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Top 9 Sub types of medical writing

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Top 9 Sub-types of Medical Writing To Choose From - A Guide For Beginner Medical Writers

As a freelance medical writer, it can be tempting to try to be everything to everyone. After all, the broader your skillset, the more opportunities you’ll have, right? Well, not exactly.

The truth is, trying to be a jack-of-all-trades in the world of medical writing can actually do more harm than good.

Instead, it’s essential to identify a sub-type within the field that aligns with your interests, skills, and experience.

I have been to virtual conferences, paid seminars, and workshops, and with my huge global network of medical writers I can safely tell you about each one of those types. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of the top 9 sub-types of medical writing to choose from.

I explained types of high-paying medical writing to you earlier you can check that before diving into sub-types. Each sub-type has its unique focus, style, and set of requirements, so it’s crucial to explore them all before settling on one. 

Whether you’re interested in regulatory writing, medical education, or something in between, there’s sure to be a sub-type that fits your skill set. 

So, let’s dive in and explore the world of medical writing sub-types!

Medical education and training materials

Medical writers in this subtype play an essential role in the continuing education of healthcare professionals. They create content for a variety of platforms, including CME courses, medical conferences, and workshops. 

In this sub-type, medical writers must have a deep understanding of adult learning principles to create content that is engaging, relevant, and tailored to the needs of busy healthcare professionals. 

They need to be able to distil complex information into digestible chunks and ensure that the latest research is presented in a way that can be easily applied in practice.

In addition to their knowledge of adult learning principles, medical writers in this subtype also need to have excellent research skills. 

They must stay up to date on the latest developments in their field and be able to translate that information into practical, actionable content. 

They may also work closely with subject matter experts to ensure that the content they create is accurate and evidence-based.

Regulatory medical writing

Regulatory medical writing is a subtype that involves preparing documents for regulatory bodies such as the FDA. 

Medical writers in this subtype must have a deep understanding of the regulatory landscape and be able to navigate complex regulations to ensure that the documents they create are compliant. 

They may work on documents such as clinical study reports, regulatory submissions, and clinical trial protocols. 

In this subtype attention to detail is critical, as even minor errors can result in significant delays or rejections of regulatory submissions.

In addition to their knowledge of regulatory requirements, medical writers in this subtype must also have strong writing skills. 

They need to be able to communicate complex scientific information clearly and concisely and ensure that the documents they create are well-organized and easy to navigate. 

They may also work closely with cross-functional teams, including clinical researchers, statisticians, and regulatory affairs specialists, to ensure that the documents they create meet the needs of all stakeholders.

Scientific medical writing

Scientific medical writing is a subtype that involves creating content for peer-reviewed research articles, case reports, and systematic reviews. 

Medical writers in this subtype must have a deep understanding of the scientific method and be able to interpret complex data from clinical trials and other research studies. 

In addition to their scientific knowledge, medical writers in this subtype also need to be skilled writers. 

They need to be able to write in a way that is clear and concise while also being engaging and informative for their target audience

They must be able to communicate complex scientific concepts to a variety of audiences, from fellow researchers to healthcare professionals to the general public. 

They also need to be able to work collaboratively with researchers and other stakeholders to ensure that their writing accurately reflects the findings of the research.

Medical marketing and advertising

Medical writers in this subtype work on creating promotional materials for medical products and devices. 

They may create brochures, website content, product monographs, and other materials to promote medical products to healthcare professionals and patients. 

For this, medical writers need to be able to write in a way that is persuasive and engaging while also being compliant with regulatory requirements.

In addition to their writing skills, medical writers in this sub-type must also have a deep understanding of marketing principles. 

They need to be able to understand the needs and preferences of their target audience and create content that effectively communicates the benefits of the product or device. 

They may also work closely with cross-functional teams, including marketing professionals, graphic designers, and regulatory affairs specialists, to ensure that their content meets the needs of all stakeholders.

