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By Cyndy Kryder
When would-be freelance medical writers connect with me, they often ask for help getting that elusive first job. To get a job in the field of medical writing, it’s important to first determine what kind of content you want to produce.
As a medical writer, you can write in any of three broad categories: Regulatory, promotional, and educational.
Regulatory writing, which is highly scientific, involves creating documents for submission to the US Food and Drug Administration. An example of this would be a clinical study report, which summarizes the results of a clinical trial.
Promotional writing includes creating content for materials, produced in any media, that are used to sell or promote a drug, intervention, or medical device. One example of promotional writing is a sales training program that is designed to teach sales representatives the important information about the pharmaceutical product they will be selling. Another example would be writing the scripts and advertising copy for direct-to-consumer radio, television, and print ads.
Educational writing involves creating materials for the purpose of educating health care professionals or the general public. A patient-education brochure that explains a certain medical condition or disease and how to control it is one example of educational writing.
Why do you need to determine what you want to write? Because the content you want to create determines who will hire you. A variety of companies employ medical writers or purchase that type of writing. Hospitals often need medical writers to create patient-education materials or marketing materials, whereas pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations (CROs) hire medical writers who are skilled in regulatory writing. Medical education, medical communications, and medical advertising agencies work directly with pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of biologicals and medical devices to develop creative products such as videos, DVDs, slide decks, and flashy print materials for multiple audiences that will communicate key messages about the drug or device they are selling. These companies are generally full-service agencies that can do it all, from strategic planning to website development, to event planning and implementation. Because they offer such a variety of services, companies that specialize in medical communications have a great need for writers to keep up with the demands of their clients.
Go to your favorite search engine and type in “medical communications company” or “medical communications jobs” and you’ll find some of the big and small players in the industry. Go to their websites and look at the services they provide. Find out who their clients are and what type of media they specialize in. If you think you have something to offer, send the creative director or human resources manager an introductory email along with samples of your work. You’ll also find a helpful directory of pharmaceutical marketing vendors at: rel=nofollow [http://www.pharma-mkting.com/pm-directory.html]http://www.pharma-mkting.com/pm-directory.html.
Cyndy Kryder is an experienced freelance medical writer. She is the author of two books, The Accidental Medical Writer, and Nude Mice and Other Medical Writing Terms You Need to Know. You can learn more about medical writing and find resources for medical writers at [http://www.theaccidentalmedicalwriter.com]http://www.theaccidentalmedicalwriter.com.