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The Impact of Storytelling in Field Medical Settings: Lessons from Audrey Carnevale

Episode Summary

Welcome to the Transforming Medical Communications 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 insightful conversations that contribute to advancing effective medical communications practices.

Joining us today is Audrey Carnevale, Medical Communications Lead at Averitas Pharma. Audrey discusses the power of storytelling in medical communications and how it can create stronger connections and improve understanding. She shares her experience blending neuroscience and effective communication principles to craft compelling narratives. She also discusses the application of storytelling in different settings and the importance of understanding the audience’s needs. Tune in to learn about the role of storytelling in Medical Affairs, its impact on building relationships, and how it can increase knowledge. Plus, get practical tips on structuring presentations and training Field Medical teams in storytelling techniques. 

Guest at a Glance

Audrey is a dynamic and creative Medical Communications Lead based in Charleston, South Carolina,  with an unwavering passion for the art of storytelling. With a solid foundation in the medical field, she has successfully merged her scientific expertise with the captivating power of narratives to engage and educate diverse audiences. Throughout her career, she has honed her skills in crafting compelling and informative content that not only communicates complex medical information but also leaves a lasting impact. 

Host at a Glance

Wesley Portegies is the CEO and Founder of MedComms Experts, an agency that creates effective medical communication strategies for pharmaceutical companies. 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 industry side.

  • Connect with Wesley Portegies on LinkedIn

Hot Takes and Key Highlights

  • 07:43-08:49 – The Power of Storytelling in Medical Communications

Typically, the concept of storytelling makes people think about fairy tales and hearing these stories from our friends and family. Storytelling in Medical Communications is also a hike up the same path to capture the audience’s attention, so it needs to have a similar flow. However, with Medical Communications you have an educational goal to bring to your audience, and you need to set the scene by explaining the problem and then provide context to your data 

“You want to set the landscape, you want to understand the problem and how the data that you have for that product, for the pathophysiology or whatever you’re trying to communicate can support that story.”

  • 13:41-15:53 – Crafting Scientific Storytelling from an Audience Lens

The first step to creating scientific content that has an impact is understanding your audience. But what does that really mean? In the Medical Affairs industry, we are used to considering our audience’s specialty, training and knowledge level. But it’s important to know more than that for successful conversations. It’s vital to know the current problem they experience and how your story can change so the data you present solves that problem.

“So, getting to know your audience, especially if it’s a little bit of a smaller setting, asking those questions as to, how has the landscape changed from the last time we spoke? What’s the same? Are there any differences? And really letting them kind of participate and be an active partner in the story.”

  • 18:28 – 21:12  – The Secret Sauce of Storytelling

The “secret sauce of storytelling” is having a concrete structure but allowing the flow to be more malleable and flexible. When Audrey introduced this concept to her Medical Affairs team, they were able to convert dry data into engaging content. Unless you’re talking to a statistician, just presenting dry data will not be as engaging to an HCP audience. 

“Hence, taking a moment to pause and ask, why did we study this? What is the current challenge that we were facing just in the environment at the time? Helps in creating an engaging story.”


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