Published in the June 2016 issue of Medical Writing, written by Steven Walker and colleagues.
Abstract: The spectrum of medical writing activities across the pharmaceutical and device industries is vast. We conducted a limited survey of medical writers predominantly working in industry or for agencies to learn of their personal and professional experiences. Our results showed that writers entering the medical communications world came from diverse backgrounds and had a variety of reasons for choosing this career path. Most had a scientific background and were highly qualified. Though at times stressful and involving long hours, medical writing was generally a satisfying and well-rewarded career choice. Several individual responses suggested a lack of appreciation and poor cooperation on the part of some clients and/or authors. Quality of life differed little between pharmaceutical and device employees. While many skills are transferable, those wishing to change focus from pharmaceuticals to medical devices or vice versa may face challenges. Respondents offered a range of advice for new recruits.