Cover art for podcast MedicalWritersSpeak's podcast

MedicalWritersSpeak's podcast

64 EpisodesProduced by Emma Hitt Nichols, PhDWebsite

Emma Hitt Nichols talks to freelance medical writers about their work

64 Episodes | 2015 - 2021

Review Articles--How to Organize and Write Them Effectively

October 6th, 2021


A must listen for any medical writer! In this podcast, I talk to three of our very experienced medical writers who regularly work on review articles. …

Pivoting and Finding Your Way—Jamelah Martin

June 3rd, 2021


In this episode, I speak to Jamelah Martin, who has a master’s degree in biomedical sciences and public health. She started looking into medical writing at the suggestion of a friend. Right now, she is working on …

The Flexibility of Freelancing–Interview With Jennifer Herrin

May 27th, 2021


In this episode, I speak to Jennifer Herrin who is originally from the US but has lived and worked in the UK for the last 10 years. She has a background in nursing, which she parlayed into a degree in technical writing. …

Manuscript Writing 101

May 20th, 2021


In this episode, I delve into the nitty gritty of medical manuscript writing. If you are an experienced medical writer, you probably know most of this, but I hope it serves to reinforce your knowledge. 

-Get up to speed …

Tips for Pleasing Your Client as a New Freelancer

May 13th, 2021


In this episode, I cover tips for interacting with clients as a new freelance medical writer or any kind of freelancer for that matter. 

Get the skills and feedback to make sure there is a reasonable chance that you …

4–Volunteer Medical Writing for Fun and Good Karma

May 6th, 2021


In this episode, Dr. Sharon Morjig and I discuss the power of volunteering as a way not only to do some good in the world but to add impact to …

4–Doctorate in Chemistry Seeks Work-Life Balance and Finds it in Freelance Medical Writing

April 29th, 2021


Dr. Kalpana Shankar sought flexibility in her schedule to raise her children, and after researching her options and considering her innate talents, …

4–Medical Illustrator Turned Medical Writer

April 22nd, 2021


In my conversation with Dr. Cheryl McCutchan, we talk about her pathway from her PhD studies in botany and biochemistry, to becoming a scientific illustrator for academia and education, to now delving into a career in …

4-Factchecking for Medical Writers

April 15th, 2021


In this week’s podcast episode, I chat with Dr. Sheila Patterson, who has a PhD in molecular biology. After entering into the field of medical …

4-PhD in Microbiology Transitions From a Postdoc to Medical Writing

April 8th, 2021


In this week’s podcast episode, I have the pleasure of speaking with Crystal Austin, who has a PhD in Microbiology but is also transitioning into …

4-A PharmD Transitions Into Freelance Medical Writing

April 1st, 2021


Janna Afanasjeva, PharmD, BCPS realized early on that patient care was not for her and through a drug information residency she ended up on her current path of medical writing. Her website is

4-Mid-Career UK Veterinarian Makes the Leap to Medical Writing

March 25th, 2021


Dr. Louisa Marcombes a mid-career veterinarian from the UK and living in France transitions into medical writing. She describes her reasons for making the transition and what her plans are for the future.


Check out my

4-Pediatrician Recently Turned Medical Writer

March 17th, 2021


In this episode, I talk to medical writer Morgan Leafe, MD, who has recently transitioned from clinical practice as a pediatrician. She talks about some of her first projects in medical writing, as well as her interest …

4-Medical Writing in Africa

March 11th, 2021


In this week's episode, I talk to 4 people who are living and working as medical writers in Africa--two in Gambia who live just blocks from each other (random!), one in Mozambique, and one in Kenya. It's a huge …

3-Emerging Opportunities in Medical Writing: Medical Writing Support Services

December 21st, 2020


Download Dr. Emma Hitt Nichols’ article on MWSS here

Check out for information on the course Become a Freelance Medical Editor. 

3–AMA STYLE: 10 Things Medical Writers and Editors Should Know

December 10th, 2020


Download the AMA Manual of Style checklist here

Checkout for information on the course Become a Freelance Medical Editor. 

