Here are some tips I (Hass) wish I knew when I was in pharmacy school, and why I wish I discovered medical writing sooner.
1. Better your knowledge
By working as a medical writer whilst being a med student, you’re exposing yourself to new topics with each client you sign. The more you research these topics, the more informed you will be on these when encountering them in practice.
2. Make income on the side
As students, most of us worked in retail or hospitality to help fund our weekend binges. By working as a medical writer, not only will you earn good money, buy you’ll do without having to endure the stresses associated with retail or hospitality jobs.
3. Identify a new career
Medical students are taught one thing about their career in med school: you graduate, you train as a doctor, you become a doctor (obviously then specialise in whichever area you like). Medical writing doesn’t just have to be a side gig. If you feel like the clinical setting isn’t for you, then you can make a career out of medical writing.
4. Locum alternative
Side hustles aren’t just for university. They’re for life. If you don’t want to locum to make extra money once you’ve qualified (because 80 hours a week on the wards isn’t enough), then you work as a medical writer whilst having a cuppa in your dressing gown.
Have you reached the final stages of medical school and realised that a career path in medicine just isn’t for you?
I don’t blame you.
The country’s (UK) healthcare system is well and truly fucked. We can’t retain our staff, we have more patients than ever, and we have absolutely no support.
What should be the most fun years of your life, end up becoming some of the most tedious once you start your placements.
The (semi) good news is that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses, particularly those in healthcare, have shifted online.
With that shift, thousands of jobs were created. Jobs tailored to the expertise of people with medical education.
These jobs include medical writing, digital health specialists, digital content creators, and so forth.
Me? I’m a specialist clinical pharmacist turned medical writer. It’s just one aspect of the digital health industry, but it’s one I can help you get into.
If you’re a medical student who’s genuinely reluctant to pursue their foundation year training but doesn’t want their degree to go to waste, or if you want to put your medical knowledge to good use and make some money on the side, then I got you.
Virginia Chachati MPharm and I have released our Fundamentals of Medical Writing course at the Write Clinic. The aim of this introductory course is to help those of you in medical professions understand what it takes to become a medical writer, and how you can go on to translate your clinical know-how into quality writing.
If you’re interested, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I can give you more details and hopefully provide you with the guidance you need to make an informed decision.
P.S. Please, if you can, I urge you to finish your degree and, if possible, give your foundation training a go. You never know, you may want to go back to clinical work in the near future and will find that having done your foundation year training, you’re in a better position to find immediate employment. Medical writing can be your career, and it can also be your locum-alternative should you wish to earn income on the side of your regular clinical job.