Exploring What Do Medical Writers Do for Health Literacy

Navigating the world of medical writing can be a daunting task for healthcare providers looking to hire. Medical writers play an integral role in translating complex scientific information into easy to understand language. This comprehensive guide will unravel the roles and responsibilities, required skills, benefits of hiring, and much more about these indispensable specialists.

Key Takeaways of What do Medical Writers do

  • Medical writers turn hard health facts into easy words.
  • These people work on a lot of texts. They write about drugs, diseases and study rules.
  • Education in life sciences and writing skills are key for this job.
  • Good medical writing is clear, correct and follows all rules.

Understanding Medical Writing

Medical writing is an essential component in healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, requiring the translation of complex scientific and clinical data into clear, concise language that can be understood by all stakeholders.

This profession goes beyond writing manuscripts or articles; medical writers also work on documents such as patient information leaflets, research protocols, and regulatory submissions.

These specialists not only have a strong understanding of medical terminology but are also skilled at explaining concepts to diverse audiences from doctors to patients. Proving their versatility, they can communicate scientifically rigorous yet comprehensible information through both educational and promotional material.

Definition and purpose

Medical writing means creating scientific texts about health and medicine. The main goal is to make clear, correct works that follow all rules. This work helps share facts about health and drugs.

Medical writers must be sure their work is right and follows the law. They write for doctors, nurses, or anyone who needs to learn about health in a simple way.

Examples of job roles

Medical writers have many roles. Here is a list of their job roles:

  1. Healthcare writing: They provide data about health issues.
  2. Medical communication: They share information between doctors and patients.
  3. Scientific writing: They write text for science books or websites.
  4. Pharmaceutical writing: They prepare drug details for companies.
  5. Biomedical writing: They write on biology and medicine topics.
  6. Health education: They create content to teach people about health.
  7. Clinical writing: They write about patient care in hospitals.
  8. Regulatory writing: They make sure medical texts follow the law.
  9. Medical journalism: They report on health news stories.
  10. Medical content creation: They make online posts about health topics.

The Responsibilities of a Medical Writer

Medical writers bear significant tasks ranging from creating a variety of document types, such as research reports, educational content and promotional materials, to effectively communicating complex medical information.

They work closely with healthcare professionals to ensure the precision of scientific and clinical data presented in these documents. Their job also involves achieving an appropriate balance between technical accuracy and readability for diverse audiences, including doctors, scientists, regulatory authorities and even the general public.

Types of documents created

Medical writers make many kinds of documents. Here is a list of some types they often work on:

  1. Drug-related papers: These can tell about the good and bad things a drug can do. They also talk about how the drug was made.
  2. Disease-related articles: These give knowledge about different health problems. They help people know more about these diseases.
  3. Regulatory items: Medical writers create these to follow laws on drugs and health.
  4. Research data: Medical writers write this to show the results of studies or tests.
  5. Protocols: This tells how a study or test should be done.
  6. Consent forms: People must sign these before they take part in a study or test.
  7. Technical content: This may include complex medical details written in an easy way.
  8. Teaching materials: These help others learn about medical topics in a clear way.
  9. Promotional pieces: Medical writers use these to tell people about new drugs or other medical products.

Collaboration with medical professionals

Medical writers work hand in hand with health experts. They connect with doctors, researchers, and biomedical scientists. The goal is to gather key data for their writing tasks. Medical journal editors and pharmaceutical industry leaders also share valuable insights.

This team effort assures the right information gets to patients and other people who need it. Many times, these professionals are from patient advocacy groups or regulatory authorities.

Required Skills and Qualifications

To become a successful medical writer, one must possess an educational background with degrees in science or healthcare fields. In addition to possessing comprehensive knowledge of medical terminology and principles, excellent technical writing skills are pivotal to create clear, concise medical content.

Moreover, meticulous attention to detail is indispensable as accuracy in presenting scientific data and adherence to various regulatory guidelines is paramount in this role.

Educational background

Medical writers have a rich educational past. They hold a degree in life sciences. Fields such as medicine, pharmacy and microbiology are common. Others may come from nutrition or dietetics.

This background helps them understand the medical field they write about. A bachelor’s degree is often needed for this job, but some go further to get higher degrees.

Technical writing skills

Medical writers need good technical writing skills. They use these skills to write and edit reports, manuals, guidelines, and articles. Being a good technical writer means you can take hard ideas and make them easy for all people to understand.

This skill helps medical writers talk between the tech teams and those who don’t know much about tech stuff. With strong technical writing skills, a medical writer can help fill in gaps in understanding different things in the healthcare field.

Attention to detail

Medical writers must have a keen eye for detail. They check facts carefully. Every word matters in the documents they write. Mistakes can lead to big problems. It’s not just about spelling or grammar errors.

The accuracy of medical information is very important too. This focus and exacting care make their work trusted by doctors and patients alike.

