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Volume 35 No 1

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AMWA Position Statement on Legislation That Negatively Affects the Livelihood of Freelance Medical Communicators




Seasoned Freelancers Jam in San Diego
Brian Bass, with commentary from Melissa L. Bogen, Sherri Bowen, Lori De Milto, Cathryn D. Evans, and Ruwaida Vakil

Added to this report on one of our most highly attended sessions, our expert panel of Freelance Forum contributors share their unique and practical insights from years of experience as business owners and freelance medical writers.



Harold Swanberg Distinguished Service Award Address
Expanding Horizons as a Medical Writer
David B. Clemow, PhD, MWC

Walter C. Alvarez Award Address
Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence
Daniel J. Siegel, MD

John P. McGovern Award Address
Reluctant Advocacy
Paul Offit, MD


24        OPEN SESSION REPORTS: A selection of the >50 open sessions presented in San Diego.

  • Influence of Leaders and Servant Leadership
  • Effective Mentoring of Medical Writers: Principles and Practice
  • How to Check Consistency and Enforce Your House Style: Using PerfectIt in Regulatory Submissions and Publications
  • Sharepoint to the Rescue! Using Sharepoint as a Tool to Manage Medical Writing Teams and Client Partnerships
  • Augmenting Medical Writing With Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Generation
  • Reporting Drug Metabolism in the Age of Precision Medicine
  • You Can Find a Diamond in the Rough: Medical Writing Opportunities in Rare Diseases
  • Text Recycling in Scientific Research Writing: Findings From the Text Recycling Research Project
  • Using Narratives to Improve Health Literacy and Communicator Credibility
  • Predatory Publishing: Update on the Current Environment



Note from the AMWA Writing Committee Authors of the AMWA-EMWA-ISMPP Statement on Predatory Publishing
Barbara C. Good, Mary Kemper, Donna Simcoe

36      FEATURE

Survey Says! The Business and Money of Freelance Medical Communications
Erik MacLaren 

In 2019, the American Medical Writers Association administered the latest installment in a series of surveys conducted over the past 30 years that have collected data on the compensation received by medical communicators. The 2019 Medical Communication Compensation Survey obtained data from 480 freelancers, including 179 who work full-time, and provides an excellent source of information on the rates being charged by independent contractors in this field and factors that may be associated with differences in those rates, as well as common expenses, business structures, and practices. Full-time freelancers reported median hourly rates of $110 for writing, $85 for editing, and $100 for quality control. Rates were highest for freelancers who had more experience in medical communications, those with advanced degrees, and those who were primarily writers. The majority of full-time freelancers charged by the hour, rather than by the project, and 50% reported increased profitability of their business in 2018, whereas 12% reported decreased profitability. The 2019 Medical Communication Compensation Survey reflects real-world data reported by working medical communicators. The results offer a unique insight into the business of freelancing and are a valuable resource for both working freelancers as well as those interested in striking out on their own.






Communicating Real-World Evidence for Regulatory Purpose: The RIGOR Checklist
Mary Rofael and Aaron Csicseri

Real world evidence (RWE) and data (RWD) are increasingly being used to support regulatory decision making. The authors propose the RIGOR Checklist to clearly and consistently communicate key criteria identified in recent FDA and industry initiatives to describe whether RWD and RWE are fit for purpose.


47        AMWA NEWS

From the President: Appreciating the Value in AMWA
Ann Winter-Vann

Annual Business Meeting

2019-2020 AMWA Board of Directors




Preface to the Postconference Issue: Online-Only Supplement
Jim Cozzarin


A Day in the Life of the 2019 AMWA Annual Conference
Phyllis Minick


San Diego Zoo Kids: Bringing Healing, Happiness, and Hope to Ill Children and Their Families
Debra Erickson

EXHIBITORS: Premium Exhibitors had the opportunity to submit company/service information in brief.

  • AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors, 11th Edition
  • Aroga Biosciences
  • Beacon Hill Pharma
  • doDOC
  • Eubio
  • PerfectIt
  • Trilogy Writing & Consulting


Share the Vision—Come Celebrate in Baltimore
Elise Eller



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