Happy Birthday To Me – And Thank You To You!

In 2013 I founded my own company. When I left Roche to do that, many of my family and friends questioned the wisdom of the decision.

All of you reading this have contributed to making my journey what it has been. A success. A joy. Challenging. Interesting. Entertaining.


I have worked with many of you on programme committees, on your projects, coached some of you on your jobs, and learned every step of the way.

It’s a privilege to be involved in so many different challenging and interesting jobs. Working with clients I respect enormously professionally . And as a bonus, like so much personally!

I look forward to toasting with you when we meet again in person at a conference, on a project or just because.

Sue Thomas Unsplash Photo Credit

It’s my anniversary. 

8 years ago I founded elytra, named for the protective wing cases of beetles.

Elytra are as critical for flight as a beetle’s wings. They are small and their function is not obvious but they are a key contributor to beetles’ success in adapting to diverse habitats. Desert beetles use elytra to trap moisture. Diving beetles trap air under them. The modifications are endless.

elytra are small, yes, but they enable big things to happen.

I believe a consultant needs to understand the big picture, identify the relevant details, and to be able to work with teams to change as much as needed, and  as little as possible in a tailored approach.  As a consultant I initially focused on Medical Information but often now support broader Medical Affairs teams to deliver global transformation to support healthcare provision.

Projects I have worked on in the past year include:

  • workshops on compliant medical review
  • training on market access & bioethics
  • supporting audio-bot development
  • assessing the current state of a company’s medical information set-up
  • designing medical information set-ups. IT system rollouts
  • executive coaching to support individuals grow in their roles or find the roles that are the right fit

I have also done market research for biosimilars and written detailed specs for an RFP for a Medical Information system, as well as being an expert supporting one of the big global consulting companies on Medical Affairs projects.

I volunteer with the DIA on the programme committee for the EU Med Info meeting. And am a new trustee with charity the Virtual Doctors. Read more here: www.elytraconsulting.com

A big thank you to you, my clients, my connections, my friends, for support, enthusiasm and for making my work so much fun.

My gift to you in thanks? Tips on how to select the right client/consultant, solution provider for any project.  Be it a consultant or a coach, or a translation agency, a Medical Information Systems Provider or a Medical Information service provider. 

When selecting someone to work with, for any project at all,  ask yourself the following questions:

– is the chemistry a good fit?
– is the individual qualified, passionate and motivated?
– do I trust them to help make my project a success?
– do I like how they communicate?
– do I trust them to be truthful in what they can and cannot deliver?
– does their website and what I have seen of them indicate that they have focus on quality?
– do they have any endorsements?

If the answer to any of the above questions is no, keep on looking.

The key to having a good relationship with your solution provider, coach, consultant is trust.

What you are looking for when selecting anyone to work with is not the cheapest price but the best value for your investment: time and money.

Because you really don’t want to have to scrap the project and start again from scratch. Which is what I have seen happen many times over the years.

My learning:  sometimes slower is faster and cheap is almost always more expensive.

My key take-away as a consumer and as a consultant: doing things right the first time, planning long-term, working sustainably is overall going to be better value for money. And, above all, it is so much less soul-destroying.

Looking forward to the years to come.