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Editing in the Medical Field 2015


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This presentation was given in a Technical Editing SIG webinar on September 21, 2015. It's just a slice of life of my experience, not necessarily comprehensive. #techcomm #techediting #stcorg @stc_te_sig

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Editing in the Medical Field 2015

  1. 1. Editing in the Medical Field Kelly Schrank, MA, ELS Senior Medical Editor
  2. 2. Who I Am • Technical Editor/Writer • 15 years • Senior Member of STC • Technical Editing SIG member and volunteer • Rochester chapter member and Board member • Currently Spectrum conference co-chair Save the Date April 17-19, 2016 Rochester, NY
  3. 3. Who I Am • Member of AMWA • New York chapter member and Board member • Currently New Member Liaison and Membership Communications Coordinator • In 2014, member of Annual Conference Committee • Medical Editor • 5 years
  4. 4. Where I Work • Company – Med Communications, Inc • – Pharmaceutical clients • Location – Remote, from my home in Canastota, NY – Most of the writers and the other editors I manage are also remote
  5. 5. What we Do • We provide Medical Information – Call center staffed by Pharmacists – They are the SMEs/Writers • Health care providers (HCPs) call for information on drugs, and the pharmacists answer their questions on the phone • If the HCPs want the answer in writing, they are sent a standard response letter (or SR)
  6. 6. Standard Response Workflow Author Reviewers Author Editor Call Center
  7. 7. What I Do • I edit standard response letters (or SRs) – 1-25 pages long – Standard, boring format – Copyediting only – Edit in Word and activate in Veeva Vault
  8. 8. Related Responsibilities • Maintain and update US and Global “Style Guides” • Act as expert on AMA Manual of Style • Member of SR Working Group, tasked with helping writers shorten SRs • Train new hires on Style Guide
  9. 9. What I Do (cont) • I format and edit Dossiers – Managed care companies/organizations use dossiers to establish formularies – 125-300 pages – Need assistance with formatting: • Tables of Contents • Linking – Clean it up in Word, but provide track changes and comments for many edits
  10. 10. What I Do (cont) • I edit Slide Decks – Medical Science Liaisons and others are in the field and talk to HCPs about products – Use slide decks to facilitate conversation – 15-130 pages – Edit in Veeva Vault using annotations; authors decide whether to make changes – Quality check final version in iSpring to make sure it will look good on iPad
  11. 11. Growth in Responsibilities Start of Project Editing SRs Year 2 Editing SRs Managing Style Guide Year 3 Editing SRs Managing Style Guide Year 4 Editing SRs Managing Style Guide Editing Dossiers Year 5 Editing SRs Editing Dossiers Editing Slide Decks Revamping Style Guide
  12. 12. Growth of a Team Start of Project FT Editor - US Year 2 PT Editor -US FT Editor - US Year 3 FT Editor / Lit Search Spec - US FT Editor/ Manager - US Year 4 FT Editor - Global FT Editor / Lit Search Spec - US FT Editor/ Manager – US Year 5 FT Editor/ Manager – US FT Editor - Global FT Editor / Lit Search Spec – US FT Editor – US
  13. 13. Transitioning to this Industry • AMWA – American Medical Writers Association ( – Earning Essential Skills certificate • BELS – Board of Editors in the Life Sciences ( – Three-hour multiple-choice certification exam
  14. 14. Other Types of Medical Editing • Articles for academic journals – Work for hospital or university – Work for journal • Continuing education materials and training • Patient education materials • Grant proposals
  15. 15. Questions? • Feel free to contact me: – Kelly Schrank – – – @headbookworm –