Medical Communications Agency – A World of Exciting Career Opportunities for Medical Writers

Medical Communications Agency

Medical Communications agency is an attractive place to work for medical writers – here every day is different, bringing new experiences and opportunity to continually learn and challenge oneself. There are ample opportunities to grow into functional and or operational roles making a lifetime career in the medical communications field.

The key ingredients that goes in making of a good professional medical writer are flair for writing, a clear understanding of medical science, command over language, identification of target audience, attention to detail, good analytical skills, stakeholder management, working on tight deadlines and team skills.1 Graduates and postgraduates in life sciences/Medicine who have the right skills and aptitude make a good fit as professional medical writers. Those in core scientific roles benefit with a PhD but is not mandatory to grow in the medical writing field. Most of the professional medical writers work within the pharmaceutical industry, medical communication agencies, contract research organizations, knowledge process outsourcing companies or independently as freelancers. There are other settings as well, where they are employed, like media & publishing companies and medical journals, academic medical institutions, medical/scientific societies, healthcare websites, news organizations, and government organizations.2

The medical communications agency comprises of a variety of roles that sets multiple growth options for the medical writers. A medical writer working in a medical communications agency can grow functionally and be a part of the core scientific team focusing on quality content development. Medical writers can also grow in to operational roles managing larger teams or performing client facing roles and be a part of the client service team. There are also opportunities to make a lateral move across functions and operational domains, making it a lifetime fulfilling career.1 In a medical communications agency, the functional growth avenues span from entry level as a junior writer often titled as Associate Medical Writer / Scientific Writer / Publication Writer and can grow vertically in a functional role as a Senior Writer --> Expert Writer --> Principle Writer level. Other opportunities in the functional domain are editorial roles like Scientific Editor, Copy Editor, Quality Lead, and Subject Matter Expert (SME) roles such as Medical Lead / Scientific Lead / Publication Lead --> Communications Strategy Director or as a Medical Director.

In a large sized medical communications agency there are equally good opportunities in the operational domain, one can get into a people management role as a Team Lead and grow up vertically with increasing people management responsibilities as a Group Lead --> Function Head --> Practice Head --> Vice President level. If the thought of people management does not appeal, an aspect commonly associated with medical writers; there are other avenues to grow in the operational domain as an individual contributor. These are client-facing roles with different titles mostly with overlapping responsibilities:
a) Project Specialist --> Project Managers / Event Manager / Event Lead
b) Medical Communications Lead / Publications Manager / Service Manager --> Service Liaison
c) Account Manager --> Account Director
d) Operations Manager --> Operations Director.

Medical writer’s skills are transferable and based on one’s choice and aptitude one can grow in functional and or operational domain.

References:

  1. Rajeev P, Makhija M. Awareness of medical writing as a profession and its career prospects. EMWA Journal 2018;27(4):46-51.
  2. Sharma S. How to become a competent medical writer? Perspect Clin Res 2010;1(1):33-7.

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Keywords : Medical communications agency, Medical writing Agency, Medical writing Service, Medical communications service, Manuscript writing, Posters, Medical education