What Are The Types of Medical Writing?

Medical writing involves writing various documents for different functions and for different audiences. The value of good clinical writing cannot be disregarded because science is dependent on clear and correct reporting. An otherwise meticulous research can appear wrong if it is poorly presented.

Types of Medical Writing

According to Sharma (2010), the following are examples of medical writing:

Medical Journalism

Newspaper and magazine articles are more commonly for the general public and should be written in simple, non-technical language.

Medical Education

For physicians, this is in the form of textbooks, Continued Medical Education (CME) programs, slide decks and e-learning modules

For patients, this is in the form of patient education materials

Medical marketing of healthcare products

This includes promotional literature targeted at healthcare professionals. It also includes product monographs, brochures and handouts. It also includes sales training manuals and e-learning modules.

This also includes website content for physicians and patients who serve as consumers

Publications and Presentations

These include journal articles and manuscripts, such as research articles, case reports and review articles.

This also includes abstracts, posters and presentations for scientific meetings and conferences

Research Documents

These include clinical trial protocols, investigators′ brochures, informed consent documents, study reports and research proposals.

Regulatory Documents

Regulatory submission records include Common Technical Document (CTD) modules. These in turn include nonclinical and medical overviews and summaries, expert reviews, safety and efficacy summaries, safety reports, bridging reports, experiences, Periodic Adverse Drug Experience Reports (PADER), Annual safety reports (ASR)s , policy papers and others.

Each and every of the above types of medical writing is meant for a particular set of viewers such as medical professionals, patients, laypersons, medical sales representatives or people working in the pharmaceutical industry. For this reason, the language used and the level of technical expertise needs to be at the level of understanding of the respective audience.

Who Needs Medical Writers?

Medical writers often work with the pharmaceutical industry. Nonetheless, there are numerous different settings in which medical writers are required:

  • Pharmaceutical and healthcare businesses, including medical device companies
  • Contract research organizations (CROs) and business or knowledge process outsourcing companies (BPOs/KPOs)
  • Scientific content and healthcare communication companies (Functional Service Providers)
  • Media and publishing companies, academic medical institutions and clinical or scientific societies
  • Healthcare websites

What Is An Effective Medical Writer?

So, what makes a good medical creator? These are the qualities that distinguish a good medical writer from a mediocre one:

  • Able to recognize the aims and requisites of the project
  • Ability at a level proper to the target audience
  • Thorough study of the subject
  • Able to think organized ideas and thoughts
  • Scientific accuracy
  • Awareness to details
  • Capability to work with teams) as well as independently
  • Has the ability to communicate effectively
  • Can manage time well and meet cut-off dates and commitments

Do you need medical writers? Contact us for a free quote.


Sharma, S. (2010). How to Become a Competent Medical Writer? Perspectives in Clinical Research, 1(1), 33–37.


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