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Putting Patients First: The Impact of Medical Affairs Featuring Linn Southall

Episode Summary

Welcome to the Transforming Medical Communication podcast brought to you by MedComms Experts; I am your host, Wesley Portegies. This podcast explores the dynamic landscape of medical communication strategies, innovations, and challenges. We aim to facilitate conversations that contribute to advancing effective medical communication practices.

Joining us today is Linn Southall, Medical Communications Director at Novartis Gene Therapies, for an insightful conversation on medical communications. Join us as Linn shares her valuable insights and experiences in the field, highlighting the importance of collaboration, personalized communication, and prioritizing patient outcomes. Discover how medical affairs and good business go hand in hand and gain a glimpse into the future of this ever-evolving industry. 

Guest at a Glance

Linn has over 15 years of experience in medical communications with pharmaceutical companies like Novartis, Shire, and Takeda. She is passionate about advancing the way that medical affairs partner with the healthcare community to elevate patient experiences and outcomes. 

Host at a Glance

Wesley Portegies is the CEO and Founder of MedComms Experts, a company offering a unique blend of talent, expertise, and resources to create effective medical communication strategies. Wesley is an experienced entrepreneur, starting his first company at 19 years old and building multiple successful companies from scratch. Driven by a passion for medical communications, Wesley has over 20 years of experience in the medical industry – both agency and client side.

Key Highlights

  • 07:23 – 08:20 – Improvement Areas in Medical Communications

Linn mentions that it’s essential to know your audience and to get better at listening since effective communication requires understanding and then addressing the audience’s needs. It’s also essential to understand the hurdles and the unmet needs of the patients in order to communicate effectively. 

“The better we understand the challenges that the physicians and patients are facing, the better we can partner with them, and then we can focus our efforts on what is truly making a difference for the physicians and the patients in the end”.

  • 24:47 – 26:30 – Will Digital Communication Gain Traction and Adoption?

Linn emphasizes that while digital communication is indispensable in the omnichannel landscape, it shouldn’t fully replace in-person interactions. Both channels, digital and face-to-face, hold equal significance in a truly integrated omnichannel approach. 

“I think humans were hardwired for connecting with other humans, and a digital channel is a good channel, but I don’t think it will ever replace direct communication and interaction between two humans”.

  • 37:40 – 38:34 – Is There an Information Overload for All Stakeholders?

Linn explains that HCPs are overwhelmed with information these days and creating and distributing shorter and simpler pieces of knowledge helps cut through the chaff. Considering that physicians are overloaded with information and short on time, their interactions with the patients are also getting shorter.

“The interactions that they have with patients also become shorter and shorter, because there’s always a need for savings, and time becomes extremely precious”.


The host of Transforming Medical Communications

Wesley Portegies
CEO and Founder of MedComms Experts

Hi there,

I am the host of the Transforming Medical Communications podcast.

Our field is being left in the dust by the cutting-edge communication methods and practices in other industries. We’re going to change that. On Transforming Medical Communications we talk to the biggest and brightest names in Medical Affairs & Communications to find out what they’re doing to push our industry forward and define the future.

If you are interested in participating in an interview, please reach out to us.

Yes, I’d like to participate