How to Become a Medical Writer

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Are strong writing skills and a background in medical science your forte? Read on then to learn how to become a medical writer.


Medical writing is a career that combines your medical calling while supporting your writing skills. Medical writers are professionals who translate complex scientific medical material into a piece of simple, lucid information for the public. Writing and dispersing medical and health-related information in a language ​​that reaches diverse audiences requires specialized skills. Therefore, before applying for a medical writing position, it is best to prepare to ensure that you obtain the necessary qualifications for this career.

This blog explains what Medical Writing Course is and how to become a medical writer.

What is Medical Writing?

Medical writing typically contains terminology that is difficult to understand for non-medical readers. Medical writing makes this complex scientific information available to diverse audiences in simple, understandable language. Medical writing requires professionals to understand, interpret, and present clinical research and other medical information to an audience in simple language that is easy to understand.

What kind of work does a medical writer do?

Primarily, medical writers are associated with the medicine and healthcare industry. However, demand for their work also extends to manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, insurance, and marketing. They create relevant content for physicians, insurance professionals, medical product purchasers, patients, and the general public.

The specific tasks a medical writer performs may vary by employer and specialty, but common tasks include understanding content requirements, writing content for print and online publications, and providing subject matter expertise. Consequently, medical writers need to consult with clients and organize and design written and visual content. Apart from this, proofreading and editing, meeting strict deadlines, and attending medical events to learn more about the life sciences also form a part of a medical writer’s tasks.  

How to Become a Medical Writer?

To maximize your chances as a medical writer, here are the 8 steps you can follow to become a medical writer.

  • Choose a specialization

With the medical writing field being diverse and many industries employing medical writers it would help to know what type of writing you want to specialize in. For instance, if public health interests you, you could apply to opportunities forthcoming by NGOs or the Government. Choosing a specialty will give you a more targeted focus. To do this, you need to reflect on your strengths and interests.

Also, consider your desired work environment based on your experience; whether you are satisfied with a full-time medical writing job in an organization or prefer being a self-employed medical writer choosing your assignments and setting your own schedule.

  • Earn an educational degree

There are no hard and fast rules for medical writing training qualifications, but employers require candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Building medical knowledge is of paramount importance in medical writing. Choose to pursue an education degree in the medical field and qualify through a medical writing course, or study English, journalism, or mass communication as an educational subject and deepen your medical knowledge through additional courses. Either way, expertise in these areas will help you write informedly about medical and health-related topics.

  • Pursue upskilling certifications/courses

Many educational institutions such as Kodakco now offer medical writing courses for aspiring medical writers. These courses provide targeted guidance on how to become a medical writer by delving into the nuances of medical writing and covering subfields of medical writing, ethical concerns, and writing for specific audiences. Most of these courses also award certifications that increase your candidacy for a medical writer job. Evaluate these medical writing courses and choose the one that best suits your goals.

  • Read about medical writing 

To improve your writing skills, be it medical writing or any other form of writing, constant reading is essential to familiarize yourself with high-quality writing. Try to read as much medical documentation in your chosen field as possible. If you are interested in writing for medical journals, for example, read various medical journals that pique your interest. Being familiar with the content in your chosen specialty will expose you to examples of high-quality writing that you can aspire to. Consequently, regular reading will also keep you abreast of the latest trends in your chosen writing field.  

  • Have a portfolio

Demonstrating your abilities is essential to writing, and a portfolio of sample work will do just that. A portfolio can be built by working on spec work, which is unsolicited work created to appeal to potential employers. You can research trends in medical writing and the medical field and create spec articles. For example, you can write about a new medical technology.

Once your professional examples are established, you can create a digital portfolio to showcase your work to potential employers. However, this may require permission from the company you wrote the article for. Therefore, consult your manager before adding any professional work online.

  • Networking with other medical writers

Introduce yourself to people who are in the same profession and build relationships. Networking is significant in medical writing because medical writing is a competitive field and knowing someone in the industry can help you start your career. You can follow pages of like-minded people on social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram. Another way to network can be through online blogs of established medical writers and medical writing forums. Thus, networking gets you tips from renowned authors and offers insights on how to pursue career opportunities. Not to forget, you might also receive recommendations to improve your chances of getting hired.

  • Develop Your Expertise 

Last but not least, constantly developing and expanding your medical writing expertise, especially if you’re contemplating a freelance career is essential. Freelance medical writers are busy throughout the year which allows them to focus on different areas of medical writing expertise at different times. For example, they might be busy during product launches and other events. However, during quieter times, mastering multiple areas of medical writing can be helpful. You can become familiar with different areas of medical writing by reading content from other medical writers, attending conferences, and networking. 


Overall, constant writing and being updated about the medical industry will help you jump-start your career. A Medical Course can be a sure-shot way to enter this competitive industry with the right skills. We hope this blog has offered you valuable insights into how to become a medical writer. As with everything in life, practice and continuous learning will guide you down the competitive path in medical writing.


Q.1. Which mode of medical writing course should I enroll in – a self-paced course or live instructor-led training?

Answer: The mode of the course depends on your other commitments. However, to get the most benefit from your medical writing course, live, instructor-led medical training is recommended. Many reputed institutions like Kodakco provide excellent training in medical writing.

Q.2. What could be my professional responsibilities as a medical writer?

Answer: The exact role will, of course, be determined by the company that employs you. However, to specify a few common tasks for medical writers would include writing training manuals for selling medical devices or writing articles for medical newspapers, magazines, and websites. You may also write medical journals, drug brochures, and clinical trial reports.

Q.3. Will AI replace medical writing jobs in the future?

 Answer: While it is improbable that AI will completely replace medical writers, AI may become progressively supportive. For instance, AI may help automate repetitive tasks, improve data analysis efficiency, and even help create initial designs. That said, AI will never be able to exactly replicate the human creative process and replace you as a writer.

 Q.4. Is there any scope for medical writing in India?

Answer: Currently, a career as a medical writer is highly paying in India. Clinical research outsourcing requires skilled domestic experts. Thus the demand for medical writers is increasing globally. As India has a talent pool available at a reasonable cost, there are many opportunities for medical writers in the country.

Q.5. Is the job of a medical writer stressful?

Answer: Medical Writers are required to work on multiple projects simultaneously while meeting strict regulatory deadlines and absolute accuracy. This, combined with the critical nature of the documentation, adds to the workload.

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