Take your first step toward a lucrative and rewarding career as a medical writer; no specialized or advanced degrees required! In this course, you’ll learn about the different types of medical writing that you can do, how to break into and succeed in this industry, and how to write effectively on medical topics, whether you’re writing for healthcare providers, patients, or regulatory organizations like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. You will examine the various types of writing that you can do, from producing technical pieces like abstracts and regulatory documentation to writing breezier items like medical news stories and patient education materials. You will gain insights about what goes into putting together a solid and compelling article, regardless of what you’re writing about or who you’re writing for. You will review how to consider your audience and construct an outline that addresses your audience’s informational needs. You’ll also learn how to keep your writing free of medical jargon and common grammatical errors, while ensuring the scientific integrity of your work.
Throughout these lessons, you will discover invaluable tools and technologies that can make your life as a medical writer easier. You will examine informational resources, productivity tools, marketing resources, devices, and software, and review how to use them optimally to achieve your goals. You will also discover numerous tips and tricks that can help set you apart from others in the field and enable you to keep your career momentum going. And of course, you’ll master key medical and statistical terms that you’ll need to know. The knowledge you will gain in this course will give you the foundation and confidence you need to work for almost anyone as a medical writer, whether your goal is to find permanent employment with a company or to work as a freelancer from the comfort of your own home.
In your first lesson, you will learn what medical writing is all about. You will look at what medical writers do and what it takes to me a medical writer. You will examine the many types of writing medical writers produce and tools of the trade. Then you will examine the two main career paths you can take as a medical writer: freelancer and employee. You will examine the benefits and drawbacks of both career paths.
This lesson will equip you to lay a solid foundation for your writing by learning to know your audience, understanding your topic, and creating your outline. Then you will focus on grammar by looking at key sentence-level issues. You will also look at building easy-to-follow paragraphs and transitions, as well as a few rules specific to medical writing.
Focus on language that you will often come across in medical literature. You will discover some abbreviations and how to use them. You will discover how to spot medical jargon and review some key statistical terms. Then you will learn how to add visual elements to your writing and enhance its readability. You will discover accessories you can create: figures, tables, and sidebars. You will review these and how to use them. You will learn about how to proofread your work to catch errors and improve flow.
This lesson will begin with the issue of ethics. You will examine ethical issues that surround medical writing and the responsibilities that come with authorship. You will look at scientific misconduct and how it can affect your writing, plagiarism and how to avoid it, and review ghostwriting and other situations that can cause ethical dilemmas. Then you will examine the markets that need medical writers. You will look at both large and small markets to discover where to begin your job search.
Examine the medical writing freelance arena. You will review how to build a portfolio and then where to look for freelance work. You will review the business side of being a freelancer and gain a better understanding of the freelance environment and how you can be successful in it. Then you will look at how to put together an effective resume and maximize your job search. You will examine strategies that can enhance your chances of getting an interview.
Review credentials you might pursue to make yourself more marketable to prospective employers or clients. You will discover some ways to get career momentum going when you find you have peaked. Then you will look at how technology is shaping medical writing and the way you look for and find medical information. You will review how writing for the Web is different from print and what you need to know to write effectively for online viewing. Also explore some technology solutions that can make your life as a medical writer easier.
Prerequisites / Requirements
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
When can I get started?
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
How does it work?
Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
How long do I have to complete each lesson?
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
What if I need an extension?
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.