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Meet Mary Burder: Principal Medical Writer (United States)

"Not only is the Medical Writing Services group always willing to provide guidance and support to team members, collectively the group is inspired to improve the quality of healthcare across the globe by putting the patient at the heart of all that we do."

    Mary offers insights into working as a Principal Medical Writer for Parexel's Medical Writing Services. Mary talks about what it is like working with her fellow colleagues, how Parexel has supported her career development, and what excites her most about the work she does.

    • Please introduce yourself and your role at Parexel.

    My name is Mary Burder and I am very happy to be a Principal Medical Writer positioned within the North America Medical Writing Services group. I have worked at Parexel since 2012 and I have been with the North America Medical Writing Services group since 2015.

    • What does a typical day in your position look like?

    One aspect of my job that I value greatly is that I have a very diverse project portfolio, so each day is unique. This diversity provides me with the opportunity to acquire new knowledge-based skills, hone my project-management and problem-solving abilities, and expand my knowledge within the therapeutic areas that I work with.

    • What are your core responsibilities?

    I primarily develop the supporting documents for revisions to labeling for approved drugs (e.g., indications, dosage, safety information, etc.). These documents are then used by health authorities, healthcare providers, and patients across the globe.

    • When did you join Parexel, and why did you choose Parexel above our competitors?

    I joined Parexel in November of 2012 and since then I have never considered seeking employment anywhere else. In my current position, I have the opportunity to work in a field that is intellectually challenging, creative, and enables me to improve the healthcare of people across the globe.

    • What traits and/or skills are needed to be successful in your role?
    Knowledge of research study design, scientific methods, statistics, and data analysis.
    Strong communication skills.
    Ability to integrate a myriad of scientific knowledge into comprehensive communications for a diverse audience.
    Ability to effectively communicate with clients
    Effective project management.
    Ability to deliver high-quality documents according to timelines, which are sometimes aggressive.
    Desire to delight our customers and keep the patient at the heart of all we do.


    • What would you like people to know about your job or department?

    Not only is the Medical Writing Services group always willing to provide guidance and support to team members, but collectively the group is inspired to improve the quality of healthcare across the globe by putting the patient at the heart of all that we do.

    • What excites you most about the work you do?

    There are three aspects of my position as Principal Medical Writer that excite me. First, my position enables me to improve the health of people across the globe through the development of labeling documents for approved drugs. Second, my position is intellectually challenging, which I value greatly. Last, creativity and intellectual freedom are encouraged.

    • How would you describe what it’s like working with your colleagues?

    I cannot say enough positive things about the Parexel team I work with, including the team, lead, and my line manager. They are always ready, willing, and able to provide me with guidance and support, no matter how busy they are. My team has truly internalized the concept that when one of us succeeds at delighting our clients, we all do.

    • Can you share with us an example of some of the work that you do, where you have gained a real sense of job satisfaction?

    A family member was prescribed a drug for which I had developed a supporting document for the drug’s product information.

    • How has Parexel supported your career development?

    Each year during my performance assessment, my line manager and I establish a new set of realistic and career-enhancing development goals. This activity has provided me with opportunities for growth and development. Examples of these goals include: taking on new types of projects, presenting at a major medical writing conference, and acquiring new knowledge-based skills. Also, words cannot express how grateful I am that my line manager is truly committed to the process of helping me grow here at Parexel.

    • Tell me something most people don’t know about you.

    I have dyslexia.

    • What do you enjoy when you’re not at work?

    I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, cooking, and gardening.

    • What is your untrainable superpower?

    I am happy to report that I have finally been vaccinated against Covid-19, which I do view as a superpower!!!

    • Tell me three things that you think would change the world for the better?

    I think there is one belief that covers it all, and it is, “Treat others the way you would like to be treated.” I have internalized this belief and hope it makes a real difference in my relationships with the people I encounter (briefly or long-term) in my life.

    ©Photos by Mary Burder

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