Medical education: from a “nice-to-have” to an established need in the current landscape of healthcare and life sciences | Modis

Medical education: from a “nice-to-have” to an established need in the current landscape of healthcare and life sciences

Sara E. Rubio Posted 21 April 2020

Because we live in a fast-paced, information-flooded world, getting trustable and relevant information is becoming harder and harder for all of us. This situation also applies to stakeholders in the healthcare sector, namely health care providers, patients and caregivers, industry and government representatives, decision- and policy makers, etc. They all are incredibly time pressed when trying to keep abreast of relevant updates in their field. Considering that such updates greatly influence clinical practice, public health decisions, industry strategies, and even patient behaviors, to name a few, there is no wonder why trustable and clear information must nowadays reach those stakeholders in a reliable and efficient way.

A well-established strategy to fill this crucial need in the healthcare field is medical education. The term “medical education” applies to any activity that aims to provide medical or scientific information to health professionals and other stakeholders relevant to the healthcare and public health sectors. Medical education helps raise awareness of a certain health topic and updates stakeholders with relevant, high-quality information that fills previously identified knowledge gaps. This is done by analyzing the trends and needs in the field, curating key information (usually the results of basic, clinical or epidemiological research), and tailoring the message to the needs of the audience. The range of medical education materials is certainly wide, with deliverables coming in all flavors: books, publications in peer-reviewed journals, material for medical congresses, symposia, advisory boards, leave-behind literature, clinical FAQs, e-learnings, slide decks for company trainings, e-newsletters, digital campaigns, press releases, visual abstracts, infographics…

However, though the goal of medical education may seem pretty straightforward, the creation of these deliverables is not an easy task. Fortunately, professional medical writers are best positioned to create high-quality medical education materials in time and budget, thanks to some of the competencies and specific skills that any good medical writer possesses:

  • Specialist medical knowledge—that is, technical knowledge of the therapeutic area plus awareness of the trends, challenges, and knowledge gaps in that field.
  • Thorough understanding of the target audience.
  • Application of professional and ethical standards such as specific guidelines and codes of conduct.
  • Impeccable writing skills which, together with the three qualities above, allow medical writers to tailor the message(s) to the specific audience(s) while staying true to the facts.
  • Project management and coordination skills during the whole lifecycle of the deliverable, from inception to delivery (and beyond). This includes proactively liaising with the stakeholders involved and effectively adapting the work upon changes during the plan.
  • Last but not least: the ability to do all of the above in time and budget.

Given the crucial role of medical education nowadays, and to stay ahead in a fiercely competitive market, many pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies are saving time and money by outsourcing their medical education needs to dedicated professional medical writing teams. Not only companies, but also professional medical associations, patient advocacy groups and non-profit organizations can greatly benefit from this service.

At Modis, we have accrued a considerable experience in successfully delivering several types of medical education materials, scoring high in client satisfaction. Examples of such materials include:

  • Several types of publications for peer-reviewed journals.
  • Conference materials (abstracts, posters, oral presentations).
  • Slide decks for training of medical and sales departments of pharmaceutical companies.
  • Books and leaflets on the diagnosis and management of diseases, aimed at healthcare practitioners, nurses and students.
  • Coverage and reporting of conferences and advisory boards.
  • Digital newsletters for clinicians broadcasting clinically relevant news per therapeutic area.

Author: Sara E. Rubio

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