A guest post by Dr Nicola Parry who also identified the seed pod.
I’m a freelance writer with a niche.
Anyone who is successful in freelance writing will tell you that although there are many ways to break into this field, one good method involves writing about what you know. It certainly makes writing much easier, and can get you off to a great start in freelancing.
Although I’m a veterinarian by training, I have 18 years of varied, educational and professional scientific experiences, and I apply this combination of knowledge and skills to my role as a freelance medical writer.
What is a Medical Writer?
In general terms, medical writers play an integral role in the communication of medical and scientific information to different audiences.
Whilst many have a strong educational or professional background in science, there are also many extremely successful medical writers who do not have their origins in science, but instead in other fields such as journalism or English.
Types of Medical Writing
The field of medical writing is a broad one, but in a nutshell, it comprises two main categories:
- Regulatory writing: This involves the creation of documents that are required by
- regulatory agencies in the process of approving new drugs and medical devices.
Educational writing: This is further divided, according to the intended audience. Some writers specialize in preparing documents about drugs, medical devices, or health articles for a general audience, or even writing health-related news reports for television or radio. In these instances, the writer must be able to interpret scientific information, and subsequently deliver it in a language that non-scientists can understand. Others, however, write for more specific, and often academic, audiences typically creating documents for medical professionals. Such documents are varied but may include journal articles, conference presentations, literature for new drugs, medical textbook chapters, and materials for continuing medical education (CME), to name a few.
Not too many people tend to actually start out their careers wanting to work in medical writing, but rather most seem to fall into it for any of a number of reasons. I definitely fit into the latter category! My specialty area lies in the educational branch of the medical writing field, and in particular in the writing and editing proofreading, copyediting and substantive editing of articles for scientific publication, as well as the preparation of CME materials. I have, however, also written web-based articles on various aspects of veterinary medicine, pet health, and pet care. Science is my professional passion, and I especially enjoy being able to communicate it to all varieties of audience – from the pet owner to the cancer research scientist.
All in all, medical writing not only represents a great career for suitably qualified individuals, but it additionally provides opportunities for an interesting, and in-demand, freelance writing niche.
What about you – do you have a niche?
If you think medical writing might be the niche for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me – I’ll be very happy to help answer any questions you might have.