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Professional development

The AMWA Professional Development Program (PDP) has been designed specifically for our members and aims to offer a wide selection of high-quality workshops in the areas of medical writing, editing, public relations, web design and a variety of topical issues.

The program is evolving to meet the needs of our members as experienced leaders become available to impart their knowledge in an engaging way to small groups. PDP workshops are ideal for keeping up to date with trends in medical writing, sharing ideas and getting to know other members.
Workshops are offered at each AMWA Annual Conference, and also via online webinars or state branches during the year.

Who can participate?

The PDP workshops are open to both members and non-members; however, anyone who wishes to have workshops credited towards the AMWA PDP certificate (see below) must become a member.

General journalism and media communication courses are offered at the undergraduate level at many universities. Most specialist health and science writing courses are offered at postgraduate level. Several courses are offered as short professional development programs.

Many Australian universities offer courses in distance or off-campus mode, for full-time or part-time study.

Is there a registration fee?

A fee is charged for all workshops. The cost of workshops offered at the annual conference is in addition to the conference registration fee. Most workshops are limited to 20-25 spaces and participants are accepted on a first-come-first-in basis. Therefore, participants should register early as many workshops fill up quickly.

The Professional Development Program (PDP) certificate
By completing eight workshops, AMWA members become eligible for the AMWA PDP certificate. This is not a qualification, but rather an indicator of the member's commitment to continuing education in the area of medical writing. This can be useful for resumes, employment prospects and for some organisations, such as medical boards, that required CME points for accreditation.
Members are free to choose any workshop, and there is no stream or specialisation within the certificate structure. This enables members to participate in a variety of workshops depending on their vocation and interest.
In order to receive credit towards the PDP certificate, participants need to complete a pre-workshop assignment (maximum two hours) and an evaluation and quiz at the end of the workshop.

Workshop topics

Previous workshops have included:

Evaluating clinical papers
Health resources on the web
Writing and designing web content
Proofreading for medical writers
Information, knowledge & evidence in medicine
PR techniques for medical communicators
Technical writing skills
Tables, figures and references
Evidence-based medicine: the basics
Biotechnology for medical writers
Law of defamation for medical writers
Writing about medicines
Writing for magazines
Statistics for medical writers
Social media for medical writers

The AMWA PDP has been developed using the suggestions and input of members from e-mails, workshop evaluations and questionnaires. The program continues to grow through the support of our members, so we encourage all interested members to:

- Give us ideas for workshops or ways to improve the program
- Nominating yourself or someone else you know who would be a good presenter.
- Offer your services on our workshop subcommittee.

We look forward to hearing from you. Contact us.

The PDP is overseen by the AMWA Education Subcommittee, which was formed in July 2000, launching the PDP program the following year.

We are indebted for the assistance of the European Medical Writers Association (EMWA), with whom we have collaborated from the early stages of the program. The American Medical Writers Association has also offered encouragement and information on their extensive curriculum. AMWA members are able to participate in EMWA workshops and have these credited towards their AMWA PDP certificate as part of a reciprocal arrangement between our two organisations.

 

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