Historically, there have been a handful of doctors who have become legendary writers. From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes to Michael Crichton, famous for Jurassic Park, Coma and Westworld, physicians seem to have a knack for the art of storytelling.
With the internet these days, becoming a medical writer is easier than ever. Gone are the days of the necessity of tirelessly submitting manuscripts to big publishing companies. Anyone with a laptop, an idea and imagination, can inexpensively self-publish using Amazon’s Kindle Publishing and get their ideas out to potentially millions of people.
Physicians as writers have an advantage that most writers don’t have – built-in credibility. Although some would argue that having a medical degree name isn’t as prestigious as it used to be, in terms of health content, it still goes a long way.
So where should you begin?
You are most likely reading this, because you are looking for supplemental income, so it makes sense to go to where the jobs are. What’s great is that most of these type of jobs are remote, allowing you to work from home or on the road.
Here are the areas, where doctors seem to be most in demand:
Consumer Writing – As doctors, we are used to taking complex information and making it easily digestible for the general public. Due to the plethora of health sites on the web, there is a constant need for quality of content. If you have the skill to analyze the latest research and how best it can be applied for consumers, this is a great avenue to venture.
Technical Writing – Per the American Medical Writers Association website, the average salary of medical writer is around $90,000 but can increase to $125,000 if writing for technical disciplines such as biotech or Big Pharma. Being able to research and interpret data are skills that we should have acquired as doctors, and what the companies are seeking. Grant proposal writing is another in demand area. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the correct format to have a steady career in these disciplines.
CME Courses – With maintenance of certification requirements always needed, doctors will need to rely on quality content, and will look to their colleagues to provide them with the quality content they need. Many of us enjoy teaching, so this can be a natural fit for doctors.
.A common theme we’re seeing for medical writing job requirements is previous experience. If you feel you might be lacking in this, there’s no better time than the present to start gaining some. Having a blog is the simplest and easiest way to started. If the growth of social media is an indication, it’s that anyone can be a writer.
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