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Medical Writer

Medical writers, sometimes called health writers, analyze and interpret complex health related issues for use by other professional or the general public. They present their work in publications such as professional journals, newspaper health columns, television and radio broadcasts, brochures, textbooks, and instructional manuals. Their main objective is to present these complicated medical issues in the clearest and most concise terms, so that a layperson can understand the material as well as the most highly educated professional. Medical writers are sometimes employed by publishing companies or hospitals, but many are free-lance writers who work on a contract basis. These technical writers spend the majority of their productive working hours writing textbooks, information for educational courses, scripts for radio and television advertisements, and journal and newsletters for a variety of publications and organizations. Anyone considering medical writing should seek an education that consists of English, literature, journalism, as well as biological sciences. Individuals interested in a career in medical writing should be highly educated in biology and medical terminology as well as have excellent communication skills, especially written.

Work Environment:

Many medical writers are self-employed and work on a contract basis. Some other areas of possible employment exist in publishing companies, pharmaceutical companies, advertising agencies, educational institutions, hospitals, government agencies, radio and television stations, and medical equipment companies.

High School Preparation:

Students interested in a career as a medical writer should take high school courses in biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and physiology, English, literature, algebra, geometry, psychology, social sciences, computer skills, writing, and health occupations/medical professions education.

College Requirements:

Individuals interested in medical writing must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. The majority of medical writers need to know the same terminology as other health professionals and have at least a bachelor's degree. They usually earn degrees in some type of science, but they may also major in English or journalism and minor in a science. The American Medical Writers Association offers certification for individuals who complete certain workshops and continuing education courses. Other professional experience may be required for certification.

No college or university in Mississippi offers a degree in medical writing, but many institutions offer programs in various sciences and liberal arts.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:

Employment opportunities for medical writers are expected to increase by 25%-35%, which is faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2010. Technical writers with expertise in an area such as medicine or biology will be in great demand with the continuing expansion of scientific and technical information and the need to communicate it to others. As new discoveries are being made everyday, medical writers will see an increase in employment because of the need to communicate this highly technical information to a general audience. Technological advancements and the increasing use of the Internet will also have a positive affect on employment in this field.


Average Annual Salary

Salary Range


Professional Organizations:

American Medical Writer's Association
40 West Gude Drive, Suite 101
Rockville, MD
Phone: (301) 294-5303

National Association of Science Writers, Inc.
PO Box 294
Greenlawn, NY 11740
Phone: (631) 757-5664

Health Sciences Communications Association
One Wedgewood Drive, Suite 28
Jewett City, CT
Phone: (860) 376-5915




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