Friday, March 5, 2010

Working as a CME medical writer

In the world of CME (continuing medical education), there are really two broad types of medical writers. First, you have the staff medical writer who works in a medical education company or some other type of medical education organization. Second, you have the freelance medical writer who may focus exclusively on CME or may work on multiple types of projects including CME projects.

How often do physicians work as medical writers in the world of CME? Although the majority of medical writers who work in CME or any other industry are generally not physicians, I know that there are still plenty of physicians who work in CME. Eventually, these individuals may decide to work as a “Medical Director” within a CME organization and the roles/responsibilities change (although you’ll still be expected to do quite a bit of writing).

Medical writing projects in CME may vary tremendously depending on the type of CME activity you’re working on. Some examples of projects include:
•    Slide presentation for a lecture at a major symposium
•    Monograph or journal supplement
•    Online clinical case activity
•    Video roundtable discussion
•    Audio or video podcast
•    Newsletter series
•    And much more

So, if you enjoy writing for a professional scientific audience, you may want to explore the world of medical writing and medical directorship in the CME industry. You may eventually find yourself working for one of these types of organizations:
•    Medical university
•    Medical specialty society or association
•    Medical education company
•    Medical publisher
•    Non-profit medical organization

Of course, you may also simply end up working for yourself. Independent freelance medical writers have a tremendous amount of flexibility and they often enjoy a nice life of working from home (although this is often more difficult than you may imagine if you have a family). To read other articles related to non-clinical physician jobs in CME, click here for posts tagged with “CME.”

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