Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Master's programs in medical writing
If you're really serious about getting a career in medical writing, you may be exploring some master's programs in medical writing. Are they worth the investment? This has been debated at length, and it's probably a bigger question right now because of the current state of the economy. If you're not guaranteed a job when you graduate, is such an investment a wise decision? I personally think it really depends on your current level of skill, experience, background, etc. I also think it depends on the type of medical writing you'd like to pursue.
The medical writing industry has become very specialized in certain fields. For instance, a writer who has worked in the regulatory environment for many years may realize that the world of medical education is entirely different. Writers who have focused on medical journalism may have difficulty transitioning into a world where you're expected to write regulatory protocols and drug safety reports. One significant benefit of a master's program is that you'll get exposed to various elements of the medical writing industry. This way, you can choose the area (or areas) you'd like to focus on.
The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP) has a Biomedical Writing program that offers several options: a Master of Science in Biomedical Writing (36 credits) and Certificates in Medical Writing (12 credits each). Courses are online so you can maintain a tremendous amount of flexibility.
There are other university programs in medical writing offered by Boston University, Tufts, Johns Hopkins, Emerson, and several others. To see a nice list of programs, take a look at this AMWA page here.