Becoming a medical writer isn’t rocket science, but takes time and consistency. If you want to become one, it helps to shadow senior medical writers and learn from the best examples online. This guide will shed light on the best medical writing examples to help you get started in medical writing.
Medical writing is a specialized form of copywriting covering medical news, clinical reports, research papers, and more. The accuracy of data is as critical as the writing itself. If you want to create effective medical content but are not sure where to start, continue reading this guide.
Let’s discuss the different types of medical writing that you can take inspiration from, and learn to apply appropriate guidelines.
What Are the Different Types of Medical Writing?
Some of the topics that fall under medical writing are:
- Medical leaflets for drugs
- Clinical research
- Clinical trials
- News articles
- Regulatory writing
- Slide decks
According to American Medical Writers Association, (AMWA), there are different types of medical writing:
- Regulatory writing
- Educational writing
- Health communication
- Promotional writing
- Grant writing
Regulatory medical writing involves writing for the regulatory agencies seeking approval for new devices and drugs, clinical trial data, regulatory documents, and post-approval documents. Writers need to explain medical terminology to ensure that it fulfills the criteria of regulatory writing.
Educational medical writing is writing about devices, biologics, and medicine. This also includes blogs and website content for websites such as Mayoclinic and WebMD. The primary purpose of educational medical writing is to provide accurate and factual information on different types of drugs, diseases, medical journals, scientific and clinical data, and training materials for staff at pharmaceutical companies.
Health communication medical writers write and edit the following types of documents:
- Blogs and articles for patient education
- Decision aids
- Content for Public health communication
- Website content
- Medical and health news
Promotion writing, as the name implies, helps in promoting a drug, or medical device in the market through the proper use of medical science. Companies often hire medical writers to create advertising and marketing copies such as brochures, leaflets, and landing pages to promote diagnostic or therapeutic products. Pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms, and medical device companies aim for such type of writing.
Medical writers also write grants for biotech firms and pharmaceutical companies to secure grants and funding for new research.
10 Medical Writing Examples to Inspire You
Once you’ve dedicated time and effort to understanding medical concepts, it is time to implement them in your medical content. Based on our thorough research, we have come up with 10 examples from the medical writing market to inspire and help you in understanding what medical writing is all about.
Whether you’re targeted healthcare professionals or academics, your educational and professional backgrounds are important to writing quality content.
Experienced writers take inspiration from the copy that senior medical writers have published. Here are some examples to show how you can create great medical copy for your clients:
1. NHS Better Health – Let’s Do This
Good medical writing connects with the readers without wasting any time. The NHS Better health website does this better than many others. The medical copy is fun to reach and helps you take quick action through its “Let’s Do This” tagline.
NHS wants you to take action for positive health outcomes.
The short, succinct, and fun-to-read medical copy is helping readers take an action to improve their health. The main page has links to internal pages with the right copy and visuals.
This is an excellent example where medical copywriting focuses on educational materials without sounding too boring or professional. It inspires you to download the NHS app and start improving your health for the better.
2. Patient – Excellent Example of Medical Information
Another website that uses technical writing to convey accurate information, is Patient. The content gives you a clear understanding of what you’d expect from a website that provides information on new treatments, new drugs, and advanced medical terms.
You can see that the medical writers have content for both genders, with the option to read content on different types of diseases and their treatment. The website copy is informational in nature.
3. NICE – Targeted to Healthcare Professionals
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence is a great example of medical content that applies the use of technical writing to cater to healthcare professionals, instead of the general public.
When creating content for professionals, it is imperative to pay attention to technical aspects such as punctuation errors, the right medical information, and accurate facts. Medical writing skills to write such type of content demands exceptional grip on having the right knowledge. Only medical writers with proper qualifications can write technical documents with the right medical information.
4. NHS Blood – Drawing Attention to Take an Action
When you visit NHS’s website on blood donation, you will find a copy that speaks to the readers. The use of the color red signifies the importance of web copy. “Give blood. We urgently need you to donate.”
This is an excellent example that signals the reader to take immediate action, as in this case, blood donation. The technique worked, leading to an increase in blood donors as the medical writers kept on writing copy with a clear call to action.
5. Panadol – Excellent Example of a Leaflet
Panadol is an over-the-counter prescription drug to treat headaches and muscle pain. Despite this, Panadol cuts no corners in mentioning complete details in their leaflet.
A patient information leaflet is a common technical document enclosed with a drug every time you purchase it from the medical store. It conveys important information about how to use the drug, the precautionary measures, what the drug does, and side effects if any.
Panadol’s leaflet excels in all areas. Medical communicators often work with senior medical writers and healthcare professionals to go through the research findings of the company and write a leaflet.
