MedicalWritersSpeak's podcast

Emma Hitt Nichols interviews freelance medical writers about their work.
RSS Feed
MedicalWritersSpeak's podcast



All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 1
Jan 19, 2017
Understanding the healthcare value dossier. How to accelerate revenues and expand markets.  Virtual or corporate onsite training for MSLs, MA professionals and Medical Writers.  Nascent Medical LLC to offer a Six-week Course on Health Economics and the Health Outcome Liaisons on April 20th.  The course will be led by Jennifer Williams PhD, JD, MBA, RN, MS a veteran leader in the field of Medical Science Liaison and Market Access.  Corporate onsite training available.

 more info at

Six-Week Course on Health Economics and the Health Outcome Liaisons

Course content includes:

  • The role of the MSL and Health Economics Liaison
  • Review Managed Care Models
  • Review Value Development Plans (VDP)
  • Review the components of a Value Dossier and Develop an individualized Dossier
  • HEOR impact on Licensing and R&D
  • Review Market Access Strategies to include pricing, research plans, and sales strategy
  • Identify tactical outcomes research and economic models to demonstrate the clinical and economic elements
  • Define the communication strategy and tactics for the diverse audience to include Government and Lobbyist, Health Plans, IDNs, Advocacy Groups, and KOLs
  • Address price strategy and reimbursement
  • Review new technologies to enable communication in the form of field tools such as calculators and dashboards


What is a Value Dossier?

  • A Value Dossier presents a summary of the clinical, economic, and humanistic value and supporting evidence (studies) for a new product in a disease area as well as background information on that disease. This includes the burden of illness and epidemiology
  • The dossier development process involves the creation of value messages, an evaluation of the evidence supporting each of the messages, and identification of evidence GAPs
  • The dossier can be instrumental as a guide the development of future research studies, publication strategies, and other evidence generation activities.

What information is in the Value Dossier?

  • Disease Description
  • Global Epidemiology and Global Burden of Illness
  • Summary of Treatment Pathways, Guidelines, and Competitor Landscape
  • Unmet Medical Need and Place of New Product in Clinical Pathway
  • Value Story
  • Clinical, Economic, and Humanistic Value Messages and Statements
  • Summary of Evidence Supporting Product Value
  • Clinical Evidence: Summary of Safety and Efficacy Studies
  • Humanistic Evidence:  Summary of Outcomes Studies to include Quality of Life Studies
Oct 6, 2016

Emma talks about the ins and outs of covering an ad board with Ginny Vachon, PhD

Jun 10, 2016

Feeling overwhelmed with your ever expanding workload? Get your life back by learning how to delegate effectively! In the third of a 3-part series on productivity, Emma talks about delegating, the key to being uberproductive and having enough free time!

May 27, 2016

In the second of a 3-part series, Dr. Emma Nichols talks about MEDICAL-WRITER-specific productivity hacks. In the first episode, she described productivity hacks that EVERYONE can use, and in third episode, she will talk about the art of delegating.

May 17, 2016

In the first of a 3-part series, Dr. Emma Nichols talks about general productivity hacks for writers. These are 5 things that we can all do to increase our productivity. In the next two episodes, she will talk about medical writing specific hacks and then in the third episode, the art of delegating.

May 10, 2016

Today, I am talking to Blair Thielemier PharmD who founded the Pharmapreneur Academy, which is a course hosted on her website, BT Pharmacy Consulting ( This will be a very interesting podcast for any clinician (not just pharmacists) wanting to learn more about Medication Therapy Management (MTM). MTM is medical care and counseling that aims is to optimize drug therapy and improve therapeutic outcomes for patients. According to Dr. Thielemier, any clinician can perform these services, and she can show you how.

Apr 26, 2016

In this interview, I talk to Kristine Scruggs, M.D. Dr. Scruggs is a medical doctor practicing in North Carolina and who wants to transition into medical writing. She is also completing a book, a medical thriller, called “What They Don't Know". We talk about the process of writing a book, what it takes, and some of the pros and cons of traditional versus self-publishing. Kristine has also recently written a blog that has been picked up by the Huffington Post, and she discusses the process whereby she submitted it to Huffington Post. Her website is


Apr 20, 2016

Michelle is based in Sydney Australia, and is the founder of Health Writer Hub. She is also the President of the Australasian Medical Writers Association (AMWA).

Over the past decade, Michelle has worked with medical journals, medical publishing companies, cancer research foundations, associations, hospitals, medical specialists, health professionals, health insurance companies, digital agencies, wellness brands, health coaches and more.

After recognising the need for a specific resource to help health writers enhance and develop their specialty skills, Michelle created Health Writer Hub. Since 2013, Health Writer Hub has helped thousands of writers through advice, courses, training and mentoring.

