JOB DESCRIPTION                                                                                                                                                          

Job Track:                   Senior Medical Editor                                                                                  

Department:             Editorial Services                                                                                          

Reports To:                Director, Editorial Services


JOB PURPOSE            

The Senior Medical Editor track provides Editorial Services (ES) support for assigned accounts. Medical Editors with greater seniority and experience will ensure that editorial work across accounts and teams meets Fishawack’s quality standards, train junior ES colleagues, and advocate for best editorial practices for assigned accounts and teams.


Provide medical editing activities for dedicated accounts, including editing, proofreading, and data checking. Maintain overall quality and consistency of materials; data check, when necessary; contribute to competitive intelligence writing; and assist with other project tasks, as requested. Integrate into aligned accounts, championing efficiencies that ES and the broader Shared Solutions team can help to drive. Mentor junior colleagues and assist with departmental training in key functional areas.





Copyedit manuscripts, posters, abstracts, slides, minutes, digital pieces, correspondence, and other written materials as requested. Reviews proofread materials prior to release for production.

·        Thoroughly reads, evaluates, comments, and queries materials for clarity and comprehensiveness

·        Develops and maintains the company’s editorial style guide

·        Diligently maintains consistency within projects and overall quality of materials

·        Performs data checking, when requested

·        Maintains, updates, and applies client-specific style guidelines and related editorial processes


Effectively and proactively communicate with team members (eg, editorial, projects) in areas related to project completion.

·        Makes appropriate suggestions to improve style, grammar, editorial content

·        Provides direction and assistance to all staff members relative to questions regarding correct writing styles

·        Proactively offers suggestions to staff to help avoid common writing errors

·        Uses good judgment and works with staff to determine the level of copy editing and/or proofreading required for a given project after understanding the project’s timeframe for completion


·        Is a reliable and dependable contributor to the team’s goals; actively collaborates with the team and supports other team members as needed

·        Works well with others; values suggestions and constructive feedback

·        Communicates with team members in a respectful manner


(Criteria requirements for job levels within this job family. Criteria are cumulative, meaning that all requirements of current level and lower level[s] must be met for each job level.)

Senior Medical Editor

Lead Medical Editor

Principal Medical Editor


·         Addresses problems that can be resolved by applying standard procedures or established practice.

·         Resolves problems that are diversified and somewhat complex.

·         Requires judgment in the application or interpretation of standard practices to suit special or changing conditions.

·         Understands when to escalate issues/problems to more senior members of the department

·         Resolves problems that are diversified and moderately complex.

·         Requires adapting methodology used when situation is not covered by established practice.

·         Shows expertise in one or two areas and can demonstrate “out-of-box” creativity.

·         Knows how to deal with most all issues that have been seen before within ES.

·         Recognized internally as a specialist.

·         Provides innovative solutions to problems that are very complex and regularly involve issues that have not been encountered before.

·         Consistently showing “out-of-the-box” creativity.

Decision-making/ Accountability

·         Decisions have an impact primarily on quality, accuracy, & usefulness of assigned projects.

·         Requires judgment in coordinating analysis of diverse information, reviewing recommendations, making decisions in order to resolve problems.

·         Assists team members resolving issues and making decisions relevant to assigned account

·         Requires considerable judgment in compiling facts and making decisions where recognized practice is inadequate for the situation.

·         Acts independently with minimal direction from department management.

Editorial Leadership

·         Helps train both new and seasoned colleagues on key functional areas of medical communications, including key industry tools, scientific terminology, and processes

·         Mentors new editors, providing constructive feedback

·         Contributes toward development and updates of company style guide and team SOPs

·         Directs and reviews work of supporting Medical Editors and Editorial Assistants

·         Updates account team on new directives, guidelines, and processes, both external and internal

·         Attends team meetings and contributes to account planning and team objectives, as appropriate

In addition to the leadership duties of a Sr. Medical Editor:

·         Regularly takes initiative to solve problems and organize projects.

·         Functions as team leader of a client team, maintaining quality, accuracy, and quantity of work of others.

In addition to the leadership duties of a Lead Medical Editor:

·         Regularly organizes and leads project teams on medium or large accounts or projects.

·         Exercises leadership in a work group by planning, organizing, scheduling, coordinating the work of others; giving advice, direction; developing work methods, standards.

Job Knowledge/Education/Experience

Education/ Licensure/ Credentials

·         4-year college/university education in English, Communications, Life Sciences, or related field

·         2–4 years of experience as a Medical Editor in a fast-paced agency environment or similar environment

·         3–5 years of experience as a Medical Editor in a fast-paced agency environment or similar environment; 1–2 years of experience managing teams or mid-sized projects and accounts

·         5+ years of experience as a Medical Editor in a fast-paced agency environment or similar environment; 2–3 years of experience managing teams or larger projects and accounts


Special Knowledge/ Skills

·         Working knowledge of AMA Manual of Style and proficiency in applying necessary style guidelines to written work

·         Ability to manage a team in the completion of project work

·         Ability to manage a large client team in the completion of client work



(The behaviors, skills, and practices required to accomplish the objectives of this position and in the daily conduct of business.)

·        Written Communications

Is able to write clearly and succinctly in a variety of communication settings and styles; can get messages across that have the desired effect


·        Organizing

Can orchestrate multiple activities at once to accomplish a goal; can juggle multiple projects and multiple deadlines; uses resources effectively and efficiently; arranges information and files in a useful manner

·        Time Management

Uses time effectively and efficiently, solving difficult problems with effective solutions; concentrates efforts on more important priorities; looks beyond the obvious and doesn’t stop at first answers; can attend to a broad range of activities and get more done in less time than others

·        Planning

Accurately scopes out length and difficulty of tasks and projects; sets objectives and goals; breaks down work into the process steps; develops schedules and task/people assignments; anticipates and adjusts for problems and roadblocks; measures performance against goals; evaluates results


·        Client Focus

Is dedicated to meeting and exceeding the expectations and requirements of clients; gets first-hand client information and uses it for improvements in services; acts with clients in mind; establishes and maintains effective relationships with clients and gains their trust and respect


·        Functional/Technical Skills

Has the functional and technical knowledge, skills, and creativity to do the job at an extremely high level of accomplishment


·        Ethics/Values/Integrity/Trust

Adheres to an appropriate and effective set of core values and beliefs during both good and bad times; acts in line with those values; acts in a direct and truthful way; can present the unvarnished truth in an appropriate and helpful manner; admits mistakes; doesn’t misrepresent him/herself for personal gain





·        Clients

·        Vendors

·        Journal and Society/Congress Contacts

·        Project Management

·        Medical Writing & Scientific Services

·        Shared Solutions



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skills, and ability required.

Education                                      Required:                                      4 year post secondary education, or equivalent experience

English, Communications, Life Sciences, or related degree; advanced degree preferred



At least 5 years’ experience in medical editing required, experience with multiple therapeutic areas and media formats preferred; must be computer literate





·        Working knowledge of AMA Manual of Style and proficiency in applying necessary style guidelines to written work

·        ELS beneficial, but not required

·        Knowledge of online reference-retrieval tools

·        Mastery of client reference and review processes

·        Proficiency in the use of MS Office, specifically Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, as well as reference management software (eg, EndNote)

·        Proficiency in Internet and PubMed searches

·        Ability to prioritize and work independently with minimal supervision, and as part of a team

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