Interview with Dr. Kaci Durbin

In this week's PNC Podcast episode, Dr. Kaci Durbin describes her journey from obstetrical hospitalist to technical medical writer.

Kaci received her medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. She completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Louisville Hospital. She later completed an MBA while in practice, at Southern Illinois University.

In addition to board certification in obstetrics and gynecology, she holds a certification from the American Medical Writers Association.

She was employed at a private practice for 5 years and then transitioned into OB hospitalist work. During her time as a hospitalist, she began part-time freelance medical writing, creating a variety of materials including CME materials, needs assessments, manuscripts, and presentations.

She then worked as an independent contractor for a CRO. This Contract Research Organization later offered her a full-time position as a technical medical writer.

Our Sponsor

We're proud to have the University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA Program, offered by the Haslam College of Business, as the sponsor of this podcast.

The UT PEMBA is the longest-running, and most highly respected physician-only MBA in the country, with over 650 graduates. And, unlike other programs, which typically run 1 – 1/2 to 2 years, this program only takes a year to complete. Recently, Economist Magazine ranked the business school #1 in the world for the Most Relevant Executive MBA.

While in the program, you'll participate in a company project, thereby contributing to your organization. As a result, the University of Tennessee PEMBA students bring exceptional value to their organizations.

Graduates have taken leadership positions at major healthcare organizations. And they've become entrepreneurs and business owners.

By joining the University of Tennessee physician executive MBA, you will develop the business and management skills needed to find a career that you really love. To find out more, contact Dr. Kate Atchley’s office by calling (865) 974-6526 or go to

How To Transition to Technical Medical Writer

Kaci became dissatisfied early in her clinical career. She tried out several nonclinical side jobs while working clinically. And she discovered that medical writing was a popular option for other physicians. So, she decided to pursue a career as a freelance medical writer.

She joined the AMWA and became certified. To help create her freelance business, she took Emma Hitt Nichol’s medical writing course

After the course, Kaci started contacting CME companies and landed several freelance jobs. Then she stumbled across technical writing and worked for a CRO as a technical medical writer. That led to a full-time job with the CRO.

I think, once I got a couple clients and I started writing for them, it snowballed from there. Then they would refer me to someone else. Another job would come up.

Now she mainly writes clinical trial protocols and clinical study reports. Kaci enjoys helping to design clinical trials. And she continues to do part-time freelance medical writing through her company, KD Medical Communications.

Resources for Medical Writers

Kaci mentioned important steps for aspiring medical writers to follow:

  1. Add a profile on AMWA
  2. Including “medical writer” and related terms in your LinkedIn profile
  3. Create a web site with examples of your writing
  4. Join and engage in pertinent Facebook groups
  5. Search job listings on the Look for Zebras website
  6. Search for jobs on the Virtual Vocations website


Kaci determined early in her clinical career that she didn't enjoy that work. She began exploring other part-time jobs. She obtained an MBA, thinking that she wanted to go into hospital leadership. But her early experiences did not support that idea.

She discovered medical writing and really loved it. Then, she pivoted from CME writer to technical medical writer and found her niche. She graciously shared the story of her journey and provided inspiration and advice that listeners will find encouraging.

Download This Episode:

Right Click Here and “Save As” to download this podcast episode to your computer.

The Clinicians Career Cooperative Is Live

This is the ONLINE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS for nonclinical and unconventional clinical jobs and side gigs. It's a FORUM where you can ask questions of experts in multiple careers. We have some of the most influential names in career transition to mentor members in the Cooperative, including Maiysha Clairborne, Michelle Mudge-Riley, Tom Davis, Marjorie Stiegler, Phil Boucher, Mike Woo-Ming, Jarret Patton, Jill Wener, Christopher Loo, Lisa Jenks, Mandy Armitage, and Brent Lacey

There is an automatic Free Trial. So, this is a no-risk opportunity to connect with experts and begin your career transition today.

To check it out, head to the Clinicians Career Cooperative.

Imagine what it will be like 6 to 12 months from now to start a fulfilling career, and leave behind the headaches, long hours, and constant threat of a lawsuit. Joining the Cooperative is the first step on that journey!

So head over to the Clinicians Career Cooperative.

The Nonclinical Career Academy Membership Program recently added a new MasterClass!

I've created 16 courses and placed them all in an exclusive, low-cost membership program. The program provides an introduction to dozens of nontraditional careers, with in-depth lessons on several of them. It even includes my full MSL Course. There is a money-back guarantee, so there is no risk to signing up. And I'll add more courses each and every month.

And to make it even easier, listeners to this podcast can get a one-month Trial for only $1.00, using the Coupon Code TRIAL at

Thanks to our sponsor…

Thanks to the UT Physician Executive MBA program for sponsoring the show. It’s an outstanding, highly rated, MBA program designed for working physicians. It is just what you need to prepare for that fulfilling, well-paying career. You can find out more at

If you enjoyed today’s episode, share it on Twitter and Facebook, and leave a review on iTunes.

Podcast Editing & Production Services are provided by Oscar Hamilton


Many of the links that I refer you to, and that you’ll find in the show notes, are affiliate links. That means that I receive a payment from the seller if you purchase the affiliate item using my link. Doing so has no effect on the price you are charged. And I only promote products and services that I believe are of high quality and will be useful to you, that I have personally used or am very familiar with.

The opinions expressed here are mine and my guest’s. While the information provided on the podcast is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, there is no express or implied guarantee that using the methods discussed here will lead to success in your career, life, or business.

The information presented on this blog and related podcast is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only. It should not be construed as medical, legal, tax, or emotional advice. If you take action on the information provided on the blog or podcast, it is at your own risk. Always consult an attorney, accountant, career counselor, or other professional before making any major decisions about your career.