The Science of Medical Writers: Making Medicine Easier to Swallow
Medical writers might not have the same training as a doctor or other medical professional, but this does not mean their writing isn’t important. In fact, the medical writer (or, more broadly, medical communicator) is a person who takes on other tasks that the doctors, scientists, and other medical professionals may not want to or be able to handle on their own.
Here are some of the types of tasks often performed by a medical communicator:
- Describe research results – according to the needs of the audience, which may include the public as well as health care professionals or scientists.
- Create documentation for product use – such as pharmaceuticals or medical devices, helping to educate the consumer or the medical professional on the safe and effective use of the product.
- Create regulatory documents for government agencies – such as new drug applications or FDA briefing documents.
- Write patient educational materials – including brochures, news articles, Web content, and books.
- Create sales training and marketing materials – for the pharmaceutical industry and other affiliated medical professions
A medical writer’s tasks and the standards that guide their deliverables can vary greatly depending on the audience and the extent to which those deliverables are subject to regulatory scrutiny. For example, many documents need to comply not only with what information must be conveyed, but in some cases with regulatory guidelines for formatting and structure of those documents.
While it’s true that many medical writers find themselves in the drug or biotech industries, medical communicators are important in a wide variety of settings, some calling for generalists and some for specialists.
Some people specialize in scientific writing and/or editing for medical professionals. Others work in medical marketing, advertising, or public relations, or in journalism, writing for a lay audience and/or medical professionals. Some communicators are freelances and work in one or more areas. Source: Where do medical communicators work?, American Medical Writers Association (AMWA)
Another career option? Fantastic. The world can always use a few more writers.
Need a medical writer? Whether you need contract or direct-hire, we can recommend one or more medical writers with the appropriate skills, experience, and location who can get the project done right and on time.