Medical Writer Job Description to Attract Candidates

Navigating the complex world of medical writing can be challenging. With a multitude of roles and responsibilities, it’s crucial to understand what exactly is expected from a medical writer.

This article breaks down the intricate job description of a medical writer, providing an in-depth look into their various functions within healthcare industries.

Key Takeaways of Medical Writer Job Description

  • A medical writer turns hard science facts into clear and simple words. They help others understand complex health topics.
  • Medical writers work in areas like healthcare, research, and drug making. They write for websites, brochures, reports and more.
  • You need great writing skills to be a good medical writer. You must also know about medicine and be able to handle tricky details well.
  • To become a top medical writer you need a good degree. Courses in science or medicine can help too. It’s important to keep learning all the time.

What is a Medical Writer?

A medical writer is a specialized, professional communicator whose primary role involves converting complex scientific or medical information into a format that’s easily understandable to the target audience.

They can work in various sectors such as pharmaceutical industries, healthcare organizations, and research institutions. The types of medical writing range from educational literature and promotional materials for general audiences to detailed reports for medical professionals.


A medical writer is a pro at making scientific facts easy to read. They take complex ideas and turn them into clear words. This helps people understand medicine better. Medical writers often have deep knowledge about health or drugs.

They use this knowledge to create many things like web pages, brochures, and guides for patients. A big part of their job is generating content that shares truths about science and medicine in different formats.

Types of Medical Writing

Medical writing comes in many forms. It is a vital job in the health field. There are many types of medical writing.

  1. Scientific Writing: This type makes use of facts from studies and research.
  2. Healthcare Communication: This form talks to the public about health matters.
  3. Medical Communication: This kind focuses on sharing info with doctors and other health workers.
  4. Medical Documentation: This type deals with important papers like patient records and reports.
  5. Pharmaceutical Writing: In this form, writers create texts about drugs for companies.
  6. Clinical Research Writing: Writers in this area put facts from medical trials in writing.
  7. Healthcare Content Creation: This genre is about making articles, blogs, or videos for health websites.
  8. Healthcare Marketing Materials: Writers make ads and brochures to promote health products or services.
  9. Biomedical Writing: Biomedical writers write about topics at the crossroads of biology and medicine.
  10. Regulatory Medical Writing: A regulatory writer works on materials that meet rules set by the government.

Roles and Responsibilities

A medical writer’s responsibilities are diverse, including the accurate communication of scientific information to a target audience. They work in collaboration with cross-functional teams that may consist of experts from various fields such as science and marketing.

The job involves substantial research and writing tasks, crafting documents like regulatory submissions or educational materials. A part of their role also encompasses making presentations and ensuring any publications produced adhere to relevant regulations and guidelines.

Communication of scientific information

A medical writer takes hard science stuff and makes it easy to get. They take tough words and change them into simple ones. A good one must know how to tell a clear story. This skill helps doctors, scientists, and others understand big ideas without trouble.

Their job is to write this information in a way that carries weight but is easy for everyone to grasp. How they write depends on who will read their work. The writer may need to use more detail for some than others.

Collaboration with cross functional teams

A medical writer works with many teams. These teams come from different parts of a company. This is known as collaboration with cross-functional teams. These teams have people who do not all do the same job.

They each have their own skills and knowledge areas. Working together, they can reach a common goal easier and faster. In healthcare, these groups team up to give total care for patients’ health needs.

It makes sure everyone knows what they should do and keeps track of goals better.

Research and writing

Medical writers must do a lot of research and writing. They use science facts to write papers about health care or medicine. These papers often talk about new ways to treat diseases with drugs.

They are key in clinical research work. The best medical writers can take hard-to-understand details and make them easy for others to read.

They play a huge role in the healthcare industry too. Medical writers create newspaper articles, magazine stories, grant ideas, and big talks. All these things help people learn more about health care or medicine topics they want to know about.

Publication and presentation

Medical writers take part in publication and presentation. They turn scientific data into clear messages. This role needs strong writing skills. First, they write medical content for print and digital use.

