Carolyn Cain, PhD
ASHG: If you could go back to when you were a trainee, what is one
piece of advice you would give yourself for your current
I would encourage myself to read even more. The best writers
I know are voracious readers of the scientific literature
and of books for entertainment. The more you read, the more
familiar you are with various topics, sentence structures,
ASHG: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of your job?
Dr. Cain: My favorite part of my job is the variety of projects. I may
be developing a genetics manuscript one week and a slide
deck for a pain management meeting the next. The following
month I may travel to an oncology conference to summarize
presentations on recent findings. Every project is an
opportunity to learn and improve. More experienced medical
writers have told me that this career that is rarely boring
because there are always new data or new therapeutic areas
to explore. However, working on different topics is also a
challenge. Research and becoming knowledgeable in a new
field can take hard work, and deadlines are tight. I should
note that some medical writers are more specialized and
their experiences may differ from mine. Overall, I have
found medical writing to be intellectually engaging and
ASHG: What do you
think the future holds for the field of genetics?
Dr. Cain: I think
genetics will increasingly play a role in the diagnosis of
diseases and in treatment decisions. There will be a need
for improved education of medical professionals and the
general public on genetics concepts.
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