Medical Writing Medical Communication Writing for pharmaceutical or medical device companies: A survey of entry requirements, career paths, quality of life, and personal observations

Volume 25, Issue 2 - Medical Communication

Writing for pharmaceutical or medical device companies: A survey of entry requirements, career paths, quality of life, and personal observations


The spectrum of medical writing activities across the pharmaceutical and device industries is vast. We conducted a limited survey of medical writers predominantly working in industry or for agencies to learn of their personal and professional experiences. Our results showed that writers entering the medical communications world came from diverse backgrounds and had a variety of reasons for choosing this career path. Most had a scientific background and were highly qualified. Though at times stressful and involving long hours, medical writing was generally a satisfying and well-rewarded career choice. Several individual responses suggested a lack of appreciation and poor cooperation on the part of some clients and/or authors. Quality of life differed little between pharmaceutical and device employees. While many skills are transferable, those wishing to change focus from pharmaceuticals to medical devices or vice versa may face challenges. Respondents offered a range of advice for new recruits.

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President's Message
Suggested reading in recent issues of European Science Editing
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Top ten questions about careers in MedComms
Staying ahead of the game in the changing arena of ethical medical communications - Viewpoint of a freelance medical writer
A PhD and medical writing: A good match
Writing for pharmaceutical or medical device companies: A survey of entry requirements, career paths, quality of life, and personal observations
Medical Gems
The request for proposal process: A brief overview for trainee medical writers
Winners of the Geoff Hall Scholarship Essay Competition
Abstracts from the EMWA Spring Conference Poster Session
News from the EMA
Journal Watch
In the Bookstores
The Webscout
Regulatory Matters
Lingua Franca and Beyond
Gained in Translation
Medical Writing Teaching
Profile - An Interview with Juliane Chaccour - Writing in Mozambique
Letter to the Editor
Out On Our Own


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

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