W&J student Robert Kaiser stands in desert holding a mechanical device.

Biochemistry major challenges himself with medical writing internship

Created: September 6, 2022  |  Last Updated: November 22, 2022  |  Category:   |  Tagged: , , ,

WASHINGTON, PA (September 6, 2022)—Rising junior Robert “Bucky” Kaiser may have transferred into W&J for a new experience, but it’s the work he’s done out of it that’s taken him to new frontiers.

Serving as a medical communications intern at Wiesen Medical Writing (WMW) in Marlton, New Jersey, Kaiser, a biochemistry major and Maxwell Scholar, spent his summer exploring medical writing in an immersive internship.

“It mainly entailed distilling medical knowledge into more digestible forms like outlines or slide decks,” Kaiser said, “and a whole lot of editing and proofreading.”

With the latter far from his forte, the science-minded Kaiser, having a penchant for improvement, used the opportunity to grow.

“It forced me to work on my biggest weaknesses: public speaking, proofreading, and writing,” Kaiser said.  “I knew that going in—it’s why I wanted to get an internship in medical writing—but it still was challenging.”

Unwavering, however, he tackled the task and embraced the development of a new skill set.

“I think the highlight for me was actually a presentation I got to do in front of the entire WMW team,” Kaiser said, boasting of the feat he previously feared. “I have to thank Dr. Tim Yeung and the rest of the WMW team for their mentorship.”

Of course, he also enjoyed elements of the job that sit more firmly in his wheelhouse.

“Getting to read how patients progressed under treatment and learning about the different elements of a clinical study report…was really fascinating,” Kaiser said. “I really enjoy learning and applying medical knowledge, especially about drug discovery and mechanisms of action, and that’s perfect because it is, quite literally, half the job of a medical writer.”

For the ease in which he navigates scientific concepts, Kaiser shares credit with W&J.

“Though I’ve only been at W&J for a year, I feel like it prepared me well,” he said, giving a nod to Professor of Biology Candy DeBarry, Ph.D, who pushed him toward the internship.

Grateful as he is for it, Kaiser is leaning away from a career in medical writing, but toward a career the writing enhances.

“My ambition is set on pursuing an MD and specializing in family medicine, or potentially an MD-Ph.D.” Kaiser said. “But this internship is broadening my understanding of the medical field, both front and back. Physicians have to get their information from somewhere and medical writers really facilitate that.”

About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, proudly located in Washington, Pa., is a historic liberal arts college founded in 1781 that values ethical leadership, professional readiness, and inclusive communities. Our highly customized and intellectually engaging student experience develops professionals of uncommon integrity to lead in an ever-changing world. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu or call 888-W-AND-JAY.