The Benefits of Hiring a Medical Writer

Hiring a medical writer imbues your work with accuracy and credibility, ensuring strict compliance with the ever-evolving regulations in the medical field. They play a significant role in streamlining communication within the healthcare sector, cutting through jargon to make complex scientific data understandable for all pertinent parties.

Accuracy and credibility

You get top-notch work when you hire a medical writer. They know their stuff and give you true, right information. Their expertise gives weight to the writing. Every fact checks out.

Every detail is spot on. A medical writer’s words stick to the truth always because they hold ethical standards high. The health topics they write about are well-researched and trustworthy.

You can count on them for clear, correct talk about health things even if your readers are not doctors or nurses.

Compliance with regulations

Hiring a medical writer is a bright idea. They make sure all work follows rules set by big health agencies. These writers fill out the right forms for new drug tests and treatments.

They write study reports that help drugs get approved faster. They check every detail in their reports to avoid errors. This helps you save time and keep your focus on patient care.

Improved communication

Hiring a medical writer brings better communication. They know how to say things in clear, easy words. This makes sure everyone gets the right info about health care. It’s not just about making it simple though.

Medical writers also make sure all details are correct and precise. This helps keep a good link between health experts and people who need their help, like you and your team.

How to Become a Medical Writer

Exploring the pathway to becoming a medical writer involves understanding the education and training options, choosing a specific specialization within the medical field, and gaining practical experience.

The detailed steps to achieve this exciting career promise rewarding opportunities in improving healthcare communication. To learn more about setting off on your journey as a skilled medical writer, continue reading below.

Education and training options

Medical writers have to learn many things to do their job well. Their education and training options might include:

  1. Science classes in high school. These are a good start for those who want to be medical writers.
  2. College or university degrees in medicine, health, science, or writing. These can give good knowledge for writing about medicine.
  3. Classes offered by professional groups like AMWA, DIA, and MWAI. They can help people who want to write about medicine get better at it.
  4. Courses that lead to a certificate. These can show that someone knows how to write about medicine well even if they don’t have work experience.
  5. Learning about public relations and copywriting skills can help with certain types of medical writing.

Specialization in a specific medical field

To become a good medical writer, you need to pick an area in medicine that you want to master. Learning more about this field will give you the knowledge you need. You will better understand what doctors are saying.

Your writing will have less mistakes and make more sense to readers. There are many paths like heart disease or bone health that you could choose from for your focus. Once chosen, read books on it and take classes if needed.

Join groups of other writers where you can learn and grow together. This way, your work stands out, showing both skill and deep understanding in every word.

Strategies for Success as a Medical Writer

To excel as a medical writer, building strong networks with healthcare professionals, obtaining continuous education and maintaining an impressive portfolio of work are critical. These strategies can significantly enhance your credibility in the field.


Making good connections is key for success in medical writing. Through networking, writers can learn in a casual way and find new jobs. Networking also builds strong personal ties.

These bonds can last a lifetime, helping to grow skills over time.

Writing samples can highlight the abilities of a medical writer. Sharing these works with others helps build their skill set. Networking not only brings job chances but also boosts learning about health writing craft from peers.

Continuing education

Staying sharp in the medical writing field demands continuing education. This means always learning about new things. It helps a medical writer to know what’s fresh and best in their field.

Training programs are good for this. They focus on both science and art of this type of writing. A group called the American Medical Writers Association gives resources to help with learning.

They also bring together people who do the same work for tips and talks, which is networking opportunities.

Building a portfolio

Building a portfolio helps medical writers show their skills. It gives them a body of work to share with people who may want to hire them. A good portfolio should have samples of different types of writing, such as research papers or articles about health issues.

Reading and researching more about medicine can make the writer’s work better. This also gives them more knowledge about the field they are writing in. Meeting other medical writers is another way to learn and grow in this career.

They can give advice, share tips, and help find job openings too.

Job Outlook and Average Salary for Medical Writers

Medical writers make good money. The usual yearly income is $73,117. This amount can change based on skills and years of work.

Job growth for medical writers is strong too. More jobs are out there every year. This means there are more chances to find a job in this field. It also shows that the need for medical writers is high.

Comparison to Other Healthcare Professions

In this section, we delve into a comparative analysis of medical writing with other healthcare professions, examining the unique aspects, overlapping areas and highlighting relevant professional associations and resources available.

Differences and similarities

Medical Writers hold a unique position among healthcare professionals. They share several similarities with their peers, but also have distinct differences that set them apart. Here’s an overview outlined in an HTML table:

Role similarities differences Medical Writers like other healthcare professionals, medical writers need to have a solid understanding of medical terminology, concepts, and regulations. They also need strong written communication skills to convey complex information clearly and effectively. The main difference is their role in healthcare. While others provide direct patient care, medical writers focus on communicating medical information to specific audiences through various types of documents. 

They may also need additional technical writing skills, a keen eye for detail, and the ability to work under strict deadlines.

