Medical Writer: Guide Into Profession

Posted by
Anastasia in Technical Writing on 12/13/20193 min read

blue stethoscope and laptop

Medical writing sounds like an excellent choice of occupation. It is connected to such noble professions as a doctor or a scientist on the one hand, and it is technical writing on the other. Today we will give you an insight into this job. By the end of this blog, you will understand what it takes to be a medical writer and get a full understanding of whether this is something you'd like to do.

Prerequisites for Medical Writing

First, it is necessary to mention that a medical writer is no single occupation. It actually offers many roles. You can work for non-profit organizations, hospitals, journals, government agencies, universities, or as a freelance writer. That's plenty of things to choose from.

Medical writing unites one's passion for medicine, research, and writing. Becoming a medical writer has some prerequisites; you might need to have a degree in medicine or science (chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and the like) to do certain types of work as a medical writer.

The main reason for such a requirement is the target audience. Medical writers can create content for clinical professionals and drug regulators. These technical documents contain complex medical terminology. And, topics can be very field-specific, as well. So without special education, it will be extremely hard to create good user manuals.

But at the same time, it doesn't mean that you have zero chance of landing this job without such a degree. The ability to produce comprehensive content and communicate ideas clearly through text is just as important. And there are people in the field whose excellent writing skills helped them get employed as medical writers.

So, having a degree in anything language-related is highly appreciated, too, especially when combined with good analytical skills and understanding of human physiology.In case you would like to learn more about which skills are preferable for tech writers at the moment, technical or language skills, check out this article.

girl on MacBook and phone

What They Write

Medical writers work on a variety of content types: white papers, scientific articles, regulatory documents, presentations, educational materials, newsletters, website content, etc.

All these things fit in somewhere between regulatory medical writing and medical communication. Naturally, people with more scientific knowledge are drawn towards regulatory writing, while people with more general knowledge can give medical communication a try.

Some medical writers don't generate much content at all - they either translate or edit and proofread translations done by others. This is another interesting area of medical writing that is hiring now - a lot of technical documents need a translation.

medical books


Technical writers can be found in so many professional fields. This is almost a universal job that can take you places. Medical writing is yet another great occupation open for tech comm specialists.

Although this particular field of knowledge requires a technical writer to meet certain standards, it is no way a 'restricted area'. Quite the contrary - medical writing is a great way to start a successful career. You might need to start small if you don't have a medical degree, but, anyway, this is such a great place to start - a huge industry with tremendous opportunities for growth and a plethora of things to do for a technical writer!

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
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