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Press Officer/Medical Writer career

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Re: MPB

Postby AG » Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:02 pm

MPB, thank you for giving me a second chance.
The position is for an international organization that is new, but the idea behind it is very good and my guess is that it will exist permanently. Even if my chance to get such a position is not high, what I was wondering is - is it a good alternative of the standard academia/industry career paths? Maybe you will not believe so (from my original letter) but I made a very good PhD and now I have a CV that is opening many doors in front of me... So many that I am confused and I don't now where to go...
AG
 

Re: MPB

Postby Dave Jensen » Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:35 pm

AG says, "I made a very good PhD and now I have a CV that is opening many doors in front of me... So many that I am confused and I don't now where to go..."

That's good news! The best advice that anyone can give you is to take the alternative that is best suited for your strengths. If writing all day long is your strength, than go with it. But I have a feeling that you can prioritize and find something that would really suit you. Good luck and let us know where you end up,

Dave
"Failure is a bruise -- not a tattoo." -- Jon Sinclair
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Press Officer/Medical Writer career

Postby Natalia » Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:37 pm

I am very much like you. I graduated with PhD just recently. I have PNAS, JBC and Nature publications and I would like to become a scientific/medical writer. And I have the same problem, I am suspended between two languages: I already cannot speak Russian, I still can write but it takes me a century to compose a sentence, but my English is not quite there yet. I personally cannot see how non-native speaker can do it. And where to start?
Natalia
 

Press Officer/Medical Writer career

Postby MPB » Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:41 pm


Why do so many people want to be medical writers? It's not like it's _that_ much fun. It is very stressful and deadline-driven and there is often a lot of travel. I have barely had any time off in weeks. Journalism is even worse, it's still deadline driven but the pay is generally terrible.



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Press Officer/Medical Writer career

Postby Kim » Wed Jul 06, 2005 5:48 pm

I am very curious. Why are so many non-English speakers want to become English science writers? What is the attraction? Because a regular bench research job is very difficult to get? Why do you want to pit your major weakness against someone's major strength? It does not seem to be a winning strategy to me.
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More medical-writing opinions

Postby Doug » Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:15 pm

Not only will I concur with mpb and Kim, I also wonder where so many scientists (even those with Nature, Science, PNAS, etc. pubs....nothing personal Natalia)get the impression they have a talent for writing a coherent sentence, much less a cogent paragraph. Certainly, SOME scientists are talented writers, but by and large this simply isn\'t true. Getting a paper published in a prestigious journal is NOT the same thing as having writing ability. Having edited at a major journal, I typically spent about 2/3 of my time on each and every article making sense of what the author was (very poorly) trying to say. \"Garbled mess\" doesn\'t begin to describe it. And this is at a TOP journal. Don\'t get me started on some of the smaller journals where editing isn\'t taken as seriously.
Rant completed, I now suggest that perhaps Natalia and A.G. use their bilingual skills insome manner related to perhaps translating for scientists with a rather incomplete grasp of english. mpb, care to comment on this?
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Press Officer/Medical Writer career

Postby Emil Chuck » Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:21 pm

Following on Kim's post: "Why are so many non-English speakers want to become English science writers?"

I'm wondering more why so many non-English speakers do not consider becoming a scientific translator. Either for a government consulate or a scientific professional society in their home countries, having a translator may actually be of great use for that country. I also state that even medical translation for hospitals (and insurance companies that pay them :) ) to deal with diverse communities is a need. That may not pay so much, but let's see how easy it is to find someone to explain a medical condition to someone else who doesn't understand English so well.
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More medical-writing opinions

Postby MPB » Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:27 pm

"I now suggest that perhaps Natalia and A.G. use their bilingual skills insome manner related to perhaps translating for scientists with a rather incomplete grasp of english. mpb, care to comment on this?"

This seems sensible to me, although would foreign scientists pay to have this done? There are actually editorial companies that market their services to foreign researchers, and from what I have seen, the pay is terrible.

Rather than trying to do medical writing in English, I would look for opportunities to do some type of medical communications work in foreign countries. The pharma companies market their products everywhere; I have seen medical advertising and marketing programs in Spanish, French, and German. I don't know much about how that work gets done, but someone is doing it.

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More medical-writing opinions

Postby Emil Chuck » Wed Jul 06, 2005 7:35 pm

Others can probably comment on the crazy ideas from me, but how about foreign scientists who can assist venture capitalists regarding technologies in non-English-speaking countries? Japan and the Asian rim for instance is a hotbed for a lot of interesting technology, and I know that many VC's are looking into that part of the world for technological breakthroughs as well.
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Postby Kim » Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:14 pm

It seems that many of us do not have very good evalution on our own personal strength and weakness. I think it is a more important and more serious underlying issue.

During a job interview, one of the most common questins will be "What is your strength and weakness?" It seems that these people will fail this question miserably.
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