Developing writing samples and networking are examples of strategies for students to develop their skills in medical writing.
Medical writing is a rewarding career path with which many pharmacy school students may not be familiar with. If you browse job postings on LinkedIn, you’ll see a variety of positions specifically for pharmacists. After all, pharmacists are drug experts, so they are well positioned as medical writers. Medical writing offers exciting opportunities, with both remote and face-to-face work environments. While medical writing may seem like a behind-the-scenes job, it is one of the most important aspects of medical education. If you enjoy research and creating content, then medical writing could be the right career path for you.
My Medical Writing Journey
During my drug information residency, I developed a passion for research and teaching. My next step was a career in academia, managing a university-based drug information center and teaching pharmacy students. The information center provided written and verbal responses to drug information questions from patients and health care professionals on topics including pill identification and drug interactions. One of the most exciting parts of academia was getting involved in research and crafting articles for publication.
After becoming a parent, I decided to transition from academia to freelance medical writing for more job flexibility. I began writing for Pharmacy Times about 8 years ago and it has been a wonderful experience developing content for pharmacists. Lifelong learning is one of the best aspects of medical writing because you are always researching something new. You are always on top of your pharmacy knowledge. COVID-19 and respiratory syncytial virus vaccines are a couple of the many hot topics I have covered. My most recent rewarding medical writing venture is developing consumer drug information content for GoodRx Health.
Besides writing for pharmacy magazines or consumer health education websites, pharmacists can develop continuing education programs for medical communications companies either in person or at home.1 Other opportunities include slide deck development, textbook chapter writing, medical marketing, and regulatory document preparation.1 Additionally, pharmacy editors play an important role in writing and editing content for websites, scientific journals, and health care magazines.
8 Steps for Success
There are a variety of steps you can take while in pharmacy school to prepare for a career in medical writing. When pharmacy students with an interest in medical writing reach out to me, I provide the following 8 tips for success:
About the Author
Jennifer Gershman, PharmD, CPh, PACS, is a drug information pharmacist and Pharmacy Times contributor who resides in South Florida.