Next, they present research findings to different groups of people. They also review documents before they are printed or shown online. And lastly, all work must meet publishing rules and guidelines.

To do this well, a good understanding of the peer review process is key.

Regulations and guidelines

A significant part of a medical writer’s job is following rules and guides. These might be laws, standards, or protocols set by the FDA or other health groups. They have to write papers in ways that meet such rules.

Medical writers also help make clinical files for national groups who look at medical goods. It’s crucial they know these guidelines well. Working with them daily ensures their writing will pass all checks without issues.

Attributes of a Medical Writer

A medical writer must possess strong writing skills and attention to detail, along with an extensive knowledge of medical terminology. Their ability to decipher and work effectively with technical information is essential; this attribute allows for the production of accurate, clear, and concise content that meets the needs of diverse audiences in the healthcare industry.

Strong writing skills

A medical writer must have strong writing skills. Clear and easy to read text is key in this job. Medical writers need to explain hard ideas in simple ways. This helps doctors, nurses, and other health workers understand the message.

Also, a good medical writer knows how to write for different people. They change their style based on who will read their work. For example, they use less jargon when writing for the public than for doctors or scientists.

These skills make them able to share important health information with everyone.

Attention to detail

A medical writer must have sharp eyes. He or she has to look at every small thing. This means they have to check their work for errors many times. They always need to get the facts right.

Small mistakes can lead to big problems in this job. Good medical writers also see how ideas link to each other in a clear way. This skill helps them write well about complex topics in medicine and health care.

Knowledge of medical terminology

Medical writers should know medical terms well. This helps them write clearly about health and medicine topics. They can make hard ideas easy to understand. They work with doctors, scientists, and others in the healthcare field because of it.

This also helps them follow the right rules for writing about these things. Their main job is to create content for places like websites or brochures that help teach patients. Knowing medical words makes their work better and more helpful.

Ability to work with technical information

A medical writer handles complex details with care. They dive deep into health topics and use hard facts to write. Medical writers take raw data, technical reports, and study results to make clear sentences.

Their work helps doctors, nurses, and others understand tough ideas much better. This skill lets them help in the making of drug guides, patient education papers, and more.


To excel as a medical writer, a certain set of qualifications is necessary. These range from an in-depth understanding of healthcare and medicine to honing general knowledge and skills like strong written communication, proficiency in digital tools, and the ability to comprehend complex medical jargon.

Domain knowledge in healthcare and medicine

A medical writer must know a lot about healthcare and medicine. This deep knowledge helps in writing clear, right words for medical ideas. It is also useful when writing about complex health topics.

A well read medical writer can talk about different areas in healthcare with ease. These might include disease types, treatments or drugs, clinical tests, and more. Knowing these things means the writer can make hard ideas easier to understand.

Those who hire such writers value this skill greatly. The need for it has pushed many writers to study extra courses in science or medicine.

General knowledge and skills

A medical writer needs general knowledge and skills. They must know the language of medicine. They also need to understand research in healthcare. Medical writers work with many facts.

They have to be clear when they explain them in writing. It is key that a medical writer can do more than one task at the same time. This is because they often have different jobs on hand.

Making sure every detail is correct is a big part of their work.

Steps to Becoming a Medical Writer

Becoming a medical writer involves choosing a specific path within the field, obtaining necessary educational degrees, taking part in specialized courses, building an impressive portfolio of work, joining professional associations for networking opportunities and continuously expanding your expertise through ongoing learning.

Navigate these steps to embark on this rewarding career journey that combines science with communication skills.

Choosing a path

To become a medical writer, the first big step is choosing a path. This choice can shape one’s career in many ways. Some may prefer scientific writing, while others might find more joy in health journalism or technical writing.

Each path has its own demands and skills.

Next comes higher education. One must earn a degree to build on that chosen path. For some, this could mean getting a degree in healthcare or medicine. Others might opt for degrees linked to writing such as English or communications studies.

Either way, specialized training and skill development play key roles later on.

