Medical writers communicate scientific and clinical information to different types of readers.Medical writers through their contributions are recognised as an important part of evolving healthcare and pharmaceutical industry.
Present scenario of medical writing
Medical writers prepare scientific and regulatory documents to communicate medical or scientific information to various stakeholders. Medical writers prepare documents required for regulatory approval (regulatory medical writing); presentation, posters, newsletter (commercial writing); manuscripts, abstracts, journal articles, etc (publication writing).
These documents may be based on research and development of new inventions; new findings communicated to healthcare professionals; promotional literature or educational information of medical data.
Medical writing is critical for healthcare industry to deliver information to different audiences. The demand for the trained and skilled medical writing professionals is increasing in academia, government and private sectors like contract research organisations, communications agencies, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Many pharmaceutical companies have in-house writing facilities but outsourcing pharmaceutical medical writing has increased recently due to cost effectiveness.
Medical writers are employed by various organisations for different types of medical writing. Currently, regulatory and safety writing services are the two strong streams of medical writing. Large numbers of medical and life sciences graduates are opting for writing career. The demand for freelance writers is much less in developing country, compared to developed markets. Globally, in terms of revenue, USA and Europe still control a significant part of writing work. The scope of growth, especially for medical writing is tremendous, provided the challenges faced are sorted.
Challenges faced in medical writing
The challenge of insufficient manpower can be solved by screening recruits for good writing skills along with rigorous courses and training programs. Writers need to attend training programs, workshops, national and international conferences, as well as sort global opportunities to work at onsite locations and gain more experience. Along with supplementing the writers with global writing expertise, they need to be given necessary therapeutic insights along with knowledge of managing highly complex scientific and medical documents.
The temptation of better jobs or salary and feeling of stagnation is usually found as the reason of switching careers. The higher attrition rate in medical writing needs to be controlled by improving working conditions, providing incentives and rewarding achievements.
Medical Writing Career
Scope for medical writing is growing and the challenges need to be eliminated. It is a young industry that continues to develop and can mature completely with proper nurturing.
Along with improving writing skills, there is a need to monitor and improve the quality and standards of writing, especially for highly complex documents. There is a need to regularly standardize documents based on changing regulatory environment and implementing these standards can be more effective by using new technologies based tools. The standards developed should hold audience attention, increase their confidence and convey the messages easily.
The institutes that deliver medical writing training programs need to standardize their curriculum based on requirements of the industry i.e. controlled curriculum in certified industry focussed training programs. Potential writing aspirants require industrial exposure through internship in reputed companies. Collaboration of global organizations of medical writers association is necessary for improving writing skills and better networking.
Online Course in Medical Writing
James Lind Institute (JLI) provides an online program in Professional Diploma in medical writing which can help develop medical writing skills as per requirements of the industry.
For more information please visit: www.jliedu.com