy Whitehead, who besides having a great name, taught a great class (on sentence structure). I remember him posing a question: 'How do you know when you’re done editing a sentence?' Then he said something like, 'You only know you’re done when there’s nothing more you can do to improve it, when every piece locks into place.' That’s a pretty high standard, but it’s kept with me as I have gone along and looked at sentences. Once you dive in and go sentence by sentence, you kind of recognize that most of the pieces aren’t really falling into place yet. But it’s something to strive for."

—Victoria White


An Introduction to AMWA Voices

September 16th, 2015

As the American Medical Writers Association celebrates its 75th anniversary, the AMWA Journal is celebrating the individuals who together form AMWA. We extended an open invitation to AMWA members to step forward and hold conversations with each other about, well, almost anything, so long as there was a connection to the theme of medical writing and editing careers or to AMWA. We wanted to hear the voices of AMWA. As we launch AMWA Voices, we have 11 conversations for you to hear.

AMWA Voices 1: Art Gertel and Max Losi

AMWA Voices 2: Barbara Snyder and Peggy Boe

AMWA Voices 3: Cyndy Kryder and Donna Miceli

AMWA Voices 4: Jim Hudson and Sue Hudson

AMWA Voices 5: Ruwaida Vakil and Lori De Milto

AMWA Voices 6: Amy Rogers and Bliss Mishler

AMWA Voices 7: Kara Sorrell and Kathy Wekselman

AMWA Voices 8: Szymon Brużewicz and Debra Gordon

AMWA Voices 9: Evelyn Ishmael and Ciranna Bird

AMWA Voices 10: Hongbo Zhu and Ning Zheng

AMWA Voices 11: Douglas Haneline and Brian Bass

Keep reading →

AMWA Voices 1

September 16th, 2015

Art Gertel and Max Losi

"I remember doing Student’s t-tests and chi-square analyses, so you did your own statistics. You basically were a chief cook and bottle washer when it came to the analysis, interpretation, and communication of the data from these clinical studies. Of course, at that time there were no PCs. So you handwrote your report, gave it to the typing pool who then typed it up, gave it back to you for proofreading, and it went through several iterations and you were loathe to make a change because they would have to retype the page or perhaps the entire document. So the ease of editing was very limiting."

—Art Gertel

"The pharmaceutical industry has always been a good, solid, often secure and well-paying profession for anyone in it. And medical writing plays a significant role in pharmaceutical development and getting new drugs to the market and then promoting them afterward."

—Max Losi


AMWA Voices 2

September 15th, 2015


Barbara Snyder and Peggy Boe

"I graduated with a BA in British literature that really didn’t qualify me to do anything in particular. So I went to a temporary agency, which placed me at a subsidiary of a large pharma company in the Midwest. I started out doing exciting things like making sure the physicians signed all the forms in black ink. Eventually the company recognized that they could use people who were dedicated to writing regulatory documents like study protocols and reports, and they hired me as their first medical writer."

—Barbara Snyder

"Medical writing was a great choice for me because it allowed me to combine my writing skills with my curiosity and interest in science and medicine."

—Peggy Boe

AMWA Voices 3

September 15th, 2015


Cyndy Kryder and Donna Miceli

"I think I remember walking up to you in the driveway one day and saying, 'How can I write and get paid for it?' That began it all."

—Cyndy Kryder

"I am so proud of what you’ve done, you know, and I kind of take great pride in it, not only in the fact that you were interested in wanting to be a writer, but that you are actually a good writer."

—Donna Miceli

AMWA Voices 5

September 15th, 2015

Ruwaida Vakil photoLori De Milto photo

Ruwaida Vakil and Lori De Milto

"I cannot imagine doing the same things day in and out. I love a diversity of work, which is definitely something that medical writing allows me to have. I love science, but bench research was not enough for me. Medical writing allows me to be on the cutting edge of the latest therapeutics that are already in development. And I also love the flexibility of freelancing and working from home on my schedule."

—Ruwaida Vakil

"What I really love to do is help people learn about how to stay healthy or get healthy, and if they’re sick, how to find great health care and evaluate their options."

—Lori De Milto

AMWA Voices 6

September 15th, 2015


Amy Rogers and Bliss Mishler

"I think it is important to clarify that we’re probably not your typical AMWA writers because we really do content marketing, and we do things like blogging and condition papers, that hospitals or practices would put on their website so that potential patients and patients can benefit from that and understand what they are about."

—Amy Rogers

"We want to make medicine more understandable and clearer to the average person, and we have a unique perspective on that, having dealt with patients, but also knowing what we know about writing, copy writing, and content marketing."

—Bliss Mishler

AMWA Voices 7

September 15th, 2015


Kara Sorrel and Kathy Wekselman

"I am a new medical writer at Medpace Inc in Cincinnati, Ohio. I just started in the field and have been working as a medical writer for 9 months. Today, I am interviewing Kathy Wekselman, senior director of regulatory and scientific affairs at CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services in Cincinnati. Kathy has been working in the medical writing field for 18 years."

—Kara Sorrell

"I say to you extremely sincerely, I love my work. I love being a medical writer. It took me a while to get there, but it’s been just a fabulous way to spend a couple decades."

—Kathy Wekselman

AMWA Voices 8

September 15th, 2015


Szymon Brużewicz and Debra Gordon

"I graduated from veterinary medicine in Poland and I’m based in Poland, currently in Warsaw. I used to work as a researcher at a medical university, where I did my PhD. Then for a couple of years, I was working in medical communication for some publishing houses. Then one day, about 5 years ago, I realized that I needed to do something on my own, and I started my small company."

—Szymon Brużewicz

"My business is focused in a variety of areas—consumer writing, business writing, and writing for clinicians. These days I’m doing a lot of work for business-to-business companies, explaining where they are in the health care space given health care reform today."

—Debra Gordon