Earning a degree

A degree is a must in the medical writing industry. A person aims to be a writer in healthcare, needs an education from life sciences or pharmacy. Some jobs want a master’s degree or even higher.

After school ends, getting certified can show you are fit for this job. This step boosts your professional credentials and meets job requirements. So, earning a degree helps career development greatly in this field.

Taking specialized courses

Special courses can help a person become a great medical writer. These courses teach about medicine and how to write well. They also give the knowledge needed for this type of work.

There are classes on drug names, diseases, and health care laws. Some may even focus on writing rules and ways to make your work better. Such learning can boost skills and open more job options in the healthcare field.

A good medical writer knows their stuff because they learned from special courses like these.

Building a portfolio

A portfolio is key to becoming a medical writer. You need to gather all your work in one place. This shows what you can do. Your writing skills and your knowledge are on display here.

It should have different kinds of work, like reports or articles. The best work should be on top. Make it easy for people to look through it too. This will help when you apply for jobs or freelance gigs.

Joining professional associations

Medical writers should think about joining professional groups. These groups offer many good things. Work chances are one of them. In these groups, medical writers will find information on job openings.

Joining a professional group does more than help with jobs. It also helps people make connections in the field. These contacts can give new writers support and advice. They can also share their knowledge, which is always useful to have.


Networking plays a big role in the career of a medical writer. It helps them form strong links with other professionals. In this field, they can learn new things about medicine and health care.

By going to workshops or meetings, they can meet other experts. They talk, share ideas and find out what’s fresh in their field of work. Networking also opens doors for job chances and bettering careers.

Joining groups that have people who do the same work is useful too. Online talks also give them ways to connect and learn more from others.

Continuously expanding expertise

In the fast-paced world of medicine, it’s vital for a medical writer to keep learning. They must stay up to date with new data and trends in healthcare. This means reading research papers, attending workshops, and joining webinars.

This regular study helps them understand complex health topics. It also lets them give you the best service possible. So, when hiring a medical writer, make sure they are committed to expanding their expertise all the time.

Work Environments

Medical writers can find employment in a range of industries, including pharmaceutical companies, healthcare organizations, and research institutions. They also have the flexibility to work as freelancers, allowing them the freedom to choose projects that align with their expertise and interests.

Various industries

Medical writers find jobs in many places. They work with drug companies and in clinical research groups. Some work for the government and others write news about health care. Many choose to write on their own as freelancers.

In fields like bioengineering and biomedical research, medical writers are needed too. They help in making scientific reports clear and easy to understand. Companies that make medical devices often look for writers with five years of experience or more.

In public health groups, they use their skills to share important health information with the public.

Freelance work

Freelance medical writers are key players in the healthcare field. They get jobs from many clients and not just one boss. They work on writing projects that share science and health news with others.

Big tasks can include writing about new ways to make people healthy or sharing results of big studies. These freelance workers have a chance to help improve health everywhere. They pick their own hours but must meet all deadlines given by their clients.

This kind of job is perfect for people who love research, enjoy writing, and want to learn about health every day.

Salary and Job Outlook

Within the medical writing field, salaries can vary significantly depending on experience level, specialty area, and geographic location. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that technical writers in healthcare earn an average salary ranging from $58k to $114k per year.

In terms of job outlook, the BLS predicts a steady growth rate for this profession over the next decade due to increased demand for medical communication in pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, and health insurance firms.

This indicates promising prospects for aspiring medical writers seeking rewarding careers with competitive pay structures.

Average salary

The average salary for a medical writer varies significantly depending on several factors such as expertise, location, type of employer, and individual level of experience. Potential employers should be aware of these factors when determining a competitive salary for a medical writer position. The table below provides average salary figures for medical writers in the United States:

These figures should guide healthcare and medical providers in offering competitive salaries to attract and retain talented medical writers. Please note, these figures are averages and actual compensation can vary.

Projected growth

Medical writers are in high demand and the job outlook is promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of technical writers, including medical writers, is projected to grow 17% by 2026, which is faster than the average for all occupations.