Music: Frozen Summer by Hypp fractal

2-011 Writing To Be Understood—Interview with Anne Janzer

March 15th, 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 …

2-009 AMA Manual of Style Tips: References and Capitalization

March 1st, 2019


What the American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style has to say about reference style and rules for capitalization. Warning: make sure you …

2-008 AMWA’s Educational Offerings – Interview With Lori Alexander, Education Director

February 22nd, 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 …

2-007 Will Pass, DVM, Veterinarian Turned Medical Writer

February 15th, 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 …

2-006 All About P Values and What’s in That AMA Manual Anyway?

February 8th, 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 …

2-005 Making Money With PowerPoint

February 1st, 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.

2-004 Healthcare Businesswomen's Association and Gender Parity in the Healthcare Industry

January 25th, 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. …

2-003 Getting Started and Newbie Medical Writing Mistakes Dr. Jessica Martin

January 18th, 2019


In this episode, I interview freelance medical writing Jessica Martin, PhD Dr Jessica Martin earned her PhD from the …

2-002 AMA Manual of Style: Searching and Formatting Tables and Figures

January 11th, 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 …

2-001 Relaunching Podcast!

January 4th, 2019


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

1-Understanding the Healthcare Value Dossier

January 19th, 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 …

1-How to Cover an Ad Board With Dr. Ginny Vachon

October 6th, 2016


Emma talks about the ins and outs of covering an ad board with Ginny Vachon, PhD

1-Delegating strategies to get some time back in your life

June 10th, 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 …

1-Five Medical Writer Productivity Hacks

May 27th, 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 …

1-Five Productivity Hacks Everyone Can Use

May 17th, 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 …

1-The Pharmapreneur Academy--Flexible Careers with Blair Thielemier, PharmD

May 10th, 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 …

1-Kristine Scruggs, MD, talks about her new book, a medical thriller

April 26th, 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 …

1-Michelle Guillemard--Health Writer Hub founder, consumer health writer

April 20th, 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 …

1-Consumer health writing with Wendy Meyeroff

April 12th, 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, …

1-Brian Bass and Emma talk about subcontracting!

March 22nd, 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 …

1-Getting your business ready for sale--part 3 with Chrystie Leonard

March 15th, 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 …

1-How to grow your business--part 2 of 3 with Chrystie Leonard

February 23rd, 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 …

1-Thinking about selling your medical writing business? What??

February 16th, 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 …

1-AMWA's President and President Elect Talk about the latest offerings

February 10th, 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 …

1-SEO and Google rankings--what it takes to get to the top--Amy Tippins with RTL Digital Media

February 2nd, 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 …

1-Medical Science Liaison--a Career Choice for Medical Communicators?

January 19th, 2016


Today we are going to talk about the medical science liaison role, specifically from the perspective of medical writing—how can medical writers …

1-Spanish/English bilingual medical writing with Dr. Stacy Matthews Branch

January 13th, 2016


Emma talks to Dr. Stacy Matthews-Branch, an American born medical writer who learned Spanish in her late 30s. She is now fluent in Spanish and does both Spanish and English language medical writing.

Please rate and …

1-Covering medical conferences-latest technology--Michelle Dalton, ELS

January 6th, 2016


Michelle Dalton, President-Elect of AMWA's Delaware Valley Chapter, discusses modern day conference coverage. What are the latest trends, and most …

1-Debra Gordon, MS--Seasoned Medical Writer and Teacher

September 18th, 2015


Learn more about Debra at

Debra Gordon, MS is a seasoned healthcare communications professional who specializes in speaking, teaching, and communicating about various clinical topics and the US …

1-Juliette Siegfried, MPH -- an American now living in the Netherlands, focusing on Spanish-English editing/translating

August 28th, 2015



Juliette Siegfried has been in the medical communications field for over 20 years, but has specifically been doing medical editing, writing and …

1-Harris Fleming -- journalist turned pharmaceutical industry editor now freelance

August 13th, 2015


Harris Fleming has traveled a circuitous route in his professional life, leading to his founding Manzer-Fleming Communications, LLC, at the start of 2014.



