International – Medical Writing: The Language and Art of Scientific Communication

Medical writing is a scientific skill that writers deploy to author a multitude of documents addressing the needs of diverse and demanding stakeholders. This requires not only a deep understanding of therapeutic areas, regulations, and document types, but also soft skills such as strong negotiation skills and project management skills. The ability to present data and communicate the desired message is just one of those skills. This article describes different types of writers who author documents aimed at different objectives, including regulatory submissions, publications, safety, and medico-marketing.

Medical writers (MWs) are professionals from diverse backgrounds who address different business needs. Writers hone their skills over the years and master the art of digesting voluminous and complex information and presenting it in a succinct and objective manner. The diversity of the target audience, and thus the distinct differences in the objectives of scientific communication, poses a significant challenge. Balance this with the need to ensure regulatory compliance, prioritize patient safety, and manage the diverse views of multiple stakeholders from diverse therapeutic areas, and the challenge becomes even more daunting. Finally, the writer also needs to have expertise in evolving tools and technologies, deal with different style guides and increasingly complex and diverse document types, and ultimately deliver a strategically thought-out high-quality document on time.

To quote Helle Gawrylewski, Principal at Hawkwood Consulting, LLC, “Writing should support understanding. Being acutely aware of what the audience needs to know is extremely important. Writing for understanding requires clarity, brevity, and good organization. As they say, words matter, and they do!”…