A Popular Nonclinical Career Option

Today I present my thoughts on how to become a successful medical writer.

I am presenting an excerpt from my course on the Nonclinical Career Academy called Introduction to Careers as a Medical Writer. It should answer some of the questions you have about this popular career.

I’ll explain more at the end of the podcast today. But in addition to the video lesson, there are several downloadable audio interviews with physicians who became writers.

Our Sponsor

We're proud to have the University of Tennessee Physician Executive MBA Program, offered by the Haslam College of Business, as the sponsor of this podcast.

The UT PEMBA is the longest-running, and most highly respected physician-only MBA in the country. It has over 700 graduates. And, the program only takes one year to complete. 

By joining the UT Physician Executive MBA, you will develop the business and management skills you need to find a career that you really love. To find out more, contact Dr. Kate Atchley’s office at (865) 974-6526 or go to nonclinicalphysicians.com/physicianmba.

Types of Medical Writing

Medical writing is a broad field that is commonly assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Technical
  • Journalistic
  • Medical Education, including CME
  • Patient Education
  • Copywriting, including marketing and advertising

Further, medical writers can work as freelancers or as employees. Freelancers will usually require a business structure such as an LLC.

Become a Successful Medical Writer

To become a successful medical writer, you will need to do the following:

  • Decide whether you want to be a freelancer, building your clients over time, or an employed writer. Freelancers have more freedom but require more discipline. Employed writers usually have a greater structure to their jobs and more options for advancing their careers. Both types will probably have the opportunity to work from home.
  • Select a field of writing. You might be a technical writer for a CRO (Contract Research Organization), a freelance writer for a CME Company, or an employed writer for a health education company. 
  • If employed, you may be able to step into a role as an editor, or as a senior medical writer or manager of a writing department.


Medical writing is a career that often provides the ability to work from home, or while traveling. Your skills can be applied in a variety of ways, for a variety of audiences, and advancement opportunities to supervisory roles are often available.

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Music Note: I have returned to my usual music for the podcast. But I am practicing more now. I hope to bring a new music clip to a future episode soon.

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Many of the links that I refer you to, and that you’ll find in the show notes, are affiliate links. That means that I receive a payment from the seller if you purchase the affiliate item using my link. Doing so has no effect on the price you are charged. And I only promote products and services that I believe are of high quality and will be useful to you, that I have personally used or am very familiar with.

The opinions expressed here are mine and my guest’s. While the information provided on the podcast is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, there is no express or implied guarantee that using the methods discussed here will lead to success in your career, life, or business.

The information presented on this blog and related podcast is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only. I do not provide medical, legal, tax, or emotional advice. If you take action on the information provided on the blog or podcast, it is at your own risk. Always consult an attorney, accountant, career counselor, or other professional before making any major decisions about your career.