About Anna Sayburn

IMG_4702.jpgI am a freelance journalist, specialising in medicine and healthcare. Clients include The BMJ [British Medical Journal], NHS Choices, Web MDDrug and Therapeutics Bulletin and Student BMJ.

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.


Top features

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.


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.


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 and Women In Journalism.

For my full CV and professional background, see LinkedIn.

Contact annasayburn[at]gmail.com.

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