Medical Writing: A Great Career Opportunity

Published on 17 Aug 2015 . 4 min read


Whether you are looking for a job switch from research or academics or are seeking a non-clinical job in the healthcare industry or have excellent writing skills, but never thought it could pay you enough; a career in medical writing is just the right option for you.

A survey conducted by Centre Watch reported that the medical writing market had doubled in size from an appraised $345 million to a surprising $694 million in 2008 and is on a continuous rise. It is the fourth most outsourced service. This has given way to huge opportunities for healthcare professionals and writers in the field of medical writing.

What is Medical Writing?

Medical writing can be defined as, “a technique used to write clinical and scientific information intended for a wide range of audiences in a suitable format.”  The target audiences of medical writers range from doctors to patients and from pharmaceutical companies to contract research organizations.

As a medical writer, you are required to utilize your research skills and understanding of medical subjects with a clear perception of how to present it to the intended audience for an impressive result.

Types of medical writing

A broad classification of medical writing includes regulatory and research based documents, disease or drug related educational and promotional literature, articles and content for healthcare websites, health related magazines and news reports. There are different sub categories in medical writing and you can choose any depending on your interests, specific specialization, domain knowledge and skills. The most common types of medical writing which you will come across in the course of this profession are;

  • Editing and proofreading

  • Internet content

  • Journal abstracts and article writing

  • Medical education materials

  • Product monographs

  • Multimedia presentations

  • Posters

  • Regulatory documents

  • Physician speeches and presentation

  • Sales training manuals

  • White papers, articles, marketing materials

  • Medical script writing

  • Patient education materials

Where can you get job as a medical writer?

The primary place offering jobs for medical writers are pharmaceutical industries, but there are various other workplace settings where you can get a job including;

  • Academic medical centers, associations and foundations such as IMA, IDA, AMA

  • Publication houses

  • Web pages and portals

  • CRO (Contract Research Organizations) and healthcare BPO

  • Hospitals

  • Medical marketing and communication agencies

  • Medical device companies

  • Healthcare IT company and healthcare consultancy

Many medical writers are working as freelancers and have the freedom to work partially or completely from home.

Can anyone become a medical writer?

A basic knowledge of medical concepts and great writing skills are the two primary things you should have to become a medical writer. In addition, an academic qualification in the field of life sciences such as medicine, paramedical sciences including pharmacy, microbiology, nutrition and dietetics, biochemistry or biotechnology gives you the correct background to become a medical writer.

Hone your skills

The most important thing for becoming a successful medical writer is to pursue motivated “self-study” but there are short courses or workshops which can be joined for a better understanding of the writing techniques. Some of the organizations offering courses in medical writing are;

  • InfocusRx

  • Bioinformatics Institute of India

  • James Lind Institute

  • Institute of Computational Biology

  • SIRO Clinpharm

On the job mentor guided training also gives you an insight and knowledge of the field.

Image Source - Google


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