Freelance writers often do not specialize but enjoy the challenge of researching and writing about a variety of topics. However, freelance writers who find niches where they can excel usually find it easier to build a following within a specialty.
Freelance medical writers are in that area of specialization that allows for a wide variety of topics, many not needing any special knowledge except research skills.
There are an array of topics for medical writers that include:
- Blog posts for product liability attorneys concerning drugs that harm people
- Articles about health insurance
- Articles about side effects of certain medical procedures or drugs
- Articles about natural supplements and vitamins
- Articles or posts for health education by advocacy groups
If you think writing medical blogs and posts would be enjoyable, it would most likely be better if you got paid. The best way to begin in this career is by checking the job boards of content providers. Frequently, there are lower paying jobs that do not require experience; if you complete these successfully, you can showcase your work on your profile and blog. Once you have a few articles under your belt, you can then write at your actual level where the pay is higher.
Also, post your availability on LinkedIn. If you are not already a member, it is a great place to find freelance work. However, exercise care in the jobs you bid on or accept. For example, writing a medical piece that requires more knowledge than have can slow your progress in developing a niche. Frankly, using a service like WriterAccess is the best way as it will check your work and make sure your copy is not inadvertently plagiarized.
Resources for Freelance Medical Writers:
- American Medical Association Manual of Style, 9th edition. Baltimore, MD et al.: Williams & Wilkins; 1998. www.wwilkins.com
- Gastel B. The Healthwriter’s Handbook, 2nd ed. University of Iowa Press; 2004.
- Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 28th edition. Philadelphia et al.: W.B. Saunders Company, 1994.
- AMWA-DVC: Toolkit for New Medical Writers
- Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov/
- Mayo Clinic.com
- Web MD
Alan E is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.