Medical & Scientific Writing

Difference Between Scientific Writing and Medical Writing

What is Scientific Writing?

Scientific writing means writing about basic sciences, drugs and technological innovation for common readers. Scientific writing appears in medical news, articles, marketing material, academic content like journals, and regulatory documents. Scientific writing in the life sciences industry deals with various issues related with science like innovations and discoveries in pharmaceutical and biotech industry, various novel theories and mechanisms, synthesis of various chemicals etc.

Apart from developing highly technical content for the scientific community, scientific content developers may also target the greater public and make them aware about the science and technology that design modern life. Scientific writers may at times assume the role of medical journalists by relating science to the broader social problems for instance nuclear power safety, need of innovative drugs in life threatening disease like cancer, need of better healthcare practice, nutrition and food sanitation, etc.

What is Medical Writing?

Medical writing deals with developing clinical and scientific documentation in a standard, comprehensive, reliable, skilled and convincing manner. Medical writing is an art of writing about a particular content more efficiently and clearly that target audience can simply be understood.

A medical writer needs the potential to catch every minute detail from the topic and should have the capability to understand and work separately. The medical writer is also accountable to create documents or content that must be much useful for audience. Medical writing is an interdisciplinary exercise and he/ she must have a good interpersonal relationship that makes them easier to communicate with their team and clients. A medical writer requires a meticulous attitude towards collecting and analysing available information and develops documents as per need. Medical writing is an important and significantly essential function needed at every stage of developing a therapeutic product.

 Types of Medical Writing

  1. Regulatory Medical Writing
  2. Educational Medical Writing
  3. Medico-marketing (Medical Affairs) writing

Regulatory medical writing engages in developing documents related to biologics, drug and devices in order to get node from regulatory bodies. Some typical regulatory documents include Non clinical reports, Standard operating procedures, investigators brochures, protocols, ethic submissions, clinical study reports, regulatory submissions, reimbursement submission.

Educational medical writing engages in preparing documents related to drugs, devices and biologics for general audiences, and for particular audiences’ for instance health care professionals. Educational documents include investigator summaries, publication plans, abstracts, slides, posters, manuscripts, advisory board reports, website content and patient information.

Medico-marketing (Medical Affairs) writing involves developing marketing material for ethical promotion of a therapeutic product. The documents developed may include product monographs, training material for the sales force, reference compendium, patient information leaflets (PILs), CME slides, leave behind leaflets (LBLs), etc.

Difference Between Medical Writing and Scientific Writing

Medical writing is a much more specialized area of scientific writing where as scientific writing is writing about science regardless of whether it is about medicine, chemistry, Physics etc. Thus, all medical writers are science writers while all science writers are not medical writers. For example if you draw two concentric circles, one larger than the other. The larger one represents scientific writing and the smaller (inner) circle signifies medical writing. Scientific writing includes all writing that deals with science such as medicine, chemistry, biology, physics etc and medical writing is about writing on subjects associated to health & medicine.

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