We got a lovely email from someone interested in becoming a medical writer and getting into the FemTech or women’s health field.
Dear Hass and Virginia
I would like to transition into medical writing. And I’m interested in FemTech/ women’s health. I understand a portfolio is ideal, so I’m exploring starting on Medium.
I wonder if you have other suggestions on how I should proceed?
I’m worried freelancing as a medical writer won’t be sustainable. On platforms like Upwork you see a lot of people selling words for pennies. I notice Hass is employed in house as part of an agency. Would you say being employed is better than going freelance?
Here’s what we think at Write Clinic
There are a few suggestions on how you should proceed. Though a portfolio is somewhat cornerstone in client acquisition, it isn’t essential to you landing a role.
I (Hass), landed my first role after persistence having had no portfolio to back me, only for it to end somewhere beyond the scope of healthcare — literally writing for a furniture company. But, it just goes to show that demonstrating how your fundamental knowledge gained from university can go a long way in putting you above those you’re competing against.
If you’d like to go into FemTech and women’s health, I’d suggest you start by starting on Medium, writing blogs close to the topics you want to work on. 2-3 should do. You can also amend your LinkedIn portfolio to that of an individual looking to venture into FemTech, such as “Specialty doctor with keen interest in FemTech and content writing” to help give your profile more traction. And, lastly, you could have a look through freelancing platforms such as Upwork to understand the current scope of FemTech content writing and how currently sit against competitors.
Freelance medical writing is sustainable but only if you put in the time and effort to ensure it is. Transitioning into medical writing from clinical careers though is easy in terms of not having to deal with the stresses attributed to clinical roles, is actually quite difficult. You need to know how to manage your time, how to find clients, and how to secure longer term freelance roles that allow for financial freedom.
Working with an agency is fine, but you’re not given the freedom you would have as a freelancer. Working with an agency often means you can’t freelance on the side, you have to work some of the hours in the same time zone as your employer, and you’ll be salaried. You can freelance for agencies, but these roles often need the individual to have at least 12 months experience before consideration.
If you’d like more help on the above, then don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. You’ve asked all the questions we answer comprehensively in the Fundamentals of Medical Writing course, which could be of great benefit to you should you wish to embark upon a freelance medical writing career. From understanding content and regulatory roles to finding the best ways to land high-paying freelance clients and full time roles, the course has everything you need to start working as a freelance medical writer.
Hope we could help!
All the best,