What is Medical Writing?
New knowledge and information is constantly being added to the field of medicine by number of research studies, growing clinical experience, and new ideas and thoughts. All this information needs to be effectively communicated to different audiences, e.g. the physicians and other healthcare professionals, patients and consumers and the drug regulators. Medical writing is writing of scientific documents by writers in the field of medicine – the “medical writers”. Medical writers may not be the original scientists who did the actual research, but work with the physicians/scientists involved in the generation of data, and help to present the information in an appropriate manner.
Medical writing has become an integral part of clinical research and pharmaceutical industry .The medical writer should have a clear understanding of the medical concepts and ideas, and be able to present the data and have the ability to interpret it in the way audience the target audience will understand. Essentially, the writing needs to meet the specific requirements for different types of documents. Medical writers require an understanding of the medical concepts and terminology as well as knowledge of relevant guidelines needed for understanding of various documents. Medical writer works with various subject matter experts to create certain documents that effectively and clearly explain the research results and relevant medical information. They also need to be familiar with searching medical literature, understanding and presenting research data, the document review process, and editing and publishing requirements. Many resources are now available for medical writers to get the required training in the science and art of medical writing, and upgrade their knowledge and skills on an ongoing basis.
Medical writing involves writing of scientific documents of different types which include regulatory and research related
document, disease or drug related information, publication articles like journal manuscripts and abstracts, content for healthcare websites, health related magazines and news articles. Medical writing involves writing different types of documents for different purposes, and for different audiences. Medical writing can be of various types such as medical journalism (e.g. Newspapers and magazine articles), medical education ( e.g. for physicians – texts , e- learning modules and for patients – education material), medical marketing of healthcare products ( brochures , hand-outs etc.), Publication/Presentation ( abstracts , review articles , case reports etc. ), research documents ( study reports , informed consent document, research proposal ) and regulatory documents (subject narratives, clinical research reports, patients information leaflet etc. )
The demand for medical writing is growing steadily in pharmaceutical and healthcare communication market. Medical writers can work independently or be employed as full time professionals. Life sciences graduates can consider medical writing as a valuable career option.