Could you become a health and medical copywriter?
The simple answer is ‘yes’.
An ageing population, growing incidence of chronic disease, combined with greater awareness of the importance of staying healthy has contributed to extraordinary growth in the number of healthcare, well being and fitness businesses popping up around the world.
And this growth means there are loads of opportunities for current and future health writers.
But do you have what it takes?There are loads of opportunities for existing and budding health and medical copywriters. Click To Tweet
What you need to write health and medical content
Qualifications and experience
Some organisations will require you to have medical qualifications, but these aren’t necessary to be successful. However, you will need some writing qualifications or be able to prove that your writing experience is up to the task.
An interest in health
In order to write anything well, you need to be interested in the topic. The same goes for health content.
Knowledge of the industry
You need a solid understanding of key health issues to be a successful health and medical writer. For example, key health issues for Australians are vastly different to health concerns of those in Singapore.
A commitment to the facts
Not all health information is sexy or easy to write about, so you may be tempted to ‘liven it up’ a little, but make sure you stick to the facts. Sensational copy may get clicks, but credible, up-to-date medical copy will triumph every time.
An ability (and love) for research
You’ll only ever write credible copy if you spend time on research. However, it’s imperative you use high-authority sites with accurate information. Wikipedia is not one of them!
An ability to interpret scientific studies
This isn’t a necessity but it will take you far. Including references to research studies to support your writing is a valuable skill to have. Take it from me, if you can read scientific papers, extrapolate relevant information, and write it in a way that the layperson can understand, your clients will love you.Being able to read scientific papers, pull out the relevant information, and write it in layman's terms is a valuable skill for a health writer. Click To Tweet
Health writing or medical writing?
While the terms, ‘health’ and ‘medical’ are often used interchangeably, the type of content is usually quite different.
Health generally refers to a broader definition covering well being (including mental well being), diet, exercise, and lifestyle. It also includes, to some extent, prevention of disease (by focusing on lifestyle factors). Health writing can encompass anything from stress, through to sleep, weight loss, and even more serious conditions such as heart or kidney disease. The target market is often the consumer, who is seeking information on a particular condition, or tips to make their lifestyle healthier.
Medical on the other hand, refers to the process of diagnosing and treating disease or illness, including the prevention of disease. Often, this kind or writing is considered to be more scientific, serious, and academic. Medical writing is often targeted at doctors, scientists and other health professionals, and sometimes (although not always) requires the writer to have a scientific or medical background.The terms, ‘health’ and ‘medical’ are often used interchangeably. However, the type of content is usually quite different. Click To Tweet
The future of health and medical writing
For current and budding health and medical writers, the future looks very bright. The health and wellness industry are poised for continued growth, along with the need for specialist healthcare communication services.
And with so many exciting breakthroughs in medical research, you can guarantee that a career in health writing will never be boring!
If you don’t have time to write you own health and medical content, why not let me help? I have over 25 years’ experience writing for a variety of industries, with more than 8 of them focusing on the health and wellness sector.
Contact me today to see how I can help.