Keynote Session: There’s More to Educating Yourself as an Effective Medical Writer Than Regs, Pubs, and Med Ed

Keynote Speaker: Danny Benau, MSOD, PhD


Dan Benau is a retired Professor of Biomedical Writing and former Director of Biomedical Writing Programs at the University of the Sciences. He retired when the university ended its independent existence and merged with St. Joseph’s University last June. He was an active regulatory medical writer for 16 years and an academic for 17 years. During his career at the University of the Sciences, Dr. Benau was one of the only full-time online professors. All of the courses that he taught, or with which he had direct influence, included segments on organizational leadership and systems approaches. These are seldom parts of certificate programs but are an important part of effective medical writing.

Session Synopsis: Two 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 need for skills such as audience and organizational identification, and some insights that Dan has gained in 15 years as an active medical writer and 17 years as a medical writing educator—13 of which were as director of the program at USciences.

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