So you want to be a medical writer?

So you want to be a medical writer?

Key skills and qualities for a career in medical writing

If you are thinking about a career change and want to get started in medical writing, read on to find out how to become a medical writer.

To start with, a medical writer needs to understand medical concepts and ideas, keep an eye on regulatory and research related information, have a keen interest in the development of pharmaceutical products, working knowledge of the healthcare/ pharmaceutical industry (via such websites as and above all have impeccable writing skills.

It goes without saying that a genuine, demonstrable understanding and interest in the industry is essential. To make a good medical writer you have to have a range of skills, starting with excellent English language/grammar, understanding of literature and reference searching, interpretation and presentation of data and most importantly the ability to take into consideration the ethical, regulatory and legal issues.

Our healthcare communications consultant Julia Walton points out that having a science degree, if not a PhD as well, is a must and ideally also some experience of writing in a medical communication agency setting, perhaps as an intern. 

The more types of professional writing you have in your portfolio the better. Life in agencies is fast paced and deadline driven, so medical writers also need good time management and team working skills. 

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