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.
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
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
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
offering this course of study
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
American Medical Writer's Association
40 West Gude Drive, Suite 101
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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