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How to Become a Professional Medical Writer

Diploma Clinical Research & Medical Writing

How to Become a Professional Medical Writer

Overview of Medical Writing

Medical writing profession involves preparing various types of scientific documents. Medical writers work with a variety of companies such as Pharmaceutical organizations, Clinical research organisation, medical device producers, publishing firms, and more. The people who don’t want to be permanent employees of any one medical organization work as freelancers. Freelancing is common for writing jobs, due to the fact that many healthcare organizations and service providers have needs for content that is project based, e.g., to launch a new product, promote an event, regulatory document preparation, or some other kind of projects.

Information in medicine is always in a flux and fresh updates are continuously being added to the sub-specialities of medicine by way of the ever increasing clinical research studies, increasing clinical experience, innovations and change in guidelines.  All these details require to be adequately conveyed to appropriate audiences, e.g. doctors and other healthcare specialists, patients, payers or insurers and customers and the drug regulatory authorities. Medical writing is the discipline of preparing scientific documents by professionals in the field. Medical writers may not be the original researchers, who did the actual investigation, but they work with the doctors/researchers engaged in the creation of data, and assist to present the information in an acceptable way. The significance of good medical writing cannot be disregarded as science relies upon clear and appropriate reporting, otherwise careful research can seem defective if it is improperly presented.

The medical writer require to have a comprehensible understanding of the medical aspects and ideas, and being capable to provide the data and its explanation in the way the target audience will understand. Professional Medical writers put together their understanding of science and their research expertise to provide information at the suitable level for the target audience. In addition, medical writing requires compliance of specifications, guidelines and statutes for various types of documents. Presently medical writing has turned out to be an essential function in the pharmaceutical sector, because it needs specialized expertise and abilities to be capable of writing scientific documents which are well- organized, and presented in a clear and cogent manner.

Scope for Medical Writing

The requirement for medical writing has increased significantly in the last few years. The reasons are- Pharmaceutical organisations are focusing more on developing novel drugs and medical devices and different scientific documents require to be developed for submission to regulatory agencies while in their approval process. Extensive research work is being performed today in the biomedical arena and the number of biomedical journals has also increased significantly and many more medical/Scientific articles are now presented than before; similarly, with the inclusion of a new and a strong medium like the internet, medical information is disseminated as web content for medical professionals as well as the common public.

According to a CenterWatch market research report the medical writing industry has doubled in size in the last 4 years, growing from an approximated $660 millions in 2008 to $ 1300 million in 2013. Moreover, with respect to recently conducted survey, medical writing is also the 5th most often outsourced service. As pharmaceutical firms outsource more and more services to the Asia Pacific region, professionals from this region can look at medical writing as a promissing career option, and build knowledge and expertise needed to take this up as a full-time career.

Essential Qualifications Required for Becoming a Professional Medical Writer

The primary requirement for becoming a medical writer is obviously, familiarity with medical information and nomenclature. An educational qualification in one of the life sciences like as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, microbiology, molecular biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, genetics, zoology and biochemistry can offer the right qualifications which make the writer well versed with scientific concepts and data understanding.

Another essential requirement is the potential to write. As a primary prerequisite on the part of a medical writer is to convey scientific data to the target audience, good command over the language, reflected by a capability to generate grammatically accurate content, and a capability to convey and present data clearly and succinctly is very essential. An understanding of data analysis and representation is also important for medical writers.

Importance of Training in Medical Writing

Medical Writing training offers you with a comprehensive understanding of all major areas of medical writing, and it targets to enhance upon your abilities and understanding.

What Makes an Individual a Good Medical Writer

  • Potential to understand the objective and specifications of the project.
  • Ability to generate content at a level acceptable to the target audience.
  • Potential to think, logical organization of ideas and thoughts.
  • Scientific reliability.
  • Ability to work in teams (often remotely) as well as independently.
  • Good communication & coordination skills with different professionals engaged in the process.
  • Excellent time management skills, and achieving deadlines and commitments.

Who Hire Medical Writers

Medial writers generally work with the pharmaceutical companies however there are a few other industries which required medical writers:

  • Contract/Clinical research organisations (CROs)
  • Contract/Clinical research organisations (CROs)
  • Business process outsourcing companies (BPOs)
  • Regulatory consulting firms
  • Healthcare organisation
  • Medical device firms
  • Knowledge process outsourcing companies (KPOs)
  • Media & Publishing firms and Medical Journals Academic medical organizations, Medical/scientific communities
  • Healthcare Websites




Medical writing is both a science and an art. It needs a comprehension in medical science and abilities for writing. In addition, an understanding of specific requirements for various types of medical or regulatory documents is a must. The need for medical writing is increasing continuously over the years. The pharmaceutical and healthcare organisations provide number of job openings for medical writers. Both graduates and post-graduates who have the appropriate skills and abilities can think about taking up medical writing as a full-time career.

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