What does a Medical Writer do?

Written by: Mike Wood
Published On: 20 Aug 2020

A Medical Writer is a specific type of science writer working for a pharmaceutical company, contract research organisations (CROs), or a communication agency. The job of a medical writer entails documenting and communicating scientific research in a well written, standards-compliant way, that medical professionals can easily read and digest.

Typically, a  Medical Writer:

  • Reports to, and receives instructions from, the Medical Affairs Director (MAD);
  • Assists the clinical trial investigators in organizing and writing their final technical report;
  • Arranges and coordinates the publication of the final technical report in established journal(s)—be it local or international;
  • Works closely with the Medical Education Specialist (MES), Medical Information Specialist (MIS), or Medical Science Liaison (MSL) in the preparation of press releases and  public information materials;
  • Gives feedbacks and comments on the  promotional and educational  materials being drafted by the Brand Managers,  MES, MIS or MSL;
  • Conducts training on medical writing needed by some staff of the Medical Department;      
  • Performs other duties that may be assigned to him   by  the MAD.

Qualifications / Experiences Required

  • BSc or MSc in Journalism and/or science.
    • Preferably with some units in courses related to life sciences, such as medicine, nursing, physical therapy, psychology, pharmacy, biology, zoology, and medical technology; or in courses related to business administration, sales,  and marketing;
  • Has evidence of writing or editorial experience. eg: Has worked in a newspaper or pharmaceutical company, or related field,  for at least 3 years as  Medical Science LiaisonScience News Writer, or as Science Research Specialist in a government agency.
  • Has a strong background in writing, and the ability to adapt writing styles.
  • Has the ability to communicate and present.

Progression

A Medical Writer, after at least 5 years, might progress to a Brand Manager.  

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