Michelle teaches health writing and freelance writing-related subjects to writers and health professionals from around the world, and her specialty courses include Introduction To Health Writing, How To Become A Freelance Health Writer, and Breaking Into Health Writing.


Apr 12, 2016

Wendy Meyeroff, is president of WM Medical Communications, and has been providing health communications for national and international clients--both print and then online--for over 25 years. She’s located in Baltimore, MD, and will talk to us about writing for a consumer audience. Her website is

She tells some very interesting stories from her long and varied career, and actually she predicted a health trend that is wasn’t obvious 20 years ago, but now it certainly is….

Mar 22, 2016

Today I talk to Brian Bass about building your medical writing business with subcontractors.

Both Brian and I work with subcontractors in our business, and it was fascinating to talk with him, because while we have a similar business model, we approach things in quite a different way. He uses only highly experienced writers but doesn’t spend as much time on training, but possible charges more to his clients. My model on the other hand has a training component (the 6-week course—check out Not everyone gets selected to work as a subcontractor, and the ones that do are highly motivated and demonstrate that they will do a great job.

One thing that we both agree on is that subcontracting is not for the faint of heart and in some ways it’s more complex and you can make less money doing it. One benefit though, is you have a business that is outside of yourself to some extent, and in that sense it is a hugely valuable assets, and also a contribution

Brian Bass is a is President of Bass Global, Inc., which has been around since 1989 and does many different types of medical writing. Brian is also co-author of The Accidental Medical Writer Series of books, resources, information, and inspiration for freelance medical writers. Brian is a Past President of The American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), and has served the organization at both the national and chapter levels for 2 decades. Brian is an avid speaker and presenter. He is among the first to receive the Medical Writer Certified™ (MWC™) credential.

Mar 15, 2016

This is the third and final episode in the series where I interview my business partner, Chrystie Leonard, about buying and selling a business, specific to medical writing.

These three episodes cover 1) What to look for when buying a business; 2) How to grow a business; and 3) How to get your business ready for sale.

In this third episode, Chrystie and I talk about the following:

  • What makes a business attractive for sale?
  • Why would a company buy a business rather than just hire employees?
  • What to do to prepare your business for sale.
Feb 23, 2016

In this episode, Emma Hitt Nichols talks to her business partner Chrystie Leonard, co-owner of Nascent Medical. This is the second part of a three-part series.

In this part, we talk about strategic planning, how to grow a business, and the key metrics that are needed to evaluate the growth of a business.

In the first part, aired a week ago, we talked about what to look for when buying a business. Next week, in the final third, we'll talk about getting the business ready for sale.  

Feb 16, 2016

Join me as I talk to my business partner Chrystie Leonard about what to look for in a business purchase and also what to consider if you ever want to sell your business. Maybe as a freelance medical writer, you have never thought about how your business is going to end, but end it must at some point!

Chrystie, who has formerly conducted several mergers and acquisitions transactions in corporate America, bought into Hitt Medical Writing, LLC, in August, 2015, and together we formed Nascent Medical, LLC.  

Feb 10, 2016

Current AMWA President, Stephen Palmer and President Elect, Lori Alexander, join me today and talk about all of AMWA's offerings. We discuss the 2015 salary survey, the Medical Writers Certification, the new online forum called Engage, and how we can best contribute to AMWA as medical writers. Great episode!

Feb 2, 2016

In this episode Emma talks to Amy Tippins CEO of RTL Digital Media, a company that helps with SEO, blogging, social media strategy and provides a range of other services. Amy provides lots of useful info on how we can all promote ourselves through our web strategy. You can't afford to miss this!!

Jan 19, 2016

Today we are going to talk about the medical science liaison role, specifically from the perspective of medical writing—how can medical writers explore MSL work as a career option.

Our guest is Dr. Jennifer Williams. Jennifer holds a law degree from Western Michigan University Law School. She also brings twenty-five years of experience working within the healthcare industry. She has been both a Medical Science Liaison (MSL) and has implemented an MSL program. Dr. Williams serves on the Advisory Committee for the MSL Society and currently she represents Nascent Medical as our MSL Advisor.


1:30: Understanding what knowledge is needed for MSLs (hint: regulatory and business). Also needed, scientific acumen, verbal and written communication skills.

3.20: How does MSL work differ from that of being a salesperson?

4.08: Metric, access time, used for measuring MSL interaction with KOLs

4.53: What does an MSL do?

5.30: Different types of MSLs: outcomes MSL; pharma MSL; medical device MSLs; publication MSL; multifunction MSLs

9.00: How are MSLs perceived by clinicians?

11.07: What steps should medical writers do to get a job with a company as an MSL?

12.41: Occupational outlook of MSLs (it’s good)

13.25: One crucial action needed for MSL interview success

15:02: MSL society – benefits of membership

16:40: Communication skills in MSLs

17:35: How do I approach people who would hire an MSL?

