2023 Annual Conference

Invest in Yourself: Enhance Your Value as a Medical Communicator

American Medical Writers Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter 2023 Annual Conference

Friday, March 3, 2023 from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM EST


Invest in yourself and your career by joining us at the Bethesda Marriott for a long-awaited in-person gathering of deeply knowledgeable and highly successful professional medical communicators. AMWA-MAC has created an educational program intended to enhance your value as a medical writer/editor by tapping into our network of talented presenters who will share their insights, guidelines, and tools. 

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7:30 – 8:30Registration Check-in, Breakfast, Networking
8:30 – 8:45Welcome and Announcements: Marielle Fares, Conference Co-Chair
8:45 – 9:45 KeynoteThere’s More to Educating Yourself as an Effective Medical Writer than Regs, Pubs, and Med Ed Dan Benau, MSOD, PhDTwo common questions that frequently come up on AMWA Engage are “How do I break into the field?” and “How do I expand my career as a medical writer?” The basics of medical writing, such as those that you find in the AMWA Essential Skills package, will help you get into the field. Persistence, some experience, and a dab of luck will help you establish yourself. To really advance your career, you need to learn a broader set of skills, both soft and hard, to make yourself a truly effective medical communicator.This address will cover the skills needed to advance your career, focusing on audience identification within your organization and in the larger public. Dan will share insights he has gained from 15 years as an active medical writer and 17 years as a medical writing educator—13 of which were as director of the biomedical writing program at the University of the Sciences.
9:45 – 10:05 Break
10:05 – 11:05 Session 1Leading with Influence: Successful Strategies for Regulatory (and Non-Regulatory) Writers Robin Whitsell, CEO of Whitsell Innovations, Inc. As medical writers, we are often responsible for delivering documents that require expertise and input from a variety of team members. Though we carry a leadership role for our teams, we do not (necessarily) have authority over those team members. This session will map out strategies for effectively managing team members and creating consensus. We will explore scenarios and discuss plans of action for addressing them; audience members will be encouraged to share their tips for success.
11:05 – 11:15Break
11:15  – 12:15  Session 2Track 1  Graphics for Medical Writers: Posters, Slide Decks, Manuscripts, Figures, and Tables Laurie La Russo, MS, ELS Clean, crisp graphics that highlight important data and convey key messages are in high demand. Medical writers need not fear figures, panic about posters, or stress over slides. You can easily create high-quality visual elements without enlisting a graphic designer’s help, incurring the expense of high-end graphics software, or enduring a long learning curve. Learn how to create top-notch figures, charts, and diagrams for slides, posters, and manuscripts using only Microsoft PowerPoint and its embedded Excel features. This program will address opportunities for visual data presentation, which graphical format to use, and demonstrations of how each type of graphic is created.
Track 2 10 Critical Appraisal Pearls to Enhance Your Critical Thinking about Biomedical Literature Julianna Merten, PharmD Excellent critical thinking skills are core skills of experts in medical communications. Learn from a clinical pharmacist how clinicians read and interpret the medical literature. Resources to support critical appraisal of clinical trials will be highlighted. From PICO to p-values, learn how to decipher what is significant about the next paper you read.
12:15 – 1:30 Lunch Remarks from AMWA-MAC President, Colleen Walacavage; Annual Chapter Business Meeting
1:30 – 2:30  Session 3      Track 1  Medical Simulations for Writers: Deconstructing a Patient Case Allison Armagan, PharmD This presentation will cover the various aspects of medical writing that go into creating a patient simulation. We will discuss the types of writing, the importance of the patient story, and best practices for researching and writing a patient case.
Track 2 The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) Dossier: Key Considerations for Medical Writers Iris Tam, PharmD This presentation will provide an overview of the AMCP Format for Formulary Submissions—the guidelines for developing the AMCP product dossier—including the background on why these were started in 2000. We will review the basic components of a product dossier (content, structure, format) and identify some key considerations for medical writers to ensure the delivery of a well-written dossier. Understanding what is accurate, relevant, and user-friendly for the applicable audience, as well as understanding the purpose of the dossier, will help the medical writer be aware of common pitfalls often occurring in the real world.
2:30 – 2:45 Break
2:45 – 3:30  RoundtablesRoundtables have not been finalized at this time. On the day of the conference when you check in, you will select your roundtable session. In the meantime, check here for updates to the sessions.