In this leaflet, the copy is short, concise, clear, and written in bullet points. It also addresses the most common concerns of any patient.
6. Medical Journalism – Writing for Top Journals
The Lancet, New England Journey of Medicine, and the Journal of the American Medical Association are some of the top medical journals in the world. Medical journal editors and writers can read these journals to understand the type of medical content that healthcare experts publishing from around the world.
7. Clinical Research and Trial Reports
Clinical trials, research reports, and clinical documents require technical writing skills because the target audience is healthcare specialists, students, caregivers, and regulatory agencies.
The Novartis clinical template provides complete details on the type of study, participants, background, purpose, result, and conclusions in a report that is about 25 page-long. Clinical trials require an exceptional understanding of medical terminology and based on the report, highlight everything about the clinical research that Novartis conducted.
This is an amazing example of technical medical writing that aims to target healthcare experts and regulatory agencies. Clinical reports fall under the category of regulatory documents.
8. Multimedia Presentations and Pitch Decks – Heal
Heal is a health startup established in 2020. Due to its pitch deck, it was able to raise $100 million to expand its business operations and provide at-home premium medical services.
The pitch deck has a special emphasis on facts, stats, and numbers, making it appealing to the target audience.
Healthtech startups like Heal often hire medical writers specializing in multimedia presentations, to create pitch decks to help the company in securing funding.
The target audience for pitch decks is corporate investors. That’s why you need to write effective, to-the-point, and concise copy without any jargon or technical terms.
Investors are not medical experts and it is up to the medical writers to use non-techie language that is easy for the target audience to understand.
9. WebMD – a Practical Example of Writing Medical News
Anyone whose into medical writing must have heard or come across WebMD, which is one of the world’s largest online publications of medical news, human health, life sciences, diseases, and overall wellbeing.
WebMD is a for-profit organization employing expert medical communicators to provide detailed information on topics relevant to health.
The medical news includes concise stories summarizing the latest findings in clinical research. Some stories found on WebMD and similar websites are quite extensive, citing several publications, researchers, and clinical experts. Medical writers also attend conferences and workshops to write on the latest research findings for leading medical news publications.
With ongoing changes in the medical industry, there is a dire need for medical writers. If you’re looking to kickstart your writing career in the field of medicine, then writing for a medical news website is a great way.
Let’s take the example of the web copy for the section “Pregnancy” on WebMd’s official website.
The copy is clear and provides details from getting started with pregnancy to ongoing tests, diet plans, essential vitamins, and other important information.
10. Continuing Medical Exam Writing
Physicians and doctors need to keep themselves updated with the changes in their respective fields. This is only possible with CME credits to ensure they can continue practicing in their fields. The CME program helps physicians, clinical experts, and doctors in addressing the gap in their knowledge.
Many times, healthcare experts may not have enough time on them to write literature views, create needs assessments, or develop slide decks covering a particular disease. This is where medical writers can help them in creating content for CME.
Medical writers can enhance their skills by writing for physicians pursuing CME credits. Interested medical writers can also join Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions to learn about CME and connect with professionals.
How Can I Improve My Medical Writing Skills?
Writing great and effective medical copy takes time and effort. Here are some tips to help you in becoming a great medical writer:
1. Write in Clear and Plain Language
Write in a clear tone, to the point, and remain concise. Do not repeat anything you have written earlier in your copy. Whether you’re writing for scientific publications, an international committee, or social media sites, content that is simple, concise, and to-the-point, always resonates with readers.
2. Conduct In-depth Research Before Writing
You can run into several legal issues if your medical writing contains inaccurate figures and false information about diseases, their symptoms, and/or treatment. Imagine NHS providing critical details to blood donors and medical copywriters excluding existing medical conditions from the checklist of donating blood.
This exclusion is inaccurate. In fact, donors always evaluate their prior medical conditions with a health specialist to ensure they are fit and ready to donate blood.
3. Write for Your Target Audience
When you’re writing medical copy such as web content for a public audience, you need to use non-technical language. That’s because many people are not familiar with the complex medical terminology that health experts use.
Make sure who your target audience is and write according to their needs. If you are catering to healthcare specialists and professionals in the medical field, then technical writing goes is fine. In other cases, write in as simple language as you can.
4. Let Medical Editors Review Your Writing
Medical editing is the process of reviewing medical documents for accurate facts, figures, and information. Most pharmaceutical companies and biotech firms have in-house medical editors with an advanced degree in PharmD or Ph.D.
A good design is simple and easy to understand; the same goes for medical writing. Now that you have taken a good look at the medical writing examples, it is time to start practicing. Good luck!