18:29: difference between MSL role and clinical manager role

18:55: What do MSLs get paid?

19:42: A question she often gets: Why are sales people sometimes not allowed to go on KOL visits with MSLs?

Jan 13, 2016

Emma talks to Dr. Stacy Matthews-Branch, an American born medical writer who learned Spanish in her late 30s. She is now fluent in Spanish and does both Spanish and English language medical writing.

Please rate and review this podcast on iTunes! Thank you!

Visit our website at

email with questions




Jan 6, 2016

Michelle Dalton, President-Elect of AMWA's Delaware Valley Chapter, discusses modern day conference coverage. What are the latest trends, and most helpful apps? Where have we been and where are we going?


Sep 18, 2015

Learn more about Debra at

Debra Gordon, MS is a seasoned healthcare communications professional who specializes in speaking, teaching, and communicating about various clinical topics and the US healthcare system, healthcare reform, and health policy. Debra started her company in 1999. Previously, she was a newspaper reporter for The Virginian Pilot in Norfolk, Va., and the Orange Country Register in southern California, where she covered health and medicine. While at the Pilot, she was one of six journalists around the country awarded the prestigious Kaiser Family Foundation Media Fellowship, which enabled her to spend a year researching and learning about health policy issues. Debra is also the author, co-author, or ghostwriter of more than a dozen health-related books. Debra specializes in writing medical content for clinicians; consumer-facing health-related content; and business-to-business content for companies in the healthcare space. She covers medical meetings for clients, is an in-demand speaker on various topics related to healthcare reform, and conducts webinars on a variety of topics related to freelancing, writing, and health care. Debra lives and works in Williamsburg where she shares an office with her husband, Keith, and her lap dog, Jessie. She and Keith have three children

Aug 28, 2015

Juliette Siegfried has been in the medical communications field for over 20 years, but has specifically been doing medical editing, writing and translating for the last 10 years. In 2005 she launched her business, She has a Bachelor's degree in biology and a master's in public health.            


Aug 13, 2015

Harris Fleming has traveled a circuitous route in his professional life, leading to his founding Manzer-Fleming Communications, LLC, at the start of 2014.



Harris began his journalism career in television news in New York City. He was working as a newspaper editor in northern New Jersey when the pharmaceutical industry called; he spent 7 years in communications positions with Lederle Laboratories before it was absorbed by Wyeth and, ultimately, Pfizer.



After several years on the senior editorial staff of Drug Topics magazine, he served in various editorial and managerial positions for Dowden Health Media, the Physician’s Desk Reference and Haymarket Medical Media. Harris was also the founding editor of JUCM—The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine.



Manzer-Fleming Communications, LLC provides editorial services for print, PowerPoint and electronic, broadcast, or web-based initiatives. Key clients include the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, PRI Healthcare Solutions, and Health Monitor Network.


Jul 30, 2015


David started as an ink stained wretch with Canadian Doctor  in Montreal then to the editorship of Canadian Family Physician in Toronto, and eventually to be the first––and still only––nonphysician editor-in-chief of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.



He wrote a history of the College, and a syndicated column, Today's Health, which appeared in some hundred plus weekly newspapers, and a second book, Paging Doctors.



He came to the US as vice president of publications for a medical publishing and research company, and after 5 years formed Healthcare Media International (HMI) whose first venture was a newsletter, Medical Practice Communicator, designed to teach physicians how to  communicate.



David wrote ‘Communication for Doctors’, and another for the Economist Intelligence Unit on managed care. He served for 6 years on the Board of Directors of the American Medical Publishers Association, moderated a series of panel discussions for Time Inc. on topics of interest to physicians. HMI went on to work with another 20 or more clients while contributing regularly to the British Medical Journal


He estimates that he has written, over his lengthy career, about 1000 articles, editorials and reviews.


Jul 15, 2015

In this episode, I talk to Dr. Gill Sellick, a primary care doctor who started recently into freelance medical writing after going through the 6-week course, “Everything you Need to Know to Start Your Freelance Medical Writing Business.” She describes the joys of working from home with young kids and how she gets new clients.


Jul 2, 2015

In this episode I interview Jan Bowers, who stays busy writing for medical specialty societies. After a journalism degree, she got her start in medical writing by taking the University of Chicago medical writing and editing certificate. In this episode, Jan gives helpful advice about ways to get your first assignment and shares her greatest success and failure as a freelancer.


Jun 25, 2015

In this interview, I talk to Maria and Phil Vinall, who both have backgrounds as medical writers in pharma. We talk about publications planning, what it’s like to work together as a married couple, and the joys of being able to work from anywhere, including an island off the coast of Panama! Their: website . They are members of the Delaware Valley AMWA chapter and happy to help new writers.


1 2 Next »