What Does a Medical Writer Do in the Health Industry?

As critical contributors in the healthcare industry, medical writers are responsible for crafting educational materials on various health topics.

This comprehensive guide will clarify their responsibilities, required skills, and steps to become one.

Key Takeaways of What Does a Medical Writer Do

  • A medical writer shares health facts in a simple way. They can work on papers for patients, doctors, or websites.
  • The writer needs to learn well. This includes getting good grades and degrees. Training classes also help.
  • Writers team up with experts like doctors and scientists. They make sure research findings are clear and true.
  • Medical writing has special areas too. Some writers focus on making trials easy to understand while others share new health ideas in a fun way.
  • Having a medical writer is great. Their work makes hard things easy to grasp. It also saves time for busy doctors.
  • To become one, you need many skills like clear talk and knowing special terms used by doctors.
  • Networking can open doors for medical writers as it allows them to meet people who might be able to offer advice or job opportunities.

What is a Medical Writer?

A medical writer is a person who uses words to share health facts. They write about science and medicine for different people to read. This includes doctors, patients, or anyone who needs to learn about health topics.

They use their skills in writing and knowledge of medicine to create important documents. These can include things like brochures for patients, website content, or reports on clinical trials for new drugs.

Medical writers work hand in hand with other professionals in the healthcare field as well as the pharmaceutical industry. They help make complex medical information easy for everyone to understand.

Background and Education

To become a proficient medical writer, one must possess certain educational qualifications. Typically, this includes at least a bachelor’s degree in life sciences or medicine-related fields.

Advancing to higher degrees like master’s can boost career prospects, as can specialized certificate courses in medical writing and communication that provide advanced knowledge of the domain.

Bachelor’s degree

A bachelor’s degree is the first big step to become a medical writer. It is important for this job. Most people get their bachelor’s degree in English, science, or a health field. This helps them learn how to write well and understand medical stuff.

A person who wants to be a medical writer should do good at school. Getting high grades can give more chances for jobs later on. Having a bachelor’s degree meets basic needs for most jobs in writing about medicine.

With these skills, one can start to work on bigger things like master’s degrees or certificate courses.

Master’s degree

Going for a master’s degree is often the next step. This higher education can fine-tune skills and deepen knowledge. It focuses on more advanced studies in fields like health, science, or technical writing.

The specialized knowledge gained here is key for a medical writer. They learn complex terms and principles that they will use every day in their job. A lot of jobs need this graduate degree because it means the person understands well and can handle tasks better.

Medical writers with postgraduate education have high proficiency which sets them apart from others in this field.

Certificate courses

Certificate courses give extra training for medical writers. Many groups offer these classes, like the American Medical Writers Association. They teach about writing in special areas of medicine.

These courses are a good way to show your skills and get better at your job. Often, they lead to more job options in medical writing. Plus, taking classes is a sign that you want to keep learning and stay up to date in your field.

Responsibilities of a Medical Writer

A medical writer amalgamates adept writing skills with a profound understanding of clinical research principles to produce a spectrum of healthcare and medicine-related documents, working in close liaison with doctors and scientists.

Working closely with doctors and scientists

Medical writers team up with doctors and scientists. They use their skills to write about health topics. Their job is to make sure that the facts are right.

They also help doctors and scientists share their study findings. This helps spread the word about new medical research. The work of a medical writer can lead to better healthcare for everyone.

Producing technical and informative documents

A key job for a medical writer is to make technical and informative papers. This work involves mixing health facts with research. Writers make contents such as drug or disease data, schooling material, and promo writing.

These are not just right but also simple to get by readers without a doctor’s knowledge. The goal is clear talk about complex health matters that can be understood by all.

Promoting research and medical findings

Medical writers play a key role in sharing new health findings. They take data from experts and put it into words we all can understand. Their work helps doctors learn about new treatments or ways to stop disease.

Medical writers also make sure that their writing is clear and correct. This way, patients, doctors, and others know they are getting true facts. This job takes skills in both science and writing to do well.

Types of Medical Writing

Medical writing has various specialized dimensions, including regulatory medical writing which involves preparing documents for regulatory agencies, medical communications writing that encompasses educating healthcare professionals or the general public about health conditions and treatments, and translation of complex scientific data into understandable reports.

