Medical Writing — It's a stable career that can provide many opportunities for those interested in the medical world, however, ofttimes this profession is overlooked. Not because it's not a lucrative career choice (it most definitely is), but because typically those interested in healthcare think job titles such as doctor and nurse are the only ones available. But becoming a medical writer provides many opportunities too.

The Scope of Medical Writing

As a medical writer, you get the chance to write about complex medical issues, studies, and scientific discoveries for various publications such as health and medical journals, instructional manuals, brochures, textbooks and even for the media. To shed some light on why you should consider choosing a career in medical writing, read on.

10. You’ll Become an Insider:  While typically you will be asked to withhold a level of client/writer confidentiality—meaning you cannot share the information about what you're reading/writing about until it is published or aired—you will still have access to knowledge about  fascinating medical discoveries and new prescription drugs  for example before the general public does. Therefore, you'll always be in the “know.”

9. You'll Constantly Learn New Information: The medical world is ever-changing. That said, it will be your responsibility to keep up with new trends in science and research. In turn, this will keep your mind fresh and sharp, almost as if you never left college or medical school.

8. Medical Writing Career Offers Prestige: Technically speaking,  you'll be a published author and get to promote yourself by talking about where your work(s) have been featured. Medical Writers like all other Authors are generally respected by all other professions.

7. Perfect for those Who Barely Survived Medical School: Some unfortunately only attend medical school because they are pressured to do so by their families; others realize too late in the game that becoming a doctor is not what they want to do in life. But instead of letting all of your new expertise in medicine go to waste, you may consider using that knowledge to help you become a great medical writer. You'll still get to dabble in medicine and science, but won't have to endure the lifestyle and demanding hours of other doctors, which leads us to our next point—

6. More Time for Your Family and Friends: While hours may be a little sporadic, depending on your deadlines and what publication you are writing for, you won't be on call like other health professionals who burn night-oil most of the time. You won't have night shifts to torment you or worse still, to work holidays either. This means that you still have ample time to enjoy with your loved ones and won't have to miss important family events and gatherings.

5.  Provides a Transitional Career Change: If you’re already involved in the medical field, (perhaps you’re a doctor or nurse) but you've become uninterested or disenchanted with direct patient care or the system, becoming a medical writer may be a breath of fresh air. Not to mention that your knowledge and years of experience in medicine can make you a highly in-demand medical writer.

It's also an ideal profession for retired nurse practitioners and physical therapists for example who are interested in earning some extra income without having to resort to their original (and sometimes labor-intense) career titles.

4. No Risks of Malpractice Accusations and Lawsuits: Since you are behind-the-scenes and are not dealing directly with patients, you can't be sued for malpractice. You do want to watch out for libel though.

3. You'll Receive a Good Salary: You may not make as much as a doctor or a physician assistant for example, but you can get pretty close. Salaries will vary depending on location, years of experience, and employer, but according to payscale.com, you can earn as much as $133,445 a year.

2. Ample Employment Opportunities: Healthcare is a booming industry. While most attention is given to healthcare administrators, nurses, and doctors for example, there are plenty of career opportunities for medical writers as well. In fact, according to statistics, the medical writing industry has grown 15 % every year since 2002.  That means there are a great number of employment opportunities to pursue that also provide stability—writers are always needed to produce articles and write-ups about the constant changes in the medical world.

1. You can be Your Own Boss: Lastly, like most technical writers choose to do, you can eventually create your own medical writing business and be your own boss. This means you get to set your own hours and charging rate. You can also make a career as a freelance medical writer and work with various types of clients so you'll never get bored.

That said, medical writing can be a great career choice for those who have strong writing skills and a passion for science and medicine.

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10 Comments

  1. hi,
    Good to read about medical writer, can you provide me more detail, as what is the scope in India.

      1. Hi Dipti, Nice to see you here at Medical Island. Hold your horses as we will be publishing a series of articles on medical writing and how to become a medical writer in India. Keep yourself updated with the blog by subscribing to my list using the subscribe option in the sidebar.

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