Jump to content

Medical Writers

Nurses   (5,974 Views 19 Comments)
by andyangel andyangel (New Member) New Member

andyangel has 29 years experience and specializes in Research, home care,.

704 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Hello...anyone out there working as a medical writer for Gould and Lamb? If so, how do you like it? I'm recently hired as one and interested in your comments. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jo Dirt has 9 years experience.

3,270 Posts; 17,233 Profile Views

Don't know anything about it but it sounds like something I would be interested in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

coder has 1 years experience and specializes in med/surg.

13 Posts; 991 Profile Views

Don't know anything about it, but also interested in knowing more if you'd share. Also, how'd you find it (agency, etc.)? I'll be looking soon for opportunities outside the hospital and appreciate anything you've learned that might be helpful in my Job Search. From reading these boards, sounds like a lot of others would be interested too. Thanks :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

andyangel has 29 years experience and specializes in Research, home care,.

4 Posts; 704 Profile Views

I found it on career builder.com. google "gould and lamb and medical writer" and it comes up with positions throughout the country...I haven't started yet. I'm looking forward to it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

clemmm78 has 25 years experience as a RN.

440 Posts; 6,867 Profile Views

Can't help you with the company as I've not worked for them, but I'm a freelance medical writer and I love it.

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RN Randy specializes in MICU, ER, SICU, Home Health, Corrections.

227 Posts; 3,525 Profile Views

So fill us in... any new path is worth investigating!

What's a medical writer do?

FT/PT?

Pay?

Do tell!

rb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DarrenWright specializes in Cardiac Surg, IR, Peds ICU, Emergency.

173 Posts; 2,633 Profile Views

Can't help you with the company as I've not worked for them, but I'm a freelance medical writer and I love it.

Good luck.

What is your specialty?

What kind of writing do you do, i.e. journalism, product writing, education?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DarrenWright specializes in Cardiac Surg, IR, Peds ICU, Emergency.

173 Posts; 2,633 Profile Views

So fill us in... any new path is worth investigating!

What's a medical writer do?

FT/PT?

Pay?

Do tell!

rb

I attended a graduate program in medical writing for one semester before switching to NP. I think I may go back and finish it later, but a scientific mind and an enduring work ethic is what is really required to do this job.

It can be agonizing work. Interesting, but some parts are painful (i.e. following the meticulous rules about reference and research).

You may think that we as nurses face some ethical problems, but I saw far more complicated ethical issues when learning about Medical Writing (depending on who you write for). For example, you may be hired by Gould and Lamb (which I think is an insurance company), and they will expect your product to reflect favorably on them...or else you'll be fired. This may lead you to do some 'creative' writing that may push on the edges of your conscience.

Now think about Pharmaceutical companies...who hire a lot of medical writers. There can be big money in this (i.e. $120K for 8 months of contract work). No taxes are taken out, and you set your hours (which are usually 10 hours/day, 6-7 days per week so you get the job done). Then you look for another job. Finding another job is a cinch after finishing the first one, because of the demand, and now you have started a portfolio. And the reason some of these are term jobs is because the writer is only needed for the duration of a clinical trial. Anyways, thinking about pharmaceuticals may really dampen the brightness of the job; they've got a product to sell, and you work for them.

A lot of writers find work through contracting agencies, or headhunter type agencies that find med writers for companies. An aspiring writer may need to use one of these companies to get started, but they'll end up handing over a substantial sum to the agency...but they'll still make a lot of money.

Good pay, hard work, ethically challenging.

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

clemmm78 has 25 years experience as a RN.

440 Posts; 6,867 Profile Views

What is your specialty?

What kind of writing do you do, i.e. journalism, product writing, education?

It's long. :-)

First though, I have to comment on the other post where you say it's ethically challenging. I don't find that at all. Everything you are supposed to write in true medical writing should be evidenced based and verifiable. That doesn't mean that something can't be slanted in a certain way as everything can be, but if it's evidence based, then there's no reason for there to be any ethical issues.

Now, for what I do:

I have a variety of clients in both the US and Canada, and a variety of skills. The projects that are my favourite and which I go for the hardest are patient education materials. I have one regular client for whom I write patient information sheets. I have an insurance company for which I write wellness messages, such as reminders for breast self examination, how not to store medications, that sort of stuff.

I almost forgot! A major US portal will be publishing daily health tips - I wrote them.

I have one website for which I read studies and rewrite them in layfriendly language and I have a news service for which I read embargoed studies, interview the authors and summarize them for journalists. Yet another client is a major health website and I write channel info for them and I'm a contributing editor for a hard copy physician's journal.

For professionals, I edit CME materials for one company on a regular basis and I have a few clients for whom I either edit, proofread, or write CME materials. I've started writing a regular nursing column for a new project that will be published in September. I also write, for free, for an up-and-coming parenting site because the founder is the daughter of a friend of mine and I'm trying to help her get established.

I'm open to do just about anything that I'm capable of doing. I've "Canadianized" US sales rep material for a major pharma, referenced 200-slide powerpoints, helped design marketing brochures, and many other things.

The world is wide open for medical writers. You can write in pharmaceuticals but you have to have a good strong science background for that. Public relations is a big area as well. Many hospitals have public relations departments as well as education departments. There are communication companies that devote themselves entirely to CME material and one area I would really like to get into but have not had the chance to try yet is grant writing. There's a big market for grant writing in the medical writing field.

Whew, I'm tired just writing that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DarrenWright specializes in Cardiac Surg, IR, Peds ICU, Emergency.

173 Posts; 2,633 Profile Views

I think your specialty (education materials) is what results in a lower exposure to the ethical challenges of medical writing.

OTOH, there is a lot of debate among medical writers regarding MW ethics, and a lot of attention applied to MW ethics in the form of classes, seminars, and articles, and it was discussed extensively in school.

All of our instructors (experienced medical writers) shared experiences, and exhorted us of the dangers of finding the balance between the needs of the consumer and the expectations of the employer.

Thanks for the info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jo Dirt has 9 years experience.

3,270 Posts; 17,233 Profile Views

According to their qualifications at Gould and Lamb, it only takes an RN (preferably with critical care experience). It doesn't mention anything about graduate degrees and scientists.

And what's this talk about "ethically challenging?" Is this a nice way of saying you will be expected to make up a bunch of lies to make the company sound good?

I still don't know exactly what medical writing encompasses, except I imagine long hours with your face pressed against a computer screen, but doing exactly what? Is there a sample of a medical writer's work we can look at?

Since I prefer paperwork to patient care this sounds like something I would like to know more about. But I need to know where to get started. I'm not looking to make the big bucks, I just need a job. I know a lot of people hear work from home and think this is the answer to their prayers, but I imagine it is pretty taxing work. I'm ready to take it on, though, if I can just find out how to get a foothold.

Where does a person start?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

clemmm78 has 25 years experience as a RN.

440 Posts; 6,867 Profile Views

I still don't know exactly what medical writing encompasses, except I imagine long hours with your face pressed against a computer screen, but doing exactly what? Is there a sample of a medical writer's work we can look at?

REally? I thought my post gave a good indication of a part of medical writing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×