In an increasingly competitive job market, new medical writers or medical writers wanting to advance their careers can increase their opportunities by maintaining high-quality valuable skills.
In today’s article, I would like to discuss the top 3 skills that you can build to become a medical writer and/or advance your medical writing career.
Hi, I’m Dr. Fatima Larry and I’ve been in the field of medical writing for nearly two decades. I started out as a scientific writer and then entered the field of medical writing with a focus on clinical and regulatory medical writing.
We all have a path to choose and for me, writing is simply something I enjoyed doing very early in life. However, being able to transfer from having a love for something to cultivating and growing a valuable skill takes work and careful planning. Therefore, I would like to give you some key information on the skills needed to support your goal to become a medical writer or to advance your medical writing career.
#1 Skill to Build – Writing
Early on in my medical writing career, I would get asked by human resource specialists or hiring managers, “How many clinical study reports have you prepared or how many protocols have you written?” In fact, many organizations will ask you to complete a document listing all of the clinical and regulatory medical writing documents that you have authored, or at the least they expect you to speak to your experience during an interview. Why? Because medical writing is a tangible skill that is developed and measurable.
For that reason, let’s talk about the valuable yet technical skill of writing.
The technical skill of writing includes grammar, punctuation, editing, and adherence to common style guides. Likewise, learning how to structure and organize ideas and concepts, and learning how to write for a target audience are all part of the technical aspects of clinical and regulatory medical writing. Each of these skills can be measured, honed, and refined over time.
The more you write the more likely you are to become an experienced medical writer thus allowing you to more easily become a clinical and regulatory medical writer and/or advance your career as a medical writer. Most importantly, developing and mastering the technical aspects of medical writing serves as the foundation for becoming a clinical and regulatory medical writer.
#2 Skill to Build – Communication
I always tell people clinical and medical writing involves having excellent written and oral communication skills. Having strong written and oral communication skills can be leveraged in clinical research to facilitate the efficient delivery of high-quality clinical and regulatory medical writing documents.
Why is this important? Learning how to structure and organize ideas and concepts, learning how to write for a target audience, learning how to communicate with cross-functional team members, and learning how to communicate with health authority agencies are all part of clinical and regulatory medical writing. For example, being able to formulate questions and articulate concepts and justifications are absolutely essential in both clinical and regulatory medical writing. This is why communication is a critical skill and can be carried across a variety of medical writing documents and projects.
#3 Skill to Build – Document Authoring Experience
Some of the best writers have gained valuable document authoring experience (both breadth and depth). Hence, it is essential for new medical writers or writers who want to advance their careers to obtain as much experience with authoring different types of clinical and regulatory documents. This includes from initiation through finalization and if possible, including pre-publishing writing.
The more experience you can gain in hands-on medical writing through authoring clinical study reports, clinical study protocols, subject narratives, investigator’s brochures, briefing books, and various types of clinical and regulatory documents the more likely you are to experience success as a new medical writer and to advance your medical writing career.
Medical writing is an exciting yet challenging field; however, with the right set of skills, you can be well on your way to advancing through the various stages of a medical writing career.
To learn more about medical writing courses and training, please visit Medical Writing University at www.medicalwritinguniversity.com. Feel free to register for our next information session to learn more about gaining hands-on medical writing experience through one of our online medical writing courses.
Written by Dr. Fatima Larry
Executive Director and Instructor
Medical Writing University
#1 Clinical and Regulatory 6-Week Medical Writing Courses