Medical Assistants Medical assistants and medical writers both need to have a comprehensive understanding of medical terminology and procedures. They also need to be organized, detail-oriented, and have strong interpersonal skills. The primary distinction is that medical assistants often have a more hands-on role with patients, assisting doctors with examinations and sometimes performing minor medical procedures. 

They generally have more direct contact with patients, as compared to medical writers. Nurses both nurses and medical writers, require a broad knowledge of medical concepts and terminology. They also need to have excellent communication skills, as they both relay important healthcare information.

Nurses are typically more hands-on in patient care and require more clinical skills. Medical writers, on the other hand, primarily work behind the scenes, conveying important healthcare information through written content. Nurses’ tasks are more immediate and patient-centric, while medical writers work to communicate complex health information to broader audiences.

Professional associations and resources

Hiring a writer for healthcare needs is done best with help from professional groups and tools. These offer a way to find skilled medical writers.

  1. American Medical Writers Association (AMWA): This big group helps in the medical writing field. It gives training and job tips too.
  2. European Medical Writers Association (EMWA): This group works like the AMWA but in Europe.
  3. International Society for Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP): This global group aims to set good type rules for healthcare writing.
  4. Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS): BELS tests and rates editors in the life sciences field, including medical writers.
  5. World Association of Medical Editors (WAME): WAME is a global network of editors who are pushing for better healthcare publishing.
  6. Drug Information Association (DIA): DIA offers education and makes networks for healthcare professionals, including medical writers.
  1. Freelancer sites: Websites like Upwork or Fiverr have sections where you can hire freelance medical writers.
  2. Job boards: Websites like Indeed or LinkedIn post jobs in the healthcare field, including ones for medical writers.

The Field of Medical Writing

Medical writing is a diverse profession that encompasses many facets of the medical industry. From crafting content for pharmaceutical companies to reporting on the latest clinical trials for medical journals, medical writers possess specialized knowledge and skills. These professionals play a critical role in disseminating medical research and information across the healthcare industry.

Many medical writers focus on creating content for regulatory documents and clinical trial protocols. Their regulatory medical writing ensures these materials meet the strict guidelines of government agencies. Other writers develop patient education materials and resources for medical practitioners. Some pursue medical communications careers, such as writing for medical conferences or pharmaceutical companies.

To become a professional medical writer, individuals typically obtain a master’s degree or higher in a scientific field. Strong writing scientific documents skills are essential as well. Medical writers must have excellent command of complex medical vocabulary and be able to synthesize detailed scientific documents like clinical study reports.

Advanced expertise in areas like medical research, clinical trials, or medical devices allows writers to provide specialized services to pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies. For instance, writers focused on regulatory submission documents help shepherd new drugs or innovations through approval processes.

The medical writing profession continues to expand along with growth in fields like medical science and health outcomes research. As a competent medical writer, you can pursue opportunities in traditional print publications, healthcare websites, educational materials, and more while applying specialized knowledge of medicine and professional writing skills. Whether penning patient stories, news articles, or in-depth scientific publications, medical writers fulfill an important role in shaping medical communications and education.

Frequently Asked Questions about What do Medical Writers do

1. What Does a Medical Writer Do?

A medical writer creates clear and accurate documents about health topics for different audiences.

2. Do Medical Writers Need Special Training?

Yes, medical writers often have degrees in science or medicine and take extra courses to learn how to write well.

3. Who Reads the Things that a Medical Writer Writes?

Medical writers create content for many people, like doctors, patients, scientists, and drug companies.

4. Can Anyone Become a Medical Writer?

While anyone can try to be a medical writer, it’s best if you have strong knowledge of medicine and good writing skills.

5. Why Are There Jobs for Medical Writers?

Doctors and other health workers need easy-to-read documents to stay informed about new drugs or treatments, so they hire Medical Writers.

Conclusion and Summary of Exploring What Do Medical Writers Do for Health Literacy

Medical writers play a big part in the health field. They write clear, easy-to-read documents. These texts help doctors, scientists and even the public understand health information.

They follow strict rules to make sure their work is true and fair. Medical writers are valuable to many places like drug companies, research groups or schools.

Medical writers are indispensable professionals in the healthcare industry. They possess specialized expertise that allows them to transform complex medical data into accessible language for diverse audiences. As outlined in this guide, medical writers create a vast array of documents that facilitate the communication of vital health information.

From crafting patient education resources to developing protocols for pharmaceutical clinical trials, their work spans many facets of medicine. Excellent scientific knowledge and writing skills enable them to synthesize technical details into comprehensible content. Medical writers collaborate closely with professionals like doctors and researchers to ensure accuracy.

Their mastery of regulatory guidelines helps bring drugs and devices to market efficiently. As the field continues evolving, opportunities for skilled medical writers to apply their expertise should only expand further. By conveying medical science clearly, these professionals fulfill a critical role in advancing education, research, and innovation in healthcare.

Marty Stewart