How to Get a Medical Writing Job
  • 4-minute read
  • 26th November 2023

How to Get a Medical Writing Job

Medical writing is a niche branch of writing that focuses on creating content related to health care, the pharmaceutical industry, biotechnology, and other medical or scientific fields. Because of its highly specialized, technical nature, medical writing is always an in-demand skill.

So can you get a medical writing job, even if you don’t have a health care background? Yes, and we’ll tell you how! In this post, we’ll take a closer look at medical writing and how to pursue it as a career. 

What Is Medical Writing?

Medical writing is a form of technical writing in the field of health care and medicine. The target audience is typically those who work in or are involved in some way with the medical industry, such as doctors, nurses, regulatory authorities, patients, and hospital administrators. Medical writing can be in the following forms:

  • Clinical study reports
  • Research papers
  • Patient education pamphlets
  • Marketing materials
  • Medical journal articles

Medical writing is not always geared toward an expert audience; it’s sometimes used to communicate complex medical information to the general public. So the tone and the use of jargon will vary depending on the target audience. 

You don’t need to have a specialized degree or medical background to get a job as a medical writer (although it helps). However, you do need to have strong writing skills, an understanding of medical terminology, and solid research skills. Next, let’s look at the steps you can take if you’re interested in pursuing a medical writing job.

Choose a Concentration and Study Examples

With such a diverse range of work environments in the medical field, narrowing your focus before you begin your job search can help. Do you want to write for a nonprofit group? A pharmaceutical company? A government agency? You should also decide the specific area you’d like to specialize in (e.g., current events, research, pharmaceuticals). Choose a path based on your background, interests, and the type of job you’d like to do. If your ultimate goal is to work full-time as a writer, you could pursue a job at a company or other organization. If your aim is to work part-time or freelance, you could seek work with small businesses or individual clients. 

If you don’t have a health care background, you’ll also need to get familiar with the relevant medical and scientific terminology. Read as much high-quality medical writing as you can, such as academic journals, research papers, and reports. Not only do these help you stay current with industry standards; they also give you an idea of the kind of work future clients will expect from you. 

Get Certified and Network With Other Professionals

If you don’t have a degree in the medical field, consider taking a medical writing course and earning a professional certificate. Doing this boosts your credibility with potential clients and opens more job prospects. 

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When searching for job opportunities, having connections in the industry also helps.  

Network with other medical writers by attending conferences and workshops or joining a professional association. Many professional organizations, such as the American Medical Writers Association, also post job opportunities on their websites. 

Develop an Online Presence 

Get your name out there by updating your LinkedIn page to reflect the skills employers are looking for and by creating profiles on popular online freelance marketplaces, such as Fiverr and Upwork. Freelancing is a great way to build your writing portfolio before applying to full-time medical writing jobs. 

You can also create your own professional website to promote your services and showcase your writing portfolio. Don’t worry – you don’t need to be a tech wizard to create your own website. A number of website-building tools are available online to help you get started. 

Ensure Your Application Stands Out

When applying for jobs, tailor your applications and pitches to each specific role you apply for and include an up-to-date resume and cover letter. Increase your chances of getting noticed by potential employers by having your resume and cover letters professionally proofread and edited. Even subtle grammatical errors or inconsistencies in your application can hurt your chances of securing a job.

Proofed’s resume editing services can help you stand out among the competition and land your ideal medical writing job. Not convinced yet? Send in a free sample and see for yourself!

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