6 Types of Medical Writing Careers

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Are you a scientist, medic, nurse, or other allied health professional who enjoys scientific writing and are interested in medical writing as a career option? That’s great, but there’s a big question to answer first: 


What is medical writing?

Well it’s not a straight forward question to answer. Turns out, there are many types of medical writers (MWs). Medical writing is an umbrella term to describe a number of writing positions that support the pharmaceutical industry.

At its core, medical writing is simply the creation of documents around a pharmaceutical product or medical procedure. The document could be anything from a patient information leaflet, to a step-by-step submission protocol to apply for a drug licence, or a publication explaining how a new medical device works.

For healthcare professionals (HCPs), getting information about a drug or medical device is important for their patients. Likewise, other stakeholders in healthcare including patients, payers (insurance companies, governments), and regulatory agencies, also require information from pharma and medical device companies about new and existing products. Therefore, MWs need to know how to write about complicated medical information in a way that’s easy for the relevant audience to understand.

It’s more than just writing about drugs, diseases, and medical conditions, it’s about creating messages on health, treatments, and medicines, and presenting transparent scientific information on the efficacy and safety of medical products.

MWs must have excellent writing skills as well as an understanding of clinical research, pharmaceuticals, and the healthcare treatment landscape of different therapeutic areas.

Medical writing encompasses a number interesting and often lucrative careers, and the demand for experienced MWs is high. Furthermore, MWs can work for employers or be self-employed as freelancers, which provides a lot of flexibility to these writing careers.

Those new to the field may wonder exactly what kind of work MWs do. This article outlines the 6 main types of medical writing, the associated employers, and typical job descriptions (JDs) for each.