Interview with Sarah Campbell

In this episode of the PNC podcast, Sarah Campbell offers her expert advice to become a strong CME writer.


NetCE is a continuing education company that produced online education for health care professions. Sarah has spent much of her career working there. She is the Director of Development. In that role, she works with planners and authors to develop the materials that NetCE produces.

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What is Continuing Medical Education?

Continuing Medical Education materials are a major component of NetCE's products. As such, it is constantly looking for new content. And it regularly engages a CME writer to produce it.

The topics should timely and widely applicable. The writing should be evidence-based and well-supported by references. And NetCE must expand its offerings to topics not covered before. It helps if the CME writer has a genuine interest and expertise in the subject matter.

“If you're writing about something that's actually interesting to you or that you have been impacted by, then it can be really valuable to the learners.” – Sarah Campbell

For example, NetCE worked quickly to develop a course on COVID-19 recently. An established CME writer for NetCE worked on an expedited schedule to meet the need. In most cases, however, Sarah can predict new course requirements and plan for them in advance.

The Medical Writing Process

Sarah outlined the process of medical writing during our conversation.

  1. Before writing a manuscript, authors submit a formal proposal. It includes a brief abstract and a big-picture overview of what the final product will look like.
  2. The proposal goes to the Development Committee, which reviews and provides feedback on it.
  3. The company issues a contract, and the author writes the manuscript.
  4. When the first draft is submitted, the CME writer receives her honorarium.
  5. NetCE completes editing, graphics, and publishing. This process can take up to a year to finish.
  6. After three years, the company reevaluates the course based on need and new scientific developments. If it is still valuable, the author will complete revisions and receive an additional honorarium.


In the episode, Sarah also provided advice for CME writers for maintaining a good relationship with CME Communication Companies. And she describes ways to optimize compensation for your medical writing.

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