Take your first step toward a lucrative and rewarding career as a medical writer.
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 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 the first lesson, you'll learn what medical writing is all about. You'll learn what medical writers do and what it takes to be a medical writer. You'll also examine the many types of writing medical writers produce, as well as the tools of the trade—the equipment that medical writers need to have. By the end of this first lesson, you'll have a solid grasp of the field and the items you should have with you as you begin your medical writing career!
In this lesson, you'll examine the two main career paths you can take as a medical writer: freelancer and employee. You'll start by examining general factors that you need to consider. Then, you'll review the benefits and drawbacks of being a freelancer and an employee. After you complete this lesson, you'll have a good understanding of both of these routes, enabling you to determine which one will better serve your needs and objectives.
There are a few core things you'll need to get a handle on before you start any medical writing project: knowing your audience, understanding your topic, and creating your outline. You can't expect to succeed without first tackling these elements, so this lesson will go into good detail about that. After you complete the lesson, you'll be equipped to lay a solid foundation for your writing, regardless who you're targeting and what you're writing about.
The focus of this lesson is on grammar, which is essential for making your writing polished and coherent. You'll start by looking at key sentence-level issues, including sentence structure and use of punctuation. Then you'll move on to building easy-to-follow paragraphs and transitions, as well as a few rules specific to medical writing!
In this lesson, you'll focus on the language that you'll often come across in medical literature. You'll start by looking at abbreviations, including when and how to use them. Then you'll look at how to spot medical jargon. Finally, you'll review some key statistical terms so that you can better understand how to process the information you're writing about. After you complete this lesson, you'll have a better understanding of the language that dominates the medical arena and how to use it!
This lesson will focus on how to add visual elements to your writing and enhance its readability. You'll start by looking at the accessories you can create: figures, tables, and sidebars. You'll review what these accessories are, when to use them, and considerations to keep in mind when creating them. Then you'll turn your attention to proofreading your work, focusing on strategies you can use to catch errors and improve flow. After you complete this lesson, you'll understand how to add the finishing touches to your work that'll really help it shine!
This lesson is all about ethics! It will talk about the ethical issues that surround medical writing and the responsibilities that come with authorship. You'll start by looking at scientific misconduct and how it can affect your writing. Then you'll turn your attention to plagiarism and how to avoid it. Finally, you'll review ghostwriting and other situations that can cause ethical dilemmas, as well as steps you can take to secure the integrity of your work. After you complete this lesson, you'll have a good understanding of the ethical terrain that underlies medical writing.
In this lesson, you'll examine the markets that need medical writers. You'll start by looking at the pharmaceutical industry, which directly and indirectly employs medical writers. Then, you'll examine medical communications companies, another major employer of medical writers. Finally, you'll review some of the smaller markets, like hospitals, managed care organizations, and professional medical associations. After you complete this lesson, you'll have a good understanding of these markets and where to aim in your job search!
In this lesson, you'll examine the medical writing freelance arena. First, you'll review how you can build a portfolio, which can be an important tool for helping you secure work. Next, you'll examine where to look for freelance work and steps you can take to increase your odds of finding work. Finally, you'll review the business side of being a freelancer, including how to develop a business plan and which business structures you can consider. After you complete this lesson, you'll have a better understanding of the freelance environment and how you can be successful in it.
How can you find permanent employment as a medical writer? That's what this lesson will discuss. First, you'll review how to put together an effective resume and maximize your job search. Then, you'll examine strategies that can enhance your chances of getting an interview, such as constructing a thoughtful cover letter. And finally, you'll look at some ways to really shine during your interview. By the time you finish this lesson, you'll have the knowledge you need to stand out from the crowd, from resume prescreening through the interview process!
Now it's time to think about how you can advance your medical writing career. You'll review credentials you might pursue to make you more enticing to employers or clients and then look at strategies for building a good reputation. Also, every writer's career reaches a standstill at some point—even if you're not there yet, it'll help to be prepared when that happens. The lesson will conclude by discussing some ways to get your career momentum going when you find you've peaked!
How is technology shaping medical writing and the way that people look for and find medical information? That's what this lesson is all about. First, you'll review how writing for the web is different from print and what you need to know to write effectively for online viewing. Then, you'll look at social media and how companies are using it to promote content and brands as well as how you can use these platforms to promote your own work. Finally, you'll examine how technology continues to shape the writing world and explore some technology solutions that can make your life as a medical writer a bit easier!
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
Instructional Material Requirements:
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
Jennifer Della'Zanna has more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry, having worked as a medical transcriptionist, practice administrator, biller, and coding specialist. She writes courses and study guides on the use of technology in health care and regularly contributes to publications about health issues. Della'Zanna is a member of the American Academy of Professional Coders and the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Albright College.
Instructor Interaction: The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.
I am so glad I took this course! By the end, I felt empowered to get the medical writing job of my dreams. Christina is very knowledgeable about the industry and offered common-sense tips as well as insider info on how to do well as a medical writer. I look forward to a second course in this series.
I thoroughly enjoyed Christina Loguidice's class. It was informative and challenging, and I came away from this course learning so much regarding the opportunities for a freelance or employee medical writer. She was always available to answer your questions and her feedback was always constructive. The supplemental material provided in each lesson was excellent! I would take another class with her if one was offered. She is the best! Thanks, Christina, for offering such an outstanding and interesting class.
I found this course to be terrific and am very satisfied in having enrolled in it. The information was relevant to present-day technology and the current employment environment. It offered practical and beneficial information that applied not only to the world of medical writing, but also, on a broader level, to the world of business writing in general. Separately, Discussion Area responses by the instructor (Christina Loguidice) were always considerate, thoughtful, and oriented specifically to the questions and points raised by the students. This is among the most well-put-together online courses I have participated in. Many thanks for such an organized, professional, and helpful course.
Christina is an excellent online instructor. Her writing style is such that you can "hear" her voice. Her mix of text, graphics, and audio tools is great and addresses the various learning styles of her students. I learned a lot in this class. Christina was very encouraging. I feel like I gained a lot of confidence in how to seek employment as a writer.
Through this course, I was able to quickly learn useful information that would have taken me many months to figure out on my own through trial and error. This course was helpful and the instructor knowledgeable about the subject matter. I appreciate having the opportunity to take this quality course online in the comfort of my home and at a reasonable expense. I would most definitely recommend it to anyone else interested in exploring medical writing as a career option either as a freelancer or full-time employee.
Thank you! I have started a list of "next steps" as I begin to develop and pursue a career in medical writing. This course provided me a great deal of help and insight. It was worth every minute and every penny. Many thanks!
The course was well written and the instructor participation was excellent. I also liked the puzzles at the end of the lessons. They were a fun way to reinforce some of the terms learned in the lessons.
The instructor was very knowledgeable. I like the use of mixed media. She used videos and audio on every lesson, which kept it interesting. Above all, I like the organization and structure of the class. This made it simple to follow and navigate my way through the course.
This course offered many points that can be used in the general workday in addition to exploring work as a medical writer or any other work. I enjoyed it immensely! Thank you!
This course delivered so much bang for the buck! It was a gold mine of information. Well thought out, full of information about all aspects of medical writing. I would recommend this course in a heartbeat. Christina is an amazing educator.