Medical Writing

Career from Physician to Medical Writer

Career Physician To Medical Writer

Physician with writing flair can pursue a career in medical writing for better job opportunities. Medical writing involves writing of different types of disease or drug-related scientific documents; promotional and educational literature; regulatory and research-related documents; publication of review articles, journal manuscripts and abstracts; content for healthcare websites; health-related news articles or magazines.  

Healthcare professionals as writers

Healthcare providers like physician, doctors, therapists, nurses and other experts are often interested in medical writing. Writing positions for healthcare professionals include editing articles for peer reviewed journals; scientific writing for medical device and pharmaceutical companies; technical writing for health regulators; textbook writing and editing; writing articles for health magazines, newspapers and online websites. This provides better use of medical knowledge, extra source of income, more flexibility and autonomy to healthcare professionals. Writers should be familiar with medical concepts and terminology; knowledge of relevant structure, contents and guidelines of specific documents; understanding medical literature search; presenting research data; document review process; possess good writing, editing and publishing skills.  Medical writers can either freelance or publish their own materials.

Physicians as Medical Writers

Most physicians focus on interesting areas that use hard-earned medical knowledge and pay fairly to provide extra income and experience valued by a lot of clients. Physicians with appropriate skills and interests can pursue jobs in medical writing in pharmaceutical companies, medical communication agencies, medical education institutes, journalism and regulatory organisations. Physicians are involved in medical writing by freelance clients and deliverables that include promotional medical, continuing medical education, scientific manuscripts and medical communications. Medical communication companies specialize in providing valuable support in marketing products of pharma, biotech and medical device industries; therapeutic education to clinicians and disseminating the results of clinical trials or producing manuscripts based on clinical data from research studies. This includes development of journal manuscripts, slide decks or presentations, promotional materials, internal and external learning resources. Medical communication organizations offer services related to stakeholder engagement, strategic publication planning, competition and market analysis. 

Scientific research article writing and editing jobs can take two main forms of editing manuscript drafts and ghost-writing entire manuscripts. Physicians depending on the circumstances can be involved in medical journalism as a credited author or a ghost-writer that are not listed as author. Physician can share in-depth knowledge of a specific research area or medical topic to meet with educational needs of the healthcare providers. The results of surveys and studies, focus groups, expert interviews and other data are presented in written document that provides learning objectives and summarized findings. Some of the writing items are in the form of multiple choice questions and references to support the correct answer; information condensed into tables or figures; medical topics summarized into bulleted lists or concise paragraphs and explanation of difficult concepts in simple language. Experienced physician involved in clinical study or trial can also become medical writers and earn money writing materials for medical education institutes. Medical journalism includes writing patient educational handouts of medical practice used in healthcare setting and copy of marketing services delivered to patients. Physician can quickly and efficiently provide medical writing material for patients as audience. A few organizations like healthcare product and service delivery companies, health or medical non-profits agencies and health insurers hire freelance medical writers for patient informational publications. 

Online Medical Writing Course at JLI

James Lind Institute (JLI) provides online programs – Advanced PG Diploma in Clinical Research & Medical writing and Advanced PG Diploma in Scientific Writing and Medical Journalism for medical and allied professionals to take on medical and scientific writing as a career option or for continuous learning. 

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