Dr. Brittany Hoffmann-Eubanks, PharmD, MBA, is the Founder and CEO of Banner Medical LLC, a medical communications company. Her work at Banner Medical integrates her passion for writing with her medical background as a pharmacist. Brittany is an expert content developer for both healthcare providers and consumers. She also has created two online courses (Medical Writing Mastery and Medical Writing Jumpstart), which helps pharmacists start their medical writing careers. She is a strong advocate for the profession of pharmacy and uses her medical writing voice to amplify issues that are important to her.
Mentioned in this episode
Medical Writing Jumpstart: Jumpstart Program (bannermedicalinstitute.com) (this is an interest link for when the course drops in 2022)
Dr. Christina Fontana (coach for pharmacists)
Dr. Jerrica Dodd (coach for pharmacists)
Read the full show notes at The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast https://www.thepharmacistsvoice.com/podcast
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Highlights from the interview
Brittany was on maternity leave at the time we recorded our interview. We chatted about motherhood.
Brittany uses her voice as a medical writer. She has her own style. Her work is fair, balanced, and unbiased. When crafting a piece, she keeps the audience and the goal of the piece in mind.
Medical content can be boring, so it needs to be short, engaging, and understandable. Brittany and her team tailor to busy medical professionals.
According to Brittany, medical writing is a three billion dollar industry. It includes topics such as medicine, regulatory matters, continuing medical education (CME), consumer-facing education, blogs, and more. Because there are many opportunities to carve out a niche, each writer can use his/her zone of genius to be successful.
Banner Medical has 3 focus areas:
- CME (They are experts in developing needs assessments.)
- Blogging/consumer health space
- Scientific, academic space
Brittany uses her voice to advocate for the profession of pharmacy. She is on the Board for the Illinois Pharmacists Association. She feels it’s important to give back and help the profession.
Brittany loves her team of pharmacist writers. She started as a freelance medical writer in 2015. Now, Banner Medical has more than 20 pharmacist writers. She plans to hire more writers soon. The business is growing fast, and there is a good diversity of writing styles among her team members.
As an entrepreneur, she had to get comfortable making tough decisions and spotting what is working and what’s not working. She decides what works and what doesn’t.
Brittany has two online courses
- Medical Writing Jumpstart (NEW in 2022 for pharmacists who want to explore medical writing but aren’t sure if it’s for them. Shorter, less expensive course. )
- Medical Writing Mastery (Longer, more expensive course)
Brittany advocates for women. She feels that is it important for women pharmacists to support and uplift one another. She recommends women pharmacists join Chara Reid-Reed’s Pharmacist Women Facebook Group.
We talked about how having a baby will change things. Brittany will lean more on her team, delegate tasks, set boundaries, and work through it.
There are no guarantees in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, and they work through things when they don’t go the way you want them to go. Highlight reels don’t show the difficult times. Surround yourself with people who can help you figure stuff out. There’s blood, sweat, and tears in building a business.
Imposter syndrome is normal among entrepreneurs. It’s important entrepreneurs normalize imposter syndrome and talk about moving past it. When it comes to medical writing, own what you have earned! You are enough. You don’t need “all the things” (certifications) in order to have value. Pharmacists can be successful writers NOW. You have everything you need to get started. You can get polished as you go along.
Brittany piqued my interest in becoming a medical writer. Medical writing has become more mainstream over the last 5 years. I’m good at writing show notes for podcasts, but I’d like to learn how to do more!
Being good at something and wanting to launch a business providing that service isn’t enough. You also need to solve somebody’s problem or provide a service that makes someone’s life easier. Brittany knows many people don’t like to write and they’re not good at it. She’s good at writing and likes to do it. Therefore, she is selling the solution to their problems. That’s why she is successful!
Brittany was a coaching client of Dr. Alex Barker, Founder of The Happy PharmD and now coaches with Joy Bufalini (Simplify to Multiply®). Brittany feels that coaching has value whether you have a business or not. Find the right coach for you: someone who will challenge you to grow. In Brittany’s case, coaching with Alex Barker was the best investment she ever made in herself. Her company’s revenue grew after working with Alex, and it continues to grow. Brittany is working with Joy Bufalini to further grow her business. Other coaches for pharmacists that Brittany mentioned [that she has not worked with] are Dr. Christina Fontana and Dr. Jerrica Dodd.
Referrals help grow businesses. Alex Barker sometimes refers The Happy PharmD clients to Brittany’s Medical Writing Mastery course, and Brittany refers writers to The Happy PharmD.
Building relationships is important and goes beyond the transactional part of a business. Give something first before asking for something when you network. Ex: on LinkedIn. Let people know who you are and why you want to connect.
Not every potential client is right for you. Low-ball offers aren’t fair. You need to build relationships with people who will pay you what your work is worth.
Negotiating rates for yourself takes self-advocacy, especially for women. You have to advocate for/ask for what your work is worth. There’s a fine line between charging too little and not being taken seriously and overcharging and losing out on jobs. The right client will pay you fairly. It’s ok to walk away from clients who don’t pay fairly. Experience and quality are important. Clients want jobs done right. They get what they pay for.
Negotiation is a learned skill, and it takes time to get comfortable with it. Re-negotiating happens. Ex: It took more time to do the job than originally expected.
Brittany was robbed [while working in a pharmacy] in 2019, and it traumatized her. She had feelings to process and got help. Many people avoid seeking help with anything, but it is needed. Brittany advocates for Illinois legislation to punish violence against healthcare providers.
I asked what to say to someone who has been in a robbery. Brittany said, “Just be there for them.” Hold back the knee-jerk reaction, which is “I’m sorry.” Instead, give them what would be helpful. That could be a hug (with permission!). Let the victim think or feel the way they need to feel regardless of how it makes you feel.
On a positive note, Brittany is writing a book about her IVF journey. Content will include hormone levels, reproductive endocrinologists, medical reasons that infertility happens, costs, the black market for fertility drugs, how to correctly administer injectable medications, the roller coaster of emotions an IVF journey can bring, secondary infertility, and more. She had to give birth in order to finish the book. Now that her son has arrived, she will finish the book in 2022.
Thank you for listening to episode 127 of The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast!
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