What is a medical writer?
A medical writer must demonstrate at least three key skills:
- Subject-specific knowledge in one or several therapeutic fields.
- The ability to disseminate complex information using simple, accessible language and a range of formats.
- Extensive, varied experience in the field.
What does a medical writer do?
A medical writer must juggle several tasks, adopting a meticulous, methodical approach to ensure content quality remains high. One particularly time–consuming job involves searching databases and online repositories for medical literature and primary sources, and finding relevant information. Medical writers also need to critically analyse primary sources, such as clinical trials data, and synthesise their findings into concise texts, tables and infographics.
A medical writer must balance creativity and accuracy, expressing key points concisely and carefully. Fact-checks and literature reviews are also part of a writer’s work, and these demanding tasks are as important as the content creation itself.
The medical writer may also need to conduct interviews with clinical subject experts, such as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). These interviews can be extremely interesting, and offer variety and fresh insights for both writer and audience.
What experience does a medical writer need?
A medical writer will normally hold at least a master’s degree, and ideally a PhD. A high level of education in a relevant field makes it likelier the writer will understand the information they are working with, and the context in which it sits. A degree in medical science, health communication or journalism would also be valuable in this role.
A writer must have a thorough understanding of one or several therapy areas and excellent communication skills. This will help them accurately translate complex medical terminology into plain language for a broad, non-specialist audience.
The benefits of hiring a professional
A professional writer works hard to ensure accuracy, and has the expertise and education to communicate clinical details correctly. A good writer can make dense clinical study findings accessible and interesting to non-specialist audiences and provide valuable context to clarify the clinical advances. They will have an overview of the research landscape in one or several therapy areas, and will be able to reference the latest clinical studies to support their work.
A medical writer’s contextual knowledge means they will know the best KOLs to ask for commentary on the topic in hand, adding value and credibility for the audience. Rather than simply restating the facts, a medical writer can explain how the latest clinical research in a given therapy area compare to what the medical community has known until now.
They will also build a coherent narrative around the facts, using strong storytelling techniques to engage the audience and help them understand the evidence.
The quality of the final piece will always reflect the original investment, so be prepared to pay fairly for excellent medical writing.
How to find an expert medical writer
Hiring an expert medical writer is an investment in content quality and accuracy. And since brilliant medical writing is no good unless it has an audience, it must also be clear, captivating and thoughtfully distributed.
SciencePOD’s community of medical writers are vetted professionals with years of experience. Speak to us about turning medical studies into dynamic, discoverable content.