“I translate what I am passionate about, and I am passionate about what I translate”

– Fiona Grace Peterson, founder of Arteria.

My name is Fiona Grace Peterson, the face behind Arteria, and I would just like to talk a little bit about my background so you can get to know me better. After all, it is good to know who you’re working with, isn’t it?

Why the name Arteria?

Arteria is the Italian term for artery, a vessel which carries the blood with its rich oxygen and nutrient content from the heart to all districts of the body where it’s needed.

Just like these vessels, Arteria Medical Translation takes your expertise from the heart of your business to wherever it needs to go – to medical and scientific journals if you’re a clinician or researcher, to overseas regulatory authorities if you’re a pharmaceutical company, or to English-speaking healthcare providers if you’re a patient seeking treatment abroad.

The suffix –ria in Italian can mean “where something is made” – think pizzeria or gelateria. Although not its dictionary meaning, I like to think that the term “Arte-ria” also means as “the place where art is made”. While translators differ in their opinions as to whether translation is an art, a craft or a science, I like to think that translation is an art because it requires an in-depth understanding of the nuances of two languages, and the ability to artfully convey the meaning and feel of writing in one language in terms of the other, converting a picture in one language and painting it in the words of another.

Medical Background

  • After starting to work as a translator, I decided to further my skills as a medical translator, gaining a diploma in Medical and Pharmaceutical Translation from CTI in Milan.
  • In 2014, I gained my nursing degree from the University of Bologna, giving me an excellent grounding in all areas of theory and terminology, as well as a number of internships in neurology, cardiology (including cardiac intensive care and haemodynamics), general and orthopaedic oncological surgery, accident and emergency, and mental health, providing me with invaluable hands-on clinical experience.
  • My thesis, written in Italian, regarded the issue of Family Presence, the presence of family members during cardiopulmonary resuscitation and other invasive procedures.
  • Since then, I have been working as a full-time medical translator. My internships at two major Bologna hospitals (Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute and Ospedale Maggiore) have given me practical experience of the diagnostic tests and treatments I routinely come across in my translation work. Electrocardiograms, cardioversion, medical and nursing procedures in the cardiac catheterisation laboratory and across the wards, routine and intensive care monitoring, triage, oxygen therapy, complex wound care and drug administration are just some of the procedures I have performed or been involved in, experience difficult to gain from books alone.

Born in Scotland, Living in Italy

  • Born and raised in Edinburgh in Scotland, I gained my degree in Modern Languages (Italian and German) from the University of Westminster in London.
  • I then spent six years teaching English as a foreign language to individuals and in high-profile companies in and around Modena in Italy. After that, I never wanted to leave.
  • Living in Italy allows me to maintain my source language skills and to participate in a number of local specialist conferences, as well as soak up the quintessential Italian culture I know and love.

My Voluntary Work

  • I have worked with the association Porta Aperta in Modena, Italy, a walk-in centre helping immigrants and families in difficulty.
  • In my spare time, I like to volunteer for good causes. In the past, I volunteered as an ambulance crew member where I gained my BLSD (Basic Life Support with Defibrillator) qualification. I also worked as a volunteer dog handler with a local K9 search and rescue unit.
  • Currently, I am a volunteer translator for the charity Translators Without Borders, with 26,286 words translated to date.

Continuing professional development

I am a member of the association Mediterranean Editors and Translators (MET) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL) and am committed to ongoing professional development through events offered by these associations, as well as taking advantage of other educational and training opportunities as these arise.

Upcoming and recent conferences attended

  • Acute Cardiac Care Bologna 2019
    20 – 21 September 2019
    Royal Hotel Carlton, Bologna, Italy
  • Challenges in liver resection and transplantation
    12 – 14 December 2018
    Policlinico di Modena, Modena, Italy
  • Patrizio Parisini Memorial (spinal surgery conference)
    23-24 November 2018
    Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy
  • Uric Acid and Cardiometabolic Disease: From Bench to Bedside
    13-14 November 2018
    Palazzo Re Enzo, Bologna, Italy

Recent workshops and webinars attended

  • A series of seven webinars on medical devices, specifically cardiac, vascular and thoracic
    surgery; orthopaedic surgery; neurosurgery; ophthalmology; laboratory diagnostics, medical imaging; intensive care
    eCPD Webinars (www.ecpdwebinars.co.uk), January 2017
  • European Medical Writers Association workshops
    – Pharmacology for medical writers
    – Ethical Issues in Clinical Trials
    – European Regulatory Procedures for Medical Writers
    – Key Clinical Documents in Drug Development
    – From Protocol to Study Report: What’s In-between?
    European Medical Writers Association (EMWA), conference workshops 2015-2016