How much has the role of medical writer changed over the past few years?
As many people working or interested in a career in medical or healthcare communications will know, digital communications are taking the industry by storm as pharmaceutical companies seek to reach patient groups and healthcare professionals in ever more innovative ways. In the past couple of years, we’ve seen campaigns ranging from viral videos for disease awareness campaigns and augmented reality apps being used as sales aids and everything in between. But what does this mean for the humble medical writer? Has the job description of medical writer changed with the advance of digital media?
The answer is – no, not really. The key skills are still the same and the qualities that employers look for haven’t drastically changed. The core of the job is still to communicate clinical and scientific information in a way that is accessible and accurate. It is still governed by regulations that are regularly updated. What has changed is how the work that a medical writer produces is used. In the “olden days”, a medical writer would focus exclusively on traditional print media or journals. Now, the work produced by a medical writer is used for a much wider variety of both print and digital media.
For those looking at starting a career in medical writing, the market is very favourable at the moment. We’re seeing more entry-level roles, writing academies and internships and things are definitely looking up.
The qualities and qualifications that medical communications or healthcare communications agencies look for in potential medical writers has, as I mentioned, remained relatively unchanged. You’ll need a life science degree, preferably a post-graduate degree (either MSc or PhD), some research experience and some writing experience. This writing experience can be anything from your dissertation, thesis, published papers, blog, poetry… The list is almost endless.
The market isn’t just looking up for the juniors – if you’ve got a bit of experience under your belt, the opportunities are available to get involved in something a little different, to head up a writing academy as a senior medical writer, to lead an award-winning team as a principal medical writer or make that move to a more creative medical copywriting role.
For employers as well, there is an expanding pool of talent of experienced hires with digital knowledge or talented juniors with a passion for all things digital.
Whether you’re an employer seeking the highest-quality medical writers or a job seeker searching for the latest medical writing jobs in your area, contact our highly qualified team to discuss your needs.
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