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Stony Brook University

WRT 305: Writing for the Health Professions

Professional Writing

Types of work scientific medical writers do include:

  • Advertising copy for pharmaceuticals and other products
  • CD-ROMs
  • Editing
  • Internet content
  • Journal abstracts and articles
  • Medical education materials
  • Monographs
  • Multimedia projects
  • Pharmaceutical marketing and advertising
  • Physician speeches and presentations
  • Posters
  • Regulatory documents (clinical trial reports, integrated summaries of efficacy and safety, investigator brochures, Investigational New Drug documents, New Drug Application submissions, protocols)
  • Sales training manuals
  • Slide kits
  • White papers

Employers and clients for scientific medical writers include:

  • Academic medical centers
  • Associations
  • Contract research organizations
  • Foundations
  • Hospitals/Health care systems
  • Managed care organizations
  • Medical advertising/communication agencies
  • Medical education companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Publishers
  • Web sites

Learn About Medical Writing

Resources and tips for discovering and learning about exemplar medical writing includes:

  • Read medical and pharmaceutical journals
  • Read about the latest drug approvals by the Food and Drug Administration (
  • Study medical terminology (MeSH database)
  • Read medical writing dictionaries, style guides, and books on writing
  • Familiarize yourself with FDA guidelines for preparing regulatory documents (See Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations)


When exploring writing in your subject area:

  • Look for books and articles on writing for your profession. See the Books and Articles tabs for more ideas. 
  • Check for relevant professional organizations. See if they publish a blog, magazine, or journal, or if they provide conferences or workshops. For example, the American Medical Writiers Association
  • Check the Internet for templates, presentations, or videos aimed at writers in your displine. 
  • Become familiar with trade journals in your area.