Making sense of Med Comms through D&D

An associate medical writer’s adventure

So, for the first time ever, you find yourself in the midst of the medical writing field, not having a clue how you got here or where the nearest tavern is. Perhaps one of your team members accidentally cast Plane Shift when you weren’t looking, or you walked through an invisible portal…

Either way, making sense of medical communications shouldn’t be that difficult, right? You have your trusted copy of the D&D Writer Handbook – that is Deadlines & Design – and you’re ready to embark on the journey of a lifetime! Grab your Quill of Writing (or keyboard, depending on your preference) and make a note of these 5 helpful tips:

1. Choose the right class for your writing style

(College of Eloquence Bard, Pact of the Written Word Warlock, Oath of the Open Book Paladin)

Illustration of the Word Monster mascot, Toothy dressed as a Dungeons and Dragons character
Toothy and his brave companions: the lawful paladin, the eccentric warlock and the creative bard

You decided it was finally time to get started: pen in hand, you’re ready to fill in your Medical Writer Character Sheet. You notice there are several skills available to you, depending on your class. These include, but are not limited to: creativity, attention to detail, scientific knowledge, copywriting affinity and PowerPoint expertise. In addition, by choosing College of Eloquence Bard, you gain a +3 to your teamworking proficiency rolls, granting inspiration to others with your kind and encouraging words. Your team must be really lucky to have you!

Pact of the Written Word grants the traditional warlock class a much-needed twist; if you ever wondered how your senior medical writing colleagues are so talented at their jobs, now you have the answer: a pact with a bookworm otherworldly being, of course! So, next time Cthulhu gives your seniors an introduction to Eldritch Writing, maybe you could ask to join?

Lastly, Oath of The Open Book offers the paladin class the ability to read dozens of journal articles in mere minutes. The perfect class for speedy readers, who don’t need to go over the same paragraph a few times to fully understand its contents. In addition, you get a neat-looking bookmark for when you feel like reading outside of working hours. It really doesn’t get any better than this!

Regardless of the class you choose, you’ll be happy to know that you won’t be stuck at level 1 forever. The more experience you gain slaying dangerous creatures and avoiding trapsI mean, completing client briefs, the higher the likelihood that your level reaches double digits and you join the league of extraordinary medical writers, leaving that ‘associate’ title in the past. Just remember: everyone started somewhere, even the God of Forests and Nature, Silvanus – I’m pretty sure ‘Associate’ Oak Father’ was one of his former titles!

2. Using the Robe of Useful References is always a good idea

Imagine arriving later than expected to your Eloquence 101 class at the start of your Bard College semester; even worse, what if the slide deck you hand in is missing half of its relevant references or has them in the completely wrong order? The headmaster is preparing to turn you into a bad example in front of your peers, but he forgets you have one ace up your sleeve (quite literally), as you equip your Robe of Useful References.

illustration of cloak with useful med comms references
A useful, yet fashionable garment, sure to impress everyone you meet

With a short snap of your fingers, the references arrange themselves accordingly and appear on the slide deck as if nothing were ever wrong – this must be a dream from a fantasy world, you say? Well, not entirely.

I have learned that using referencing software can make your life much easier: Zotero, Mendeley and Endnote are just a few worthy mentions. Now, I know you’ve had your eye on that forbidden tome at the back of the classroom (the one ominously titled, ‘Veeva’). But let me tell you, your level isn’t high enough for that, yet.

Besides, the Zotero tome is actually even more entertaining – it’s free, easy-to-use, and it even has quirky hyperlinks you can click on, such as this one:

3. Stock up on your Caffeine Potions (+10 to constitution saving throws and 10 temporary hit points)

I can recall one particular instance when looking at a slide deck left me with more questions than answers. Seriously, not even Darkvision could help enhance my visual capabilities and allow me to read between the lines. In moments such as these, I learned that taking a few minutes to yourself, sipping a hot cup of coffee and giving yourself the time to make sense of a client brief is the best way to go! Sometimes, even a change of scenery can help tremendously.

Illustration of potions and beverages
An impressive assortment of potions and beverages available at every tavern near you!
*Subject to availability

If you feel completely sapped of energy and need someone to cast Healing Word (Monster) on you, but there are no clerics around, don’t despair! You can take a short rest and restore your mana by listening to an inspiring podcast, practicing your herbalism skills in the garden, or wowing everyone with a Natural 20 in performance, as you dance to your favourite playlists – this one is my suggestion:

If you feel like winding down, however, I hear Instant Caffeine Potions are all the rave in taverns across the Sword Coast – even better when you can work from anywhere in Faerûn, so long as you have internet access, right? I’ll have the table by the window, please!

4. Don’t be afraid to cast Sending if you need some support from your team

Ah, you’ve finally defeated the BBEG of the campaign, and get to roam freely in their underground lair, looking for treasure. Then, you suddenly spot it; the legendary magic item that all dreams are clad in, the Gauntlets of Multiple Briefs, granting you +10 to your deadline saving throws and workload survival checks. That’s odd! It appears that the gloves can be worn by two people at the same time, in case you ever feel overwhelmed and need a second pair of hands. And, if you’re a magic user, your adventuring buddy reassures you that they’re only a Sending call away – that’s what I call teamwork!

5. Put this incantation at the top of your spells list!

The next time to are in doubt about which spells are worth preparing, be sure to include this one; it’s recommended by writers everywhere!

Image of a handy spell
A handy spell card to keep close by

See? It really isn’t that difficult after all! So, next time you accidentally spill your caffeine potion on your only copy of the Scroll of PowerPoint, or you’ve ran out of materials to cast Prestidigitation to tidy up your desk, don’t despair! Chances are, somebody else has already gone through the same experience and they’re here to help! Unless, of course, the Arch-lich Vecna cats the Writer’s Block Curse on you at 9th level, in which case, we might need to put together a new how-to guide…

However, if you want to defeat Vecna, and answer the call to adventure, why not visit, a community designed to bring D&D to your fingertips, with hundreds of available games that are beginner friendly and free to play!

Enjoy creating your character, getting to know their companions and saving the world – who knows, you might just learn something new about Med Comms in the midst of it all…

Well, what are you waiting for? Roll for initiative!