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From Medical Neuroscience To Medical Writing

Updated: Mar 7

✍🏻 Issy Daymond | Medical Writer at Avalere Health


At Workflow Weekly, we are showcasing stories of individuals with life sciences backgrounds, who have worked in non-lab-based science/healthcare roles. We want to raise awareness of the incredible careers and organisations that are immersed in science and healthcare, but outside of the lab.


Story Spotlights: Medical Writer

Grace Binney at her BSc Neuroscience graduation at the University of Birmingham

Issy is a medical writer at Avalere Health (formerly Fishawack Health).

She was offered this full-time role after completing a 10-week internship with the company.

Issy has shared her experiences leading up to her current role as well as tips for students looking to pursue a career in a non-lab-based role.


What’s your educational background and why did you choose a life sciences route? 👩🏼‍🔬

Throughout my education from primary school all the way through to secondary school, I’ve always loved science; however, photosynthesis never really inspired me! I was always really interested in the human biology topics at school. So, when deciding what to study at university, I knew it was going to involve human biology and/or medicine. 


Then my grandfather was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder, and my mind was made up; I knew I wanted to pursue something in neuroscience. Combining that with my fascination around anything medicine related, I opted to study Medical Neuroscience at the University of Sussex. Last year, in May 2022, I graduated with my BSc degree. 


What work experience have you undertaken in the past? 👩🏼‍💼

During my first year of university, the pandemic meant that I couldn’t return to my usual retail job, so, I decided to try something different. I applied for a job as a domiciliary carer. Initially, it was very daunting to know that I, a 19-year-old, was responsible for the wellbeing of so many patients with complex needs. However, I absolutely loved this job, and I went back during every university holiday for the duration of my degree. It was eye-opening and saddening at times, but SO rewarding. 


Then, whilst writing my dissertation and developing the accompanying slide deck for my presentation, I realised how much I loved scientific and medical writing and being able to use my creativity at the same time. It was around that time that I stumbled across the world of Medical Communications through Avalere Health (previously known as Fishawack Health). 

Established in 2001, Avalere Health is a purposefully-built commercialisation partner for the biopharmaceutical, medical technology, and wellness industries. Its 1,500 experts combine their knowledge and expertise to work across its core disciplines — Consulting; Medical; Policy; Value, Evidence, and Access; Marketing; and Digital Experience Technology. Their vast medical capability offers extensive training and development that enables you to clearly map out your own personalised career journey, whether that be in scientific education, business and medical affairs, or publications.

When I saw that Avalere Health was advertising the role of their first UK-based Medical Writer Intern, I was excited and intrigued. Upon reading the description and perusing the Avalere Health website, I knew I had to apply! 


The internship was a really valuable learning experience for me and kickstarted my career as a Medical Writer. 


What is your current role and what do you do day-to-day?

Why did you choose this role/career? 👩🏼‍⚕️

Subsequent to completing the 10-week internship with Avalere Health, I was offered a permanent job as a medical writer. I tried to play it cool when I was offered the position, but I was really elated and couldn’t wait to start in a permanent capacity! 


I’m sure every medical writer will say the same, but my day-to-day is always different! Typically, I’m working on developing a slide deck or another creative deliverable for an upcoming congress. Whilst these slide decks take a lot of work and usually involve several drafts, I really enjoy them; I’m able to draft scientific content for the slides and use my creativity to present that content in a visual and interesting way and tailor that to my audience.


I think that’s why I love this career so much because no day is the same and the projects are so multi-faceted. Also, I love that I’m learning every day, whether that be about a new therapy area, a new drug, or just about matters related to a project.


What was the application process for your placement year like?

What tips would you give students looking to apply for placement years, internships, or graduate roles? 📋

My transition from intern to full-time medical writer was very smooth as I’d already been working with the team on projects during the 10 weeks of the internship program. 


The application process for the internship itself was equally as smooth. Aside from the usual CV/phone screen interview/formal interview requirements, I also had to do a writing task. I won’t divulge what this involved (sorry!) but my biggest tip for those looking to apply to a placement/internship/graduate role is simply not to overthink it!

People aren’t looking for you to know everything, especially for entry-level roles; they’re looking for potential. I also think enthusiasm will get you a long way!

What are 3 things you would tell a young person interested in pursuing a non-lab career in science? 💡

1. You Don't Need A PhD

This was one thing that daunted me when I considered entering a non-lab/MedComms career. Whilst a PhD is undoubtedly advantageous (and impressive!), it likely won’t stop you from succeeding. I’ve felt competent and wholly supported in my career with my BSc behind me. 

2. Show Your Passion

3. Trust Yourself

Elliot Taylor, Guest Content Writer at Grace Writes

Written by: Issy Daymond (Guest Content Writer)

Grace Pountney, Editor-in-Chief at Grace Writes

Edited by: Grace Pountney (Founder/CEO)


Career Conundrums

Each week, at Workflow Weekly, we answer your Career questions!

Science Snapshot Blog logo

Q: I want to work in clinical trials but I am not sure whether I want to work in a lab. What should I do?

A: Pharmaceutical companies and CRO's (Clinical Research Organisations who manage clinical trials for pharma companies) offer many roles outside of the lab, from commercial, to marketing, to project management. Research different companies and roles online, and reach out to individuals in positions or organisations you are interested in, in-person or on LinkedIn. We also highly recommend that you book a career coaching session with Grace, to discuss your options and to receive tailored 1:1 support!





Medical writing is a highly specialized field that requires a specific set of skills to be successful. It involves the development and production of print or digital documents that deal specifically with medicine or healthcare. If you are interested in pursuing a career in medical writing, here are some key skills and opportunities to consider:

Skills Required for Medical Writing:

1. Writing and Editing: Impeccable grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and accurate spelling are essential for conveying the message effectively [[1]](

2. Attention to Detail: Medical writing requires closely examining one's work to spot and correct errors, maintain consistency, and avoid mistakes [[1]](

3. Communication Skills: Clear communication is crucial when exchanging information with the intended audience, whether it's through writing,…



A really insightful and inspiring article. Thanks Issy!

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