Medical journalism

Medical writers in this subtype create content for medical journals, magazines, and news outlets. They may write articles on a variety of topics, from the latest medical breakthroughs to healthcare policy issues. 

In this subtype, medical writers need to be able to write in a way that is informative and engaging while also being accurate and unbiased.

In addition to their writing skills, medical writers in this subtype must also have strong research skills. They need to be able to find and interpret complex information from a variety of sources and distil it into a format that is accessible to their target audience. 

They may also need to be able to work under tight deadlines and be able to adapt quickly to changing news cycles.

Medical copywriting

Medical writers in this subtype work on creating advertising copy for pharmaceuticals and medical devices. They may create brochures, website content, product monographs, and other materials to promote medical products to healthcare professionals and patients. 

In this subtype, medical writers need to be able to write in a way that is persuasive and engaging while also being compliant with regulatory requirements.

In addition to their writing skills, medical writers in this subtype must also have a deep understanding of marketing principles. 

They need to understand the needs and preferences of their target audience and create content that effectively communicates the benefits of the product or device. Pharmaceutical Copywriting falls under the same category.

They may also work closely with cross-functional teams, including marketing professionals, graphic designers, and regulatory affairs specialists, to ensure that their content meets the needs of all stakeholders.

Medical transcription

Medical writers in this subtype work on transcribing medical reports, dictations, and patient notes. In this subtype, medical writers need to be able to listen carefully to audio recordings and transcribe them accurately and efficiently. 

They may also need to be familiar with medical terminology and be able to identify and correct errors in transcriptions.

In addition to their transcription skills, medical writers in this subtype may also need to have strong writing skills. They may need to edit and format transcriptions to ensure they are clear and concise, and may also be responsible for creating summary reports based on the transcriptions. 

Unique features of this subtype include the need for attention to detail, familiarity with medical terminology, and the ability to work quickly and accurately.

Medical translation

This subtype involves translating medical documents and publications from one language to another. Medical writers in this subtype must have a strong command of both the source and target languages, as well as an understanding of medical terminology in both languages.

They must also be able to accurately convey complex medical concepts and ideas. Unique features of this subtype include the need for advanced language skills, knowledge of medical terminology in multiple languages, and the ability to work with specialized software and tools for translation.

Medical translators may work with a variety of documents, including clinical trial protocols, patient information leaflets, and regulatory submissions. They must ensure that the translation accurately reflects the original text while taking into account cultural and linguistic nuances. 

In addition to their language skills, medical translators must also have a strong understanding of medical concepts and terminology, as even small errors in translation can have significant consequences.

Medical illustration

Medical writers in this subtype work on creating visual aids such as diagrams and infographics for medical publications and presentations. They may work closely with medical professionals and graphic designers to create clear and engaging visuals that help convey complex medical concepts.

Unique features of this subtype include a strong understanding of medical concepts and the ability to visualize them in a way that is easily understandable for a variety of audiences.

Medical illustrators must have a strong sense of design and be able to effectively communicate ideas visually. 

They may use a variety of tools and software, including Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, to create their illustrations. They may work on a variety of projects, including medical textbooks, scientific journals, and presentations for medical conferences. 

Effective medical illustrations can be crucial in helping medical professionals and patients alike understand complex medical concepts and procedures.

Conclusion

As a medical writer, it’s important to understand the various subtypes available to specialize in. Each area requires unique skills and knowledge, allowing you to hone your expertise and excel in your field. 

From medical education and training materials to scientific articles, regulatory writing, marketing, journalism, copywriting, transcription, translation, and illustration, there’s a subtype for every interest.

Whether you’re just starting or are a seasoned medical writer, consider exploring different subtypes to see what appeals to you. 

By staying up-to-date with the latest developments in your chosen subtype, attending industry events, and networking with other professionals in the field, you can continue to learn and grow as a medical writer. With the right mindset and dedication, the possibilities for success in this field are endless. Read More