What is Medical Writing and how it evolved in response to the learning preferences of modern HCPs
what is medical writing hcp learning

What is medical writing?

Medical writing conveys accurate, factual, and understandable information to healthcare professionals, patients, and lay audiences.

An essential component of medical communications or medical education, it is work done by a highly qualified professional, versed in both the complexity of the scientific narrative and the art of storytelling. Medical writers research, identify and tailor relevant information to various audiences and, in a world where effective communication is dictated by the rules of digital and social engagement, had to adapt to a new form of discipline, focused not only on the accurate translation of the science, but on the strategic development of content that is flexible, scalable and engaging.

The importance of medical writing for Pharma

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most regulated industries in the world. Many strict guidelines and policies must be followed in order to get approvals by organs like the FDA, who also set standards for what should be done, how it should be done, and how it should be communicated.

This is one of the main missions of Medical Writers – not only to ensure that complex science is communicated accurately and translated specifically for the audience it needs to educate, inform or update, but also to be specialists on the current regulatory landscape, and utilize that knowledge to follow the necessary standards to publicize information.

The role of scientific storytelling for Pharma: a critical skill for medical writers

Medical writers may be knowledgeable and versed in the science, and in how to translate scientific information into smaller bits of information, but to really capture the attention of the audiences they are aiming for – notably healthcare professionals (HCPs), healthcare organizations and patients – they need to establish a compelling narrative that makes complex medical information engaging and exciting for the medical community, and clear and comprehensible to people who have no medical background.

Medical writers are not only conveying information but also educating. That’s why storytelling techniques have been used in medical writing, as pharma audiences who identify with the story and share its journey are more likely to prescribe, use and advocate for a product.

The evolution of medical writing – learning preferences for HCP education

The new paradigm of medical writing is one in which medical writers need to be more adaptable and flexible. In order to thrive in this new digital world, medical writers need to be able to write for different mediums and adapt their writing to new platforms and formats, as well to new HCP content consumption habits.


Digital and Social media has expanded and evolved dramatically, delivering finely tuned, personalized and real-time feeds of images, video, music – all with an informational or educational objective.

As a consequence of the always on, anywhere nature of the web. More audiences are digitally-maturing, and demanding the same straightforward experience from any brands competing for their attention. They are consuming significantly more digital content – more available now than ever before – and engaging in new media behaviours.

Meanwhile, the growing adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices has dramatically increased reader expectations for visuals, such as images, illustrations and infographics. What was once a predominantly narrative approach is now also visual and interactive.

In this scenario of fierce competition and an abundance of content, medical writers needed to add a few extra tools to their arsenal. Modern learners want content that is:


  1. more accessible but thoroughly accurate;
  2. creative and engaging, but rigidly follows regulatory standards;
  3. flexible and customizable, so that it reaches the right HCPs with the right message at the right time.

MEDICAL PHARMACEUTICAL COMMUNICATIONS

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