Medical Writing Writing Matters Pharmaceutical medical writing competencies: Comparing self-perception with employers' expectations

Volume 21, Issue 3 - Writing Matters

Pharmaceutical medical writing competencies: Comparing self-perception with employers' expectations


In the recently published ‘Pharmaceutical Medical Writing Competency Model’, a group of medical writers describes the knowledge, skills, and behaviours they considered essential for successful medical writers. Thus, this model represents a list of essential job requirements from within the medical writing profession. Using the job postings of the EMWA website (in total 146 adverts from 2009 to 2011), we investigated whether the competencies listed in the model are in line with the expectations of the employers of medical writers. In these adverts, we found that familiarity with the techniques of scientific writing and editing, a science background, the ability to comprehend scientific concepts, and the capability to author quality documents were the most frequently mentioned requirements. Generally, the Competency Model matched well with the requirements mentioned in the job adverts. However, certain essential attributes were rarely mentioned in job adverts; examples include proficiency in statistics and knowledge about publication guidelines. With regard to social skills, job adverts tended to ask for more general skills than those described by the Competency Model. The Competency Model distinguishes between publication and regulatory writers, and this distinction was reflected in the attributes mentioned in the job postings with adverts for regulatory medical writers listing a broader skill set than did those for publication medical writers.

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Writing Matters
Message from the President
EMWA news
Getting what you want from your scientific writing: tips for writing clearly
What's your problem? A practical approach to scientific document design
The joys of outlining in medical writing
Pleasing the reader by pleasing the eye—Part 1 The role of format and design in readability
Writing visually for medical writers
Quality control: getting the best out of your review
Pharmaceutical medical writing competencies: Comparing self-perception with employers' expectations
In the Bookstores
Journal Watch
The Webscout
Manuscript Writing
Regulatory writing
English Grammar and Style
Out On Our Own
Gained in Translation

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