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Jobs in healthcare communications; Medical Writing

Source: Star Medical
Published: 02/01/13
Do you want to be Train Driver? An Astronaut? Or even an X Factor winner? How about a job in healthcare communications as a Medical Writer?

The term ‘Medical Writer’ is broad; it covers:
  • Primary and secondary manuscript writing
  • Publication planning
  • Slide kit preparation
  • Putting together business pitches
  • Writing leave pieces/detail aids
Getting your first job in medical writing can be a challenge if you don’t have medical writing experience. A lot of healthcare communications companies target postdoctoral scientists when employing people with no experience in medical writing for the pharma and healthcare communications industries.

I receive a lot of enquiries every day asking for advice from people eager to start their career in medical writing who find themselves in a ‘catch 22’ situation as more and more medical writing jobs in healthcare communications ask for candidates with medical writing experience. How do you deal with the prerequisite when you can’t get a relevant job?
The job of a Medical Writer spans far beyond writing; you’ll proofread and edit work too so it’s important that you’re familiar with the pharma industry. But is it possible to gain this experience another way? Particularly if employers ask for pharmaceutical industry or healthcare communications experience as well as medical writing skills?

The ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry) is the trade association for 100 companies in the UK producing prescription medicines and their website provides contact details for pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organisations; a lot of these companies offer placements that allow you to gain pharmaceutical industry experience. If you’re an undergraduate thinking about medical writing, why not arrange a work placement?

The EMWA (European Medical Writers Association) also runs training workshops at their regular spring and autumn conferences that cover medical writing in more detail, including writing manuscripts for publication and regulatory documents. You can find out more on their website.

As a Recruiter for jobs in healthcare communications I advise you to complete an internship as a Medical Writer. It’ll allow you to gain the experience you need to get the right job for you! It’s not easy becoming a Medical Writer, but we think the hard work is worth it.

To find out more tips on how to become a Medical Writer give Jon a call from our healthcare communications team on 01628 581 240 or email

Star’s a full service resourcing house. We connect people with jobs in healthcare communications* on a permanent and contract basis. Get in touch using the details below if you’re looking for something new in digital, advertising, med ed, med comms, PR or public affairs, or join us in The Lounge for news, advice and musings.

Talk to Ben, Pippa, JJ or Kirsty: 01628 581 240 | |

*We also work in pharma, medical devices and technology, and clinical research – it gets pretty busy around here!
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