About Anna Sayburn

Freelance Forum-7565-2I am a freelance journalist, specialising in medicine and healthcare. Clients include The BMJ [British Medical Journal], NHS Choices, Web MDMedical News Today and Chemist and Druggist.

Skills include evidence appraisal and writing clearly about complex medical topics for a lay audience. I  have experience in writing, editing, commissioning and organising expert round table events. I write for both general and specialist media.

I deliver training in science media skills and communication, most recently to the media team at Asthma UK.

I was a finalist in the Medical Journalist Association’s Freelance of the Year award 2017 – here’s what the judges said:

“We were impressed by Anna’s ability to handle complex topics clearly and expertly for the lay reader.”

Top features

How should healthcare professionals act in an emergency? From the London bombings to Grenfell Tower, what are the obligations and risks of being a “good Samaritan”? Published in Chemist and Druggist.

From Ebola to Zika. What’s the best way to stay up to date about disease outbreaks overseas? Published in Chemist and Druggist.

Doctors, death and dying. I investigated how a life in medicine – and the type of specialty you pick – can change the way you think about the end of life. Published in Student BMJ.

Will the machines take over surgery? Experts in machine learning and AI talk about whether surgeons will be handed their P45s any time soon. Published in Royal College of Surgeons’ Bulletin.

What happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol? An exploration of the evidence behind Dry January. Published in WebMD.

What if we cured cancer? Crystal-ball gazing with oncologists, medical statisticians and cancer charities, to assess the impact of an end to the world’s top killer. Published in Royal College of Surgeons’ Bulletin.

Vitamins in pregnancy. An investigation into the (lack of) evidence behind many vitamin supplements for pregnant women. Published in Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin. The week this was published, the editor of DTB was invited to talk about it on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme.

Testimonials

Rob Cook, Clinical Director at Bazian, an Economist Intelligence Unit business

Anna is an exceptional freelance healthcare writer and editor who produces high quality work for us to tight timelines. She has a deep understanding of issues across a breadth of health topic areas, adding critical interpretation and important context to bring research to life. It is always a pleasure to work with her.

Matthew Billingsley, editor, Student BMJ, a BMJ publication

Anna is an excellent journalist who I have commissioned to write several features for Student BMJ. Each time I have given her different topics to write on she has come up with well thought-out articles that get to the heart of what our audience needs to know. Overall, I have found her really easy to work with, hardworking, resourceful, and delivers engaging and clear copy.

Rob Finch, former managing editor, NHS Choices

Impressive. That’s the word for Anna’s work. She’s handled complex science and politically sensitive news stories with aplomb turning in great copy to extremely pressing deadlines with copy that is clear, concise and powerful.

Background

Head of Consumer Health at BMJ until 2014. I led a team of writers producing news stories, patient decision aids and in-depth health information, as part of the BMJ’s patient information service.

I’m a member of the Medical Journalists Association, the National Union of Journalists and Women In Journalism.

For my full CV and professional background, see LinkedIn.

Contact annasayburn[at]gmail.com.

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