Medical Writing Careers in medical writing Career opportunities in medical device writing: Employee and freelance perspectives

Volume 28, Issue 1 - Careers in medical writing

Career opportunities in medical device writing: Employee and freelance perspectives


Many regulatory medical writers start their careers in pharma. Whilst many continue in pharma, some also work in medical devices and an increasing number are switching to medical device writing. This article explores how and why writers might move from pharma to medical devices, just write for medical devices, or work in both, and identifies the transferable skills from the perspective of two writers, one who is now employed by a medical device company and another who is freelance. With sound writing skills and broad experience, there is no reason why a writer cannot transition from pharma to medical device writing, work solely in medical devices, or even decide to work simultaneously in both fields.

Download the full article


  1. European Commission. MEDDEV 2.7/1 revision 4. Clinical Evaluation: A Guide for Manufacturers and Notified Bodies Under Directives 93/42/EEC and 90/385/EEC. 2016.
  2. European Commission. Regulation (EU) 2017/745 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2017 on medical devices, amending Directive 2001/83/EC, Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 and Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 and repealing Council Directives 90/385/EEC and 93/42/EEC. Official Journal of the European Union. 2017;L117:1–175.
  3. European Commission. Regulation (EU) 2017/746 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2017 on in vitro diagnostic medical devices and repealing Directive 98/79/EC and Commission Decision 2010/227/EU. Official Journal of the European Union. 2017;L117:176–332.
  4. Walker S, Opie J, Whitman S, et al. Writing for pharmaceutical or medical device companies: a survey of entry requirements, career paths, quality of life, and personal observations. Med Writ. 2016;25:21–9.
  5. Opie J. Life as a medical writer for a medical device company. The Write Stuff. 2011;20:88–9.
  6. De Faoite D. Medical devices: an exciting industry at a crossroads. Med Writ. 2017;26:1–2.
  7. Doerr B, Whitman S, Walker S. Writing for medical devices compared to pharmaceuticals: an introduction. Med Writ. 2017;26:8–13.
  8. Billiones R. Medical devices in the disclosure era and the role of medical writers. Med Writ. 2017;26:32–4.
  9. Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. ABPI Careers. 2016 [cited 2018 Dec 7]. Available from: default. aspx.
  10. Standardization IOf. ISO 14155– 1:2003 Clinical investigation of medical devices for human subjects. Part 1: General requirements. 2003.
  11. Standardization IOf. ISO 14155– 2:2003 Clinical investigation of medical devices for human subjects. Part 2: Clinical investigation plans. 2003.
  12. Marcus HJ, Hughes-Hallett A, Payne CJ, et al. Trends in the diffusion of robotic surgery: A retrospective observational study. Int J Med Robot. 2017;13.
  13. Rassweiler JJ, Autorino R, Klein J, et al. Future of robotic surgery in urology. BJU Int. 2017;120:822–41.
  14. Albright BB, Witte T, Tofte AN, et al. Robotic versus laparoscopic hysterectomy for benign disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. J Minim Invasive Gynecol. 2016;23:18–27.
  15. Feldwisch-Dentrup H. New clues why a French drug trial went horribly wrong. American Association for the Advancement of Science. 2017 [cited 2018 Dec 7]. Available from: 06/new-clues-why-french-drug-trial-wenthorribly- wrong.
  16. Vince G. DN9226 UK drug trial disaster the official report. New Scientist Ltd., 2006 [cited 2018 Dec 7]. Available from: dn9226-uk-drug-trial-disaster-the-officialreport/.
  17. Devices FIf DaM. Silicone gel breast implants, from Poly Implant Prothèse Company. 2017 [cited 2018 Dec 7]. Available from: SharedDocs/Risikoinformationen/ Medizinprodukte/EN/silicone_breast_ implants_PIP_info.html.



Careers in medical writing
President’s Message
How to get your first job as a medical writer
Educating the medical writer: A 5-year update
Cheeky medical writers: Transitioning from academia to medical writing
Making the leap: My move from academia to medical writing
From bench to pen: Life as a new medical writer
The grass is always greener on the other side
Pharmaceutical writer or CRO writer – choosing the right path
Career shift: Employment to freelancing
Medical writing and medical translation – two crossing paths
Career opportunities in medical device writing: Employee and freelance perspectives
Career shifts – surviving a change in geography
Grant writing and editing
1000 words in 1 picture
Medical writing at the management level
Thriving (and not just surviving) in a VUCA healthcare industry
Elevate your medical writing team to success
Clinical trial disclosure landscape and awareness in Japan
News from the EMA
Regulatory Matters
Gained in Translation
In the Bookstores
Medical Devices
Journal Watch
Veterinary Medical Writing
Good Writing Practice
Medical Communication
Regulatory Public Disclosure
Out on Our Own
Vignettes - Life After Medical Writing


The Write Stuff Archive Contact Instructions for Authors Article Template (Word) Journal Policies

Editoral Board


Raquel Billiones


Evguenia Alechine

Jonathan Pitt

Managing Editor

Victoria White

Deputy Managing Editor

Alicia Brooks Waltman

Associate Editors

Anuradha Alahari

Jennifer Bell

Nicole Bezuidenhout

Claire Chang

Barbara Grossman

Sarah Milner

John Plant

Sampoorna Rappaz

Amy Whereat

Section Editors

Daniela Kamir


Jennifer Bell


Nicole Bezuidenhout 

Digital Communication

Somsuvro Basu

EMWA News 

Ana Sofia Correia 

Gained in Translation

Ivana Turek

Getting Your Foot in the Door

Wendy Kingdom / Amy Whereat

Good Writing Practice

Alison McIntosh 

In the Bookstores

Maria Kołtowska-Häggström

Lingua Franca and Beyond

Maddy Dyer


Lisa Chamberlain-James

Medical Communications/Writing for Patients

Payal Bhatia

Medical Devices

Evguenia Alechine

My First Medical Writing

Anuradha Alahari

News from the EMA

Adriana Rocha


Tiziana von Bruchhausen


Clare ChangZuo Yen Lee 

Regulatory Matters

Sam Hamilton

Regulatory Public Disclosure

Claire Gudex

Teaching Medical Writing

Louisa Ludwig-Begall / Sarah Kabani

The Crofter: Sustainable Communications

Louisa Marcombes

Veterinary Writing

Editors Emeritus

Elise Langdon-Neuner

Phil Leventhal

Layout Designer

Chris Monk