Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Great (Medical) Communicator

Posted by Tiffany Pfundt at Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No, I am not talking about Reagan, I'm talking about me. This month I am at Arbor Communications for my Drug Info rotation. Arbor Communications is a medical communications company located here in Ann Arbor. Once again I lucked out in terms of rotation selection. As with my first rotation, this rotation picked me, instead of the other way around. As a result, I am spending September as a pseudo-medical writer...and I like it.

What is medical communication?

Arbor Communication does project work with major national and international pharmaceutical companies. Projects include:

  • Content development: publications for peer-reviewed journals; abstracts and posters for scientific congresses; presentations and slide kits; live, print, and web-based communications and activities.
  • Advocacy development
  • Meetings and Events: Advisory board meetings, stakeholder meetings, speaker training, web conferences, and more
On my first day, I met with my preceptor and we went over the outline for the entire month. One of the first things she told me was that during my last week I was going to have to do a presentation in front of the whole company (yikes!). Although, I am not one who minds presentations, giving one in front of an entire company seemed scary. She must have noticed my blood pressure rise because that's when she noted the company has 30 or so employees and only 5 of those employees are onsite.

The rest of week one was spent learning about the company and medical communications in general. Each student that rotates at Arbor interviews various employees. These interviews are geared toward helping the student gain an understanding of how the entire company operates. Knowing how the entire company operates has allowed me to perform my job better. Most of the projects I have worked on fall into the "content development" category, which is not uncommon for medical writers with scientific backgrounds.

Rotation perks:

  • Easy commute
  • My OWN office - complete with name plate
  • Endless supply of coffee
  • Independent working environment
  • Close proximity to Main Street eateries

We all know that P4 year is a chance to take what we've learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world. It's a chance to solidify our therapeutic knowledge and act like real pharmacists. Just as importantly as that, P4 year is an opportunity to evaluate various working environments. We can evaluate each rotation in a way that helps us decide what we want to do when we grow up. One of the most important discoveries I have made during rotations thus far is that I like project based work. This is a discovery that has shaped the way I am approaching my career hunt.

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