A Career in Healthcare Communications

A career in healthcare communications is very rewarding but it is not for the faint-hearted. Hard work and time pressures are all part of the job and you must be a good timekeeper, have great attention to detail and be able to work quickly and effectively.
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Healthcare is evolving rapidly across the world and here in the UK, health policy is changing rapidly. The pharmaceutical industry is highly regarded for its innovation not just in researching and developing medicines but also for working closely with regulatory and healthcare providers such as the NHS to develop packages of care of which medicines are just one component.A career in healthcare communications will give you the opportunity to work closely with eminent healthcare professionals, patient groups, policy makers and journalists at the forefront of medical advances. It is an exciting and fast moving profession which requires focus, determination and above all an ability to project manage, especially when working under pressure. A healthcare communicator could have several jobs on the go at any one time and it is essential that the same level of service is provided to every stakeholder. Therefore, it's essential to be informed about the environment as well as every project.A science background is useful but not essential. What is vital is an ability to communicate, to get ideas across clearly and to be able to engage with a whole range of people. Writing is part of this and that often means taking detailed information and communicating it in a simple and straight forward way so that everyone can understand.

Where to start

If you are a student looking for your first job, some agencies offer graduate schemes for which you may be eligible. You will also find that agencies will offer work experience schemes so that you can get a flavour for what is involved in the job and decide whether it's right for you.If you are working in the pharma industry but would like to move to a communications role, a good place to start would be to speak to colleagues who are working in that area and find out whether there are any projects in which you could be involved to gain more experience. It may also be possible for you to spend some time at an agency so that you can gain an understanding about what they do and how they operate.A list of all member companies is available on our homepage.

Working Group Chair

Stephen Cull, Roche.

Forum

Career Development Subcommittee Forum