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Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Careers in Medical Writing: Resources


It's been almost 3 years since Next Wave last covered careers in technical writing in depth, and although a lot has changed, a good deal has remained the same. You might, for example, want to check out Charles Boulakia's exposition on the differences between technical writing and journalism, as well as Philip Hunt's description of his transition from molecular biology to medical writing. We also have an entire feature dedicated to the often closely related field of clinical trials.

But--not surprisingly, perhaps, given the vocation of the people who run the place--there's much more in the Wave on writing. So, here's a partial list of some of the other features and one-off articles that you might want to peruse if you're considering a career in this particular corner of the scientific world. ...

The Spy's report on Everything You Wanted to Know About Becoming a Science Writer But Were Afraid to Ask.

Next Wave's first ever feature, which focused on careers in--you've guessed it--Science Journalism.

Andrea Lord's thoughts on getting started in writing.


Professional Societies

American Medical Writers Association

AMWA is one of the better known professional organizations for medical writers in North America. Their site is a rich source of information about the discipline, and you could find yourself spending many happy hours perusing the various links they provide on their links page. You'll also get a sense of the kind of jobs that are "out there" by visiting their jobs pages.

European Medical Writers Association

EMWA is AMWA's European cousin, offering a similar range of information geared toward the European audience. One interesting twist: The site offers a description of medical writing in Spanish!

Society for Technical Communication

The STC is the big daddy of technical communications organizations in the States. Consequently it's site, which has changed considerably since Next Wave reviewed it as part of our earlier feature on technical writing, has a great deal to offer.

Council of Science Editors

A broader focus than AMWA, but the CSE's site is also very useful. Follow links to articles about authorship, ghost writing, and many more. Like AMWA, the CSE site includes a job listing page.

Pharmaceutical Organizations

The Drug Information Association

This site has a lot of information on the pharmaceutical testing process, as well as a variety of job listing tools. According to Next Wave's guest Tooling Up columnist Chandra Louise, "the membership directory of the Drug Information Association might be an excellent place to start looking for the name of a clinical trials manager in a pharmaceutical company."

Canada's International Scientific Products Exchange site contains an extensive list of links to pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies.

Job Search Sites and Recruiters

You know all the big ones, and in any case, it's not always clear whether or not resume-posting sites are all that helpful (see Peter Fiske's recent Tooling Up column for more details). But for what it's worth, here are a few sites that tend to offer writing jobs:

Source: Science Careers by Crispin Taylor
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