MedicalWritersSpeak's podcast

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




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Mar 15, 2019

In this episode, I’m talking with Anne Janzer, who has written a book Writing To Be Understood. Anne’s book dissects what it is that makes nonfiction compelling. She talks about using stories and analogies and several other strategies that translate also to writing about medical topics.

Anne Janzer is an award-winning author on a mission to help people communicate more effectively through writing. As a professional writer, she has worked with more than one hundred technology companies, writing in the voice of countless brands and corporate executives. She is author of four books, including Writing to be Understood: What Works and Why and The Workplace Writer's Process. Her books and online courses help writers improve their processes and communication skills, so they can share their thoughts and ideas with the world. Her latest book can be found here:


Check out the PowerPoint course for scientists and medical writers and use PPTDISCOUNT for a discount.

Check out for medical writing assistance and for free info on getting into medical writing. 

Mar 1, 2019

What the American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style has to say about reference style and rules for capitalization. Warning: make sure you have had your coffee. It’s a lot of info crammed into a few minutes! Also a good idea to have your AMA manual loaded into your browser. 

Visit for these tips in video format.

Check out the PowerPoint course for scientists and medical writers and use PPTDISCOUNT for a discount.

Check out for medical writing assistance and for free info on getting into medical writing. 


Feb 22, 2019

Lori Alexander is the American Medical Writer's Association (AMWA) Past President and their current Education Director. She discusses, among other things, AMWA's plans to expand their educational offerings, especially with respect to online educational activities. She talks about some of AMWA’s current offerings, such as online webinars, interactive activities, and fast interactive training “FIT”—a nugget of training delivered in 15 minutes.

Check out the PowerPoint course for scientists and medical writers and use PPTDISCOUNT

Check out for medical writing assistance and for free info on getting into medical writing. 

Feb 15, 2019

In this episode, I interview Dr. Will Pass who recently transitioned from being a veterinarian to being a full time medical writer. He talks about how being a vet helped him prepare to be a medical writer and some of the benefits of working as a freelance medical writer.  

Check out the PowerPoint course for scientists and medical writers and use PPTDISCOUNT

Check out for medical writing assistance and for free info on getting into medical writing. 

Feb 8, 2019

American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style P value pointers and overview of the AMA Manual of Style contents.

In this episode, I briefly describe what P values are; it’s a deep topic better left to statistical experts, but still, as medical writers, it’s important that we have a basic understanding. We also need to know how to format P values in the documents we write. I'll also, in this episode, give an overview of the contents of the manual, talking about how the different sections are organized and which ones are most useful to us as medical writers.

Visit for the written version of these tips.

Visit for these tips in video format.

Check out the PowerPoint course for scientists and medical writers and use PPTDISCOUNT

Check out for medical writing assistance and for free info on getting into medical writing. 

Feb 1, 2019

Today I'm talking about PowerPoint. Some clients request this skill, either creating PowerPoint slide decks from scratch or reorganizing and reworking a previously created slide deck to make it more visually appealing.

Creating engaging scientific and medical PowerPoint presentations is a skill in addition to writing that can benefit medical writers and their clients, and it's quite lucrative! Definitely worth adding to your toolbox. Find out more and how to learn the skills you might need. 

Check out the PowerPoint course and use PPTDISCOUNT

Check out for medical writing assistance and for free info on getting into medical writing. 

Jan 25, 2019

In this episode I talk to HBA president & CEO Laurie Cooke. we talk about gender parity issues in the health care industry as well as what we can all do to improve the working environment for all participants. Laurie also describes the mission of the HBA and how medical writers specifically can benefit from the organization.

Please visit for more information.

Please visit for more information on medical writing. Please visit for assistance with medical writing. 

Jan 18, 2019

In this episode, I interview freelance medical writing Jessica Martin, PhD Dr Jessica Martin earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her research background is in human infectious diseases and cancer-causing viruses, including HIV-1 and related retroviruses. During her time in an academic setting, Dr Martin successfully published multiple first-authored research and review papers.

Using her scientific and writing skills, Dr Martin began freelance medical writing in 2015. She is experienced in planning, writing, and editing continuing medical education and promotional medical education, both branded and unbranded. Deliverables have included slide decks, manuscripts, video scripts, and content for diverse interactive modules.   

In our interview, Dr. Martin talks about how she started her medical writing business, how she deals with multiple clients and projects. She also describes the most important newbie mistake and how to avoid it.

If you need medical writing help, please check out our website, and if you are interested in getting into medical writing, please visit

Jan 11, 2019

This week, Dr. Emma Hitt Nichols discusses searching strategies, in particular 4 different approaches to get the results you want from the AMA Manual of Style. She also discusses formatting tables and figures according to the manual.

To see the written blog versions of these recordings, please go to

Please subscribe, rate and review if you like this podcast. Thank you! 

Jan 4, 2019

Dr. Emma Hitt Nichols talks about the format of the new Medical Writers Speak podcast.  

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!!

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