MedicalWritersSpeak's podcast

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




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Now displaying: 2015
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.


Jun 19, 2015


In this episode, I talk to Steve Tiger, a long time, now retired, medical writer who has worked for many years at medical communications agencies. He talks about the fine balance that medical writers face of pleasing the pharma client as well as maintaining “pristine” ethics.  


Jun 4, 2015

In this episode, I talk to Eric Metcalf, a long-time freelance health writer about the importance of diversification, how he gets new clients, and some of the pros and cons of freelancing.


May 28, 2015

In this episode, I talk to Canadian medical writer Brian Hoyle, PhD. Brian talks about how he transitioned from academia, how he gets new clients, and the potential advantages and disadvantages of working in Canada. Connect with him on LinkedIn.


May 21, 2015

Ha! The tables are turned! Stef Stendardo interviews me, Emma Hitt Nichols, and she stumps my with my own question! Aaaarrgg. Now I know what I’ve been putting people through! Seriously though, it was a great time--thank you Stef. I talk about what got me in to medical writing, my thoughts on hiring and using subcontractors, and the importance of integrating activity and people into one's medical writing day. My website


May 14, 2015

Heather Fork, MD, has a coaching practice ( that helps clinicians find more enjoyment in their career or find a different direction, for example medical writing, that more closely aligns with their passions and skill set. In this interview, we talk about the importance of doing what you love, and doing the next right thing by listening to your inner voice when it comes to making the right career choices. It's helpful for everyone, not just burned out MDs! Listen in and be inspired!


May 7, 2015

Hello! I am Emma Hitt Nichols. Thank you for joining me on Medical Writers Speak. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Elizabeth Haynes, RN. Elizabeth is a nurse writer and has put together an amazing site called that helps nurses transition into writing. Please listen in!


Apr 27, 2015

Jennifer Kelly, PhD, held various jobs in academia and industry and found she always gravitated towards the writing side of things. She took Emma Hitt Nichols' 6-week course, "Everything you Need to Know to Start Your Freelance Medical Writing Business," and with much hard work and reading of books on business and freelancing, she launched a successful freelance business.  

Apr 22, 2015

In this interview with long-time journalist Kathleen Doheny, we talk about the importance of staying positive about your work and doing what you love. Take a listen!

Apr 19, 2015

With a PhD in cancer biology, Brian Orelli started writing about biotech stocks when his writing got picked up by the Motley Fool investment site. Among other things, he talks about the importance of asking the right questions, the benefits of using TextExpander, and how he balances his work life with his 4(!) school-aged children.

Apr 18, 2015

Allison Muller, PharmD and toxicologist, discusses her transition into a solo practice after having worked at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and a poison control center for 20 years. Dr. Muller talks about being an expert witness as well as a medical writer. She also talks about the benefits of networking and hiring a marketing assistant.

Apr 16, 2015

In this episode, Lori De Milto describes what it takes to be a successful freelance medical writer (hint: alot of HARD WORK!). Lori is also a great example of what it means to be an involved AMWA member. In our interview she describes her book "The Mighty Marketer," which outlines the steps that freelance medical writers can take to boost their income and have a successful career. 

Apr 15, 2015

In this episode, Emma Hitt Nichols talks to long-time freelance medical writer Stef Stendardo about how she accidentally got in to medical writing with a humanities background and the pros and cons of working the at home freelance life.

Apr 12, 2015
Apr 12, 2015

New York City medical writer Marilynn Larkin talks about how she got into medical writing with a humanities background, how she gets new clients, and how she stays enthusiatic about her work.