Harris began his journalism career in television news in New …

1-Dr. David Woods -- from ink stained wretch to vice president of publications at a medical publishing company

July 30th, 2015



David started as an ink stained wretch with Canadian Doctor  in Montreal then to the editorship of Canadian Family Physician in Toronto, and eventually to be the first––and still only––nonphysician editor-in-chief of …

1-Dr. Gill Sellick -- primary care doc turned freelance medical writer

July 15th, 2015


In this episode, I talk to Dr. Gill Sellick, a primary care doctor who started recently into freelance medical writing after going through the 6-week course, “Everything you Need to Know to Start Your Freelance Medical …

1-Jan Bowers -- writes for medical specialty societies and has more work than she can handle!

July 2nd, 2015


In this episode I interview Jan Bowers, who stays busy writing for medical specialty societies. After a journalism degree, she got her start in medical writing by taking the University of Chicago medical writing and …

1-Maria & Phil Vinall -- husband and wife medical writing team with decades of experience.

June 25th, 2015



In this interview, I talk to Maria and Phil Vinall, who both have backgrounds as medical writers in pharma. We talk about publications planning, what it’s like to work together as a married couple, and the joys of …

1-Steve Tiger, PA, a now retired veteran of medical communications agencies

June 19th, 2015



In this episode, I talk to Steve Tiger, a long time, now retired, medical writer who has worked for many years at medical communications agencies. He talks about the fine balance that medical writers face of pleasing …

1-Eric Metcalf, MPH, freelance health writer living in Indianapolis

June 4th, 2015



In this episode, I talk to Eric Metcalf, a long-time freelance health writer about the importance of diversification, how he gets new clients, and some of the pros and cons of freelancing.


1-Brian Hoyle, PhD, talks about transitioning from academia and living in Canada

May 28th, 2015



In this episode, I talk to Canadian medical writer Brian Hoyle, PhD. Brian talks about how he transitioned from academia, how he gets new clients, and the potential advantages and disadvantages of working in Canada. …

1-Emma Hitt Nichols, PhD, talks about medical writing, freelancing, subcontracting, and other stuff

May 21st, 2015



Ha! The tables are turned! Stef Stendardo interviews me, Emma Hitt Nichols, and she stumps my with my own question! Aaaarrgg. Now I know what I’ve …

1-Heather Fork, MD, dermatologist turned coach helps docs find enjoyment in their careers

May 14th, 2015


Heather Fork, MD, has a coaching practice ( that helps clinicians find more enjoyment in their career or find a different direction, for example medical writing, that more closely aligns with …

1-Elizabeth Haynes, RN, a nurse writer who likes to help nurses get into writing!

May 7th, 2015



Hello! I am Emma Hitt Nichols. Thank you for joining me on Medical Writers Speak. Today I had the pleasure of talking with Elizabeth Haynes, RN. …

1-Jennifer Kelly, PhD, recent 6-week grad turned successful medical writer1

April 27th, 2015


Jennifer Kelly, PhD, held various jobs in academia and industry and found she always gravitated towards the writing side of things. She took Emma …

1-Kathleen Doheny, long-time health journalist in Los Angeles.

April 22nd, 2015


In this interview with long-time journalist Kathleen Doheny, we talk about the importance of staying positive about your work and doing what you love. Take a listen!

1-Brian Orelli, PhD, cancer biologist turned biotech writer

April 19th, 2015


With a PhD in cancer biology, Brian Orelli started writing about biotech stocks when his writing got picked up by the Motley Fool investment site. …

1-Allison Muller, PharmD and toxicologist turned med writer/expert witness

April 18th, 2015


Allison Muller, PharmD and toxicologist, discusses her transition into a solo practice after having worked at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia …

1-Lori De Milto, author of AMWA's Toolkit For New Medical Writers

April 16th, 2015


In this episode, Lori De Milto describes what it takes to be a successful freelance medical writer (hint: alot of HARD WORK!). Lori is also a great …

1-Stef Stendardo, freelance CME writer

April 15th, 2015


In this episode, Emma Hitt Nichols talks to long-time freelance medical writer Stef Stendardo about how she accidentally got in to medical writing …

1-Marilynn Larkin, NYC health writer

April 12th, 2015


New York City medical writer Marilynn Larkin talks about how she got into medical writing with a humanities background, how she gets new clients, and how she stays enthusiatic about her work.

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