According to Allegro Vice President Neil Marmont, skilled medical writers remain hard to find in the medical communications industry. Almost four years after seeking to fill this gap by launching a learning and development program allegroAshfield Health is now expanding to allegro.EXCEL – a career development model that aims to funnel senior medical writers into scientific leadership positions.
The program aims to build on the intensive 12-month Allegro program by offering senior medical writers the opportunity to accelerate and further develop their careers.
“There is a short-term need to add resources to our teams at the medical writing level,” Marmont said. “With this program, we are thinking of a career development model, so we are thinking longer term. We want to train and develop these people, so they stay with the company, become our senior writers, and move into leadership positions in the company.
A medical writer plays a key role in the business, responsible for translating complex scientific data into educational and clinically relevant material for different audiences – including doctors, patients, pharmacists and nurses.
The Allegro program, which launched in January 2018, was originally intended to provide an accelerated, entry-level program that would recruit and train recent graduates and future medical writers. Since then, the program has attracted some 150 people to the company.
“Allegro, in terms of offering, was to make sure we could give people [the chance to] become a medical writer in 12 months, which no one else was doing at the time,” said Nicola Griffin, Chief Marketing Officer and Deputy Program Director at Allegro. “There was no other business at the time in medical communications that gave people the opportunity to come in with no knowledge of medical communications, and say that in 12 months you could be a medical writer.”
The allegro.EXCEL program enhances the entry-level program by providing people with e-learning, training courses, and the option to choose one of three different paths: team, content, or strategy. The program also includes networking opportunities and one-on-one mentorship from senior business leaders.
“It’s about taking that group of people and giving them structured opportunities for training development, coaching, mentoring and networking, and [the ability] to further their own career paths,” Marmont explained. “It’s about the individual taking control of their own development.”
The ultimate goal, according to Marmont, is to develop the best medical writers to strengthen the company’s ability to deliver to its customers.
“[We want people to feel] like they have a home with us where they can further their career development,” Marmont said. “With this in mind, we are thinking about what the business needs to move forward – what do we need to offer our customers so that the training and development we provide to this group of people who are going through the allegro program .EXCEL are very focused on what our customers will be looking for in the future.