Due to the Internet’s domination, more and more people are becoming content writers. This opens up the demand for more specialised writers, including sports writers, political writers, legal writers – and medical writers.
What Is Medical Writing?
Any writer must possess a certain amount of knowledge about the subject they’re writing about. A lot of copywriters are hired hands who get to write about a variety of different things, from soccer to basketball, nutrition to health and wellbeing, politics to blogging, and so on and so on. The general idea is that the writer does a bit of research on the topic and comes up with an informed article that engages the reader and imparts a good amount of information.
Medical writing is more specialised. Medical writing requires the writer to understand exactly what they’re writing about because they’re not simply writing about something – they’re also interpreting it and discussing it. A medical writer writes scientific documents, which includes medical literature, magazine articles, manuscripts, medical abstracts, content for medical websites, and even news articles for a variety of people, including doctors, physicians, regulators and patients.
The content will be centred on topics such as disease, drugs, the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare, medicine as well as a whole wealth of subjects in the life sciences. Medical writing is a specialised, niche type of writing that requires the writer to understand not just the vast amount of medical topics, but also terminology, the target audience, as well as existing medical literature and the data they will be researching and presenting. Target audience is important because the tone of the piece is paramount in medical writing.
Knowing what is medical writing is therefore knowing that not just any copy writer can become a medical writer – a certain amount of expertise is required. But because the demand for these writers is getting bigger, more and more writers are considering a career in this sector.
How To Become A Medical Writer
How to become a medical writer? Good question! Let’s take a look:
Good Grasp of Language
It sounds obvious that a writer needs to have a good grasp of language, but the truth is that there are a handful of bad content writers out there who are cluttering websites up with their poor grammar. In medical writing, your grammar and language has to be exemplary because the information you are communicating has to be absolutely perfect. Medical writing has a lot of technical information to convey, and for this reason it’s imperative that the grammar is as good as it should be.
Although it’s not essential that a medical writer goes to medical school before becoming a medical writer, academic knowledge of the life sciences certainly helps. If you can’t afford to study medicine at University, it might be helpful to at least devote some time to reading medical books so as to familiarise yourself with the terminology and concepts. Becoming a medical writer without the adequate knowledge will only prove difficult.
Build A Portfolio Of Work
Medical writing is very niche and specialised, and whilst the demand for medical writers is certainly growing, employers will want to see some evidence of your work before they hire you. In short, they want to know that you can write scientific documents. For this reason, it’s worth taking the time to do a few small freelance jobs before you launch yourself full-time into this career.
Develop Research Skills
Medical writers have to do a lot of research for their documents. They have to do much more research than the average copy writer, and for this reason anyone looking to become a competent medical writer must be able to demonstrate good research skills. More than that, you need to be able to interpret and present your research and data.
More than anything, medical writers must absolutely understand what they’re writing about. Medicine is certainly not a subject you can easily research on the Internet before coming up with an article in 20 minutes. It requires diligence, though, and the ability to comprehend data and analysis.
Where To Find Medical Writing Jobs
There are a number of places to look if you want to know where to find medical writing jobs. You can check general job websites, or you can look at medical job boards – of which there are a significant number. There are also freelancing job boards where employers often post medical writing jobs. Companies in the medical industry also advertise, whilst there are groups on Facebook and LinkedIn too.
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