Bedrock Healthcare Communications spoke to our Associate Scientific Director, Alice Waterhouse, about what got her started in her 10-year career in medical communications, what she’s learned so far and what attracted her to Bedrock. And much more…
What got you interested in a career in MedComms?
Although I did a degree in Genetics, I’ve always loved creative writing and really enjoyed the science communication dissertation in my degree. I didn’t want to work in a lab and wondered if the comms part might be something I could do as a job. I saw an ad on our Uni careers site for an associate medical writer role and I thought it sounded like me. I soon discovered there was this entire industry called MedComms all about communicating science. Starting off in the writing side was the perfect way for me to get into it.
What’s your earlier background?
Before joining Bedrock as Associate Scientific Director in the summer of 2022 I worked in different types of companies, some MedComms and some creative/digital, in various medical writing and strategic planning roles. Before this I did a BSc in Genetics at the University of Manchester.
What’s your role at Bedrock?
I get to be involved in everything in the Scientific Services team which is one of the nice things about a smaller agency. One of the most important aspects is ensuring that the output of the team is the best it can be. We are doing some really exciting things, making science and data more accessible, helping summarise very complex information in a clear visual way, which makes it accessible to more people.
What has MedComms taught you so far?
It’s a great industry for scientific specialists with a growth mindset. You gain experience not only in the creation of compelling scientific content, but also the chance to be part of a wider agency team, to build strong client relationships, to learn about how a business operates and to support training and development of junior writers. It’s offered me constant challenges as well as developing existing skills and learning new skills.
What attracted you to join Bedrock?
I got to have some really good chats with the team. It was a mix of the type of work that they did, the clients, the values of the team and the vibe I was getting from them. It all felt really aligned with the kind of thing that I would like to do. I just thought, this is somewhere I could see myself being really happy.
How would you describe the Bedrock culture?
You get a lot of support, but you are also given a lot of freedom to lead on your work. You’re not micromanaged. They’re very happy for you to work independently, which I think you would only find in a business that was keen to see people progress and take on responsibility – that’s certainly true at Bedrock. It’s also a very values based business, they really make sure everyone is a good fit for the team. It’s very different from other places that I’ve worked before, and I think it really benefits the company.
What’s been your Bedrock career highlight so far?
I’ve really enjoyed working on consensus programmes. We get the experts together, the healthcare professionals and patients who know best about the disease or therapy area and capture all their thoughts. The output is consensus statements, recommendations or guidance that is published and will hopefully be useful to the people treating the condition. I’ve found it very interesting to work on something that’s going to be so immediately applicable and actually help patients. It’s something that Bedrock have won awards for and it’s really different from anything I’ve worked on before.
What do you enjoy outside of work?
I’m a trained florist and love to spend my free time either flower arranging, gardening/foraging or making plans for my own growing spaces. I try to grow as much of my own flowers and veg as I can, so you’ll often find me either in the garden or with my nose in a horticulture book. I’m super interested in ecological growing and how the ecosystems of our growing spaces and the health of our soil connects to so many global social, political and environmental issues – plus getting your hands dirty is great for clearing the mind!
Any tips to help others get into MedComms?
It’s definitely worth going to MedComms events and networking. You can go up and chat to people and find out about what they do and where they work. And it’s always easier once you’ve met someone face to face, to build that connection and it’s a way in. There’s also a huge amount of information on the MedCommsNetworking site, that’s always worth looking at for companies, events and job adverts.