This strong growth is driven by the increasing need to communicate complex medical information to patients, healthcare professionals, and regulatory bodies. Therefore, healthcare and medical providers looking to hire a writer should consider a medical writer as a valuable addition to their team.

Career Path

In the field of medical writing, professionals can look forward to a variety of career advancement opportunities such as becoming a Senior Medical Writer, Editorial Manager, or even Director of Medical Writing.

These roles offer increased responsibilities and managerial tasks that challenge writers to further hone their skills and expertise. Often, these advancements come with rich experience in handling complex projects encompassing various therapeutic areas and different types of regulatory documentation.

Ultimately, the road to success in this profession is marked by continuous learning, dedication towards quality workmanship, and an inherent passion for healthcare communication.

Advancement opportunities

Medical writers gain more skills with time. This growth lets them move up to higher jobs like editors. They can also lead teams in big health care or medicine projects. The job of a medical writer is not static, it grows and evolves over time.

This career offers ways for people to learn and develop new skills constantly.

The Path to Becoming a Medical Writer

Medical writers come from diverse backgrounds, but most possess a college degree in a field like science, health, or communications. Many choose to pursue an advanced degree as well, which provides more insight into medical concepts and technical documents. Useful areas of study include life sciences, pharmacy, English, journalism, or technical communications.

Regardless of one’s academic path, many medical writers also benefit from getting hands-on experience through internships at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, medical journals, hospitals, or other healthcare settings. This allows them to develop professional writing skills and gain practical knowledge of the medical industry.

Ongoing training is also valuable. Medical writers can take courses on regulatory documents, clinical study reports, and other guidelines they must follow. Some join the American Medical Writers Association to connect with other medical writers and medical editors. This helps them stay current on best practices.

With dedication and diligence, aspiring medical writers can gain expertise in conveying complex medical information accurately and clearly. Their role involves creating materials like newspaper articles, press releases, clinical trial protocols, and reports for the general public, health workers, and medical journals.

Throughout their career, they must meet tight deadlines and ensure documents comply with laws and protocols. As they gain more proficiency, new job opportunities open with different companies across the medical field and pharmaceutical industry. By articulating the intricacies of medical research and drug development, medical writers make a valuable impact on medical science communication.

Frequently Asked Questions about Medical Writer Job Description

1. What Does a Medical Writer Do?

A medical writer creates clear and accurate documents about health and medicine.

2. Who can Become a Medical Writer?

Anyone with strong writing skills, an interest in healthcare, and a science background can aim to be a medical writer.

3. Do you Need any Special Training to Become a Medical Writer?

Yes, having training or background in life sciences or pharmaceuticals is helpful for becoming a successful medical writer.

4. Are there Different Types of Jobs for Writers in the Field of Medicine?

Yes, there are several types of roles like regulatory writers who write study reports, manuals etc., educational writers create training materials while promotional writers deal with advertising content.

5. Is Knowing More than One Language Valuable for Being a Medical Writer?

Knowing more than one language could be useful as it allows translation of complex scientific details into another tongue when required.

Conclusion and Summary of Medical Writer Job Description to Attract Candidates

Being a medical writer is important. They help explain hard science ideas in easy words. They also write about new treatments and care ways. Medical writers make it easy for others to learn about health and medicine.

The role of a medical writer is multifaceted. They are adept communicators who make complex scientific and medical information accessible to diverse audiences. Medical writers require excellent writing skills, attention to detail, and a solid grasp of medical concepts. They collaborate with experts across healthcare to transform data into clear narratives, whether crafting clinical trial reports or public health materials.

While backgrounds vary, most pursue specialized education in scientific or writing disciplines. Hands-on training and membership in professional groups help medical writers stay current. As they gain experience translating dense technical details into plain language, opportunities grow.

Pharmaceutical companies, research facilities, and medical journals rely on medical writers to accurately convey medical research and drug particulars to the public, healthcare workers, regulators, and each other. It is a career path defined by lifelong learning and a passion for elucidating medicine’s complexities.

Marty Stewart