Regulatory medical writing

Regulatory medical writing is a big part of what a medical writer does. This type has to do with clinical trials and research documents. Medical writers in this area work on very important pieces such as study protocols and brochures for investigators.

These writers help to make trial results clear for regulatory agencies. They play a key role in the way these agencies get and understand information about new trials and studies.

Medical communications writing

Medical communications writing is a key job in the medical field. It needs a mix of science know-how and good talk skills. The writers work on important papers about things like new drugs or diseases.

They take hard facts and turn them into clear notes for people who don’t study medicine. It’s their job to make sure doctors, scientists, and others can share their work with everyone else.

These writers are skilled at putting together pieces that are easy to read but still full of detail. If you’re looking for someone who gets science and knows how to spread the word, get a medical writer who focuses on communication.


Medical writers use their linguistic skills to change clinical data into other languages. They deal with complex medical terms and make them easy for anyone to understand. They work side by side with translators.

Their key role is to ensure the most accurate translation of medical facts. This task is vital when making health brochures or guides for patients. It helps everyone get clear, correct information about a disease or drug in a language they know well.

Benefits of Having a Medical Writer

Hiring a medical writer brings many good things. You get clear and accurate paperwork. Medical terms can be hard to understand. A skilled writer makes them easy for anyone to grasp.

They write technical reports that meet the rules set by health groups. These groups have strict guidelines and deadlines. A medical writer knows how to follow these rules in their work.

Medical writers save doctors time and resources too. Doctors are busy helping patients all day long. They may not have much time left for writing about their work at the end of the day.

But with a medical writer, they don’t have to worry about it anymore. The writer takes care of creating reports on new medicine or studies.

Having this support helps healthcare professionals grow in their fields as well. Other people read what the medical writers put out there: updates on drugs, progress in treatment methods, fresh findings from researches etcetera; Allowing them stay up-to-date without stress.

So accuracy, clear info, saving time are just some reasons why hiring a professional who knows science and how to put words together is a smart move.

Skills and Requirements

Medical writers need a set of key skills to do their job well. These skills include:

  1. Clear communication: They must write in a way that all people can understand, even if they don’t know much about medicine.
  2. Medical terminology: They must know the special words that doctors and scientists use.
  3. Knowledge of document structure: They need to know how to arrange words and ideas in a way that makes sense and follows rules.
  4. Understanding content guidelines: Medical writers must follow certain rules when they write, so they need to know these very well.
  5. Collaboration: They often work with other people like doctors or scientists, so they have to get along well with others.
  6. Advanced education: Many medical writers have finished school for a long time, sometimes with more than one degree.
  7. Learning about medical writing jobs: The best medical writers keep learning even after school is over.
  8. Networking: Good medical writers talk with lots of other people in their field, which helps them learn and grow.
  9. Getting certified: Having an official paper that says you are good at your job can help a lot too.
  10. Editing skills: Lastly, they should be able to check their own work for any mistakes or things that could be better.

How to Become a Medical Writer

Becoming a medical writer starts with choosing a specific focus within the field, then assessing one’s knowledge and skills to identify any gaps that need filling. It involves extensive networking within the healthcare industry, and diligent efforts towards gaining practical experience through internships or entry-level positions.

This ensures familiarity with clinical research principles, pharmaceutical industry needs, technical writing and regulatory guidelines which are crucial for being successful in this role.

Choosing a focus

You want to hire a medical writer. First, think about what you need the most. The world of medical writing is big and wide. Some writers know a lot about drugs and trials. Others are good at making tough information easy to read for common people.

Pick a focus that matches your needs best. You can stick with one part or mix it up based on the project’s demands. A writer who knows their field well will do better than someone who does not have a clear focus.

Assessing knowledge and skills

To be a good medical writer, one must look at their knowledge and skills. This is a key step in the process. A person should know about medical terms and ideas. Also, knowing how to write well is important.

There are rules for how to put things in order and what kind of stuff you can say so it’s also crucial to understand those guidelines too. Check your skill level often as you learn more about this field.


Networking is key in the life of a medical writer. It opens up chances to meet people in medical and drug fields. These new friends can give tips on job openings and the latest trends.

