In one of our recent blogs, we talked about what it means to be a medical writer and what requirements exist in this profession. Today, however, we would like to go deeper — let’s examine closely the content medical writers create.
Medical Writing Types
In the article called Medical Writer: Guide Into Profession we did mention a certain scale that exists for all technical documentation created in this sphere. On one end of the scale, we have Regulatory Medical Writing and Medical Communication on the other.
Understanding the polarity can help you determine the best way to enter the field depending on the skills you currently possess. Doing Regulatory Medical Writing requires a better technical and scientific background. Jump-starting a career they’re relying solely on technical writing skills seems highly improbable. Medical Communication, on the other hand, is much more forgiving — understanding human anatomy and physiology is still an advantage, but there’s no strong need to major in medicine, biology or chemistry.
Regulatory Medical Writing
Let’s enumerate what types of technical documentation fall under the category of Regulatory Medical Writing:
- Study reports
- Case narratives
- Safety updates
- Value dossiers
- Regulatory support for medical products
These documents are connected to drug and medical equipment development, clinical trials.
Medical Communication deals with a different aspect of medical writing — creating materials on medicine and healthcare. One of its main aims is raising medical awareness via educating people. These are the types of technical documents that med comms are associated with:
- Medical journals
- Website content
- Sales reps materials
- Teaching materials
As you can see, these documents are less rigid and require general knowledge, research, and technical writing skills more than anything else.
In reality, the same technical writer can work on technical documents related to both ends of this scale. There’s no strict line dividing the two. But, understanding that such a scale exists is something that can help you learn the industry better and pick the right entry point. So, you should consider this becoming a medical writer.
Another aspect is the place of employment. Medical Communication is often delivered by med comms agencies while being employed by pharmaceutical companies or contract research organizations more likely means that you will be dealing with Regulatory Medical Writing.
Self-employment is also an option in this sphere, but hardly the right place to start a career. We advise you to gain experience through working in a medical organization first and only after acquiring enough skills and knowledge you can try freelancing.
In any case, medical writing is one of the most challenging yet rewarding fields for a technical writer. We hope this insight into the profession will make things a bit clearer for you.
Good luck with your technical writing!
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