Medical writer

Interview for a Medical Writer’s Position: What Should You Know as a Fresher?

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It is your interview day, the day that might help you land your dream job. In addition to honing your skills, you must invest time in doing homework and prepare well for the interview to crack it. Your task is to showcase your best abilities and talent to impress the interviewer. Interviews are usually unpredictable, but the right preparation can ease your anxiety and make you look more confident. For a medical writer’s position, you will be assessed for skills such as writing, editing, subject knowledge and soft skills.

The interview for a medical writer’s position usually involves 3 stages –

Stage 1 – Assessment of writing and editing skills

The interviewer may provide you certain topics to write, along with a set of instruction to follow. The topic can be anything from the structure of the heart to significance of Ayurveda in COVID patients. You will however be provided necessary tools to research and source the data. Sometimes, the interview test also includes a paragraph with grammatical errors, and you are expected to rectify them; this enables the recruiter to assess your command over grammar and editing.

Remember the test is to assess your English writing skills and grammar. Therefore, sharpen your writing skills before appearing for the interview. Reading high quality documents published by leading journals can improve your writing style. Practice and do evaluate your writings on online readability checkers like Grammarly or Hemingway, this can help improve your grammar usage and sentence formation. Also, learn research techniques that can help you in effective search of source data.

Stage 2 –Assessment of subject knowledge

To assess your subject knowledge, you may be asked to appear for either a written test or face-to-face interview with the lead of a medical writing team. Most of the time, both.

A pharma or a publication house usually conducts an interview test which includes a scientific study or a scientific paper with set of guidelines. You might be asked to write an abstract of it or to make a slide deck that targets scientific audience. This will not only help to evaluate the subject knowledge but also your logical presentation of the data.

Do not forget to brush up your basics about human anatomy and pharmacology before appearing for the interview.

Stage 3 – Evaluation of soft skills

Soft skills are as important as technical skills for any career.  They contribute substantially to success of the individual as well as the organisation.

Some essential soft skills that make a successful medical writer are strong problem-solving skills, an ability to see problems from different perspectives, flexibility for adapting to change, active listening skills, attention to detail, receptiveness to the feedback and being a good team player. You shall come across various behavioural questions in all the phases of the interview to assess your soft skills and emotional intelligence.

The Must-Haves in the Profile of an Aspiring Medical Writer

To make your profile impressive, you may :

Showcase your strengths in writing, highlight the research papers that you have worked on or any certification programs undertaken to improve your medical writing skills. If blogging is your hobby, include that, it does not matter what type of blogs you work.

Include summary of your qualifications, keep it short and show the recruiter why you’re qualified for the position.

Mention your proficiency in handling software like Microsoft Word, Power point, Excel, and statistical applications.

Refer to the extra-curricular activities you have undertaken, managing both academics and activities showcases your multitasking and time management skills.

Find out the ideal template that can showcase your skills and help focus the recruiters’ attention on the things that are important. The profile should be impressive enough so that the recruiter is compelled to dial you for a telephonic interview!


Providing Marketing Materials for the Biomedical Industry: Role of a Medico-Marketing Writer

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We have earlier understood the role of medical writers in developing regulatory documents and their contribution in the regulatory clearance for a drug or a device. Likewise, medical writers are an indispensable part of the medico-marketing industry contributing to knowledge-based promotional campaigns and educational initiatives through their impactful medico-marketing materials.

Understanding Medico-Marketing

Once the regulatory authority approves the drug, the biomedical industries such as pharmaceutical companies market the drug to physicians and patients; the whole set of activities are termed medico-marketing. Medico-Marketing means promoting pharmaceutical products. The World Health Organization opines pharmaceutical promotion as “all information and persuasive activities executed by pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, attempting to affect the prescription, supply, purchase, and/or use of medical drugs”.

Medico-marketing Materials

The medico marketing team is responsible for updating health professionals and patients or end customers regarding the safe and effective use of the drug. The strategy is to create a market visibility of the drug by providing high quality and accurate information to the target audience. The major activities of medico-marketing include successful launch of the new product, promotion of the products with the help of the field force, creating brand recognition in the medical fraternity and education and spreading of awareness to the consumers. To perform these activities, the marketing team collaborates with medical writing team to develop various medical documents that facilitate marketing a pharmaceutical product. Few of the documents include:

  • Product monographs
  • Leave-behind literature
  • Brochures
  • Visual aids
  • Newsletters
  • Health blogs
  • Salesforce training manuals
  • e-learning modules for physicians and patients
  • Whitepapers
  • Web content
  • Patient Stories
  • Emailers

A medico marketing writer must have sound scientific knowledge, efficient English writing skills, creative and journalistic eye to design. Information about various social media platforms and communications can be helpful. Medico marketing writers are usually hired by pharmaceutical companies, CROs, and medical communication agencies. To be a medico-marketing writer you must have a skill of writing accurate and easy-to-understand medical content for your readers. Many medical and science background professionals may need to hone their writing skills to kick-start their career in medical writing. Apart from writing, a good understanding of the Microsoft Word and PowerPoint is a must, and knowledge on basics of design can improve your profile.

Source – WHO