They also provide help when writers need to grow their skills or knowledge.

Finding ways to talk with others in your field can lead to good things. Medical writers might get useful advice from mentors or hear about work chances at networking events. Being part of a group that supports each other also helps the writer’s career grow faster.

Gaining experience

Gaining experience in medical writing is key. It starts with simple tasks like reporting on health topics or helping with medical research. As time goes by, the writer learns more about clinical and healthcare writing.

A chance to work closer with doctors and scientists may come up too. This helps to boost medical knowledge and develop strong skills in health journalism. Over time, this experience makes a writer stand out when employers want to hire someone for their needs.

Salary and Outlook

This section provides an in-depth overview of the average salary a medical writer can expect, along with the current job outlook for this role. Stay tuned to discover more about this exciting and rewarding career path.

Average salary

Medical writers get good pay. The average salary is $67,222 per year in the United States. Some earn about $93,842 annually or they make $45 each hour. At times, their salaries can reach up to $137,000 in one year.

But on average, these writers make around $73,117 per year. If you pay by the hour and not yearly for a medical writer’s work, it will usually cost about $40.07 for each hour of work.

Job outlook

The job market for medical writers is growing. More jobs are likely to come in the future. This is good news for those looking into this career path. Both full-time positions and freelance work are available.

Salary expectations in this field show promise, too. Medical writers earn competitive pay across the board. In brief, the job outlook points to a bright future with plenty of employment opportunities for skilled individuals.

Becoming an Expert Medical Writer

To truly excel as a medical writer, one must go beyond formal education and seek out ways to master the intricacies of this complex field. This involves understanding the needs of key players like pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, and medical device companies in order to create top-quality deliverables.

Gaining expertise requires dedicating time to sharpen core skills. For instance, an expert medical writer must have stellar writing abilities including technical writing, creative writing, and professional writing. They need to craft technical documents, regulatory documents, patient education materials and more in a clear, compelling manner.

Another vital area is mastery of medical concepts, research data, and reporting guidelines. A seasoned medical writer immerses themselves in the latest findings in medical science and clinical trials. They know how to transform dense scientific publications into accessible journal articles or news articles.

Leading medical writers also understand the publishing process intimately. They partner with medical journal editors to prepare manuscripts and ensure proper publication ethics. Some even serve on international committees devoted to upholding standards in medical communication.

Networking is a crucial skill as well. Successful medical writers build strong working relationships with medical professionals like doctors and scientists. They join groups like the American Medical Writers Association to connect with peers and stay current.

With commitment to continuous learning and genuine passion for making complex medical concepts clear, a competent medical writer can truly elevate their expertise over time and cement their status as a skilled professional in this dynamic field.

Frequently Asked Questions about What Does a Medical Writer Do

1. What Does a Medical Writer Do?

A medical writer creates clear, well-organized information about health and medicine topics.

2. Who Can Become a Medical Writer?

Anyone with strong writing skills and understanding of science or medicine can become a medical writer.

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

Yes, most jobs ask for qualification in life sciences and experience in scientific or technical writing.

4. Where do Most Medical Writers Work?

Medical writers often work in healthcare industries, research institutions, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals.

5. Is Being a Medical Writer a Good Job Choice?

Yes, if you love science & medicine subjects and enjoy explaining complex ideas in simple language.

Conclusion and Summary of What Does a Medical Writer Do in the Health Industry?

Being a medical writer is a job of big value. They make hard health topics easy for all to grasp. This work can touch many lives. This job is great for those who love both science and writing.

Being a medical writer requires a unique blend of science and language skills. By translating complex medical research into clear language, they help make vital health information accessible.

The path to becoming a professional medical writer involves securing the right educational background along with writing expertise. Hands on training and networking are also key for mastering this multifaceted role.

Whether producing clinical trial protocols, journal articles, or patient education materials, medical writers serve a vital function. Their ability to transform dense data into comprehensible narratives ensures important medical concepts reach the widest possible audience.

With robust employment demand in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies, the future looks bright for this niche career. Skilled medical writers able to meld scientific rigor with creative communication can look forward to rewarding work making a difference in healthcare.

Marty Stewart