Nathalie Ross – Part 2 – Building a Career in Scientific and Medical Writing

In the second part of my conversation with Nathalie Ross, we discussed what brought her to the regulatory affairs domain and I asked her to describe in more detail what the job entails and what the day-to-day of a freelance medical writer looks like.

Medical writing, regulatory, CRO

Nathalie Ross, Ph.D., MWC, a former research scientist, is a bilingual (French & English) Medical and Regulatory writer with over 15 years of experience.

Her curriculum also includes Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs at Mapi (formely CanReg), where she managed a large number of drug and medical device applications for Health Canada and the FDA in a wide spectrum of therapeutic areas (cardiovascular, dentistry, gastrointestinal, oncology, orthopaedic, paediatrics, and plastic surgery).

Nathalie developed teaching and R&D skills through her positions as a Research Scientist (Environment Canada) and as an Assistant Professor (University of Ottawa). She is a member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), Canadian Association of Professional Regulatory Affairs (CAPRA), and Association des communicateurs scientifiques du Québec (ACS).

She is based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where she works in partnership with her local, national, and international clientele.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • The importance of playing to your strong suits in choosing your career
  • Why you should always be growing your professional network
  • How you can find inspirations in role models or mentors
  • The pros and cons of being a freelancer
  • How you can start building a porfolio during your graduate studies 
  • The day-to-day of work as a scientific and medical writer
  • Important aspects of dealing with clients as a medical writer

This episode’s pearls of wisdom:

“When you are an employee, the responsibility of finding the clients and the projects is not on your shoulders, but when you transition to be on your own, all your good skills remain but it’s up to you to find the projects. So you have to add the marketing strategies, you need to think about how you will promote yourself – it might not be something super natural, but it’s much needed if you want to be known.”

“When I was asked to do this column, I was talking with a senior friend of mine and said ‘well, I don’t know if I want to go that way, I might not have time’. And she told me something I will never forget: ‘when you finish your PhD, you’ll start with your life, you might be a research scientist, you might have kids… you won’t have time. So take the time now.”

Nathalie’s links: Twitter –;

You might also like the following episodes:

Clarissa Wright – Publishing:

Fiona Robinson – Patient education:

Liliana Vitorino – Industry:

Tamarah Luk – Entertainment Law:

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