Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Medical Writing is a career safety net for PhDs wanting to transition into industry.

Join Isaiah and Evguenia Alechine as they discuss medical and scientific writing careers for PhDs.

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah interviews PhDs from different backgrounds who successfully transitioned into medical writing careers. 
  • Next, Isaiah and Evguenia discuss why medical writing is a great career for PhDs no matter their background.
  • Finally, Isaiah and Evguenia explore the PhD-level different positions that make part of the medical writing umbrella.

From This Week’s Show…

Advice From Fellow PhDs

At first, Medical writing did not jump out as a career trajectory that I would find myself on. After joining Cheeky Scientist’s Medical Writing Organization, I realized that this field would fit my lifestyle and take me to that place where I could actually play a role in changing how people viewed a particular medicine, area of therapy, and give knowledge to patients or healthcare practitioners, among others.

One thing that may be surprising for a lot of us is how in-demand medical writing is and what the umbrella term means. Not only do you not need clinical experience. “Medical Writing” is how high-level technical writing is referred to in industry. And there are all different kinds of categories. 

And right now, especially with remote work, decentralized workforces, and the shifts created by the pandemic, medical writers are more in-demand than ever. There’s an information war going on, right? People need to hire credible writers. Your PhD gives you credibility. If you only knew how valuable and sought after you are for these kinds of roles, your entire perspective would change. 

Half the battle is knowing which path is right for you. Which job titles are right for you. It doesn’t matter how much you want to be employed or how driven you are, or how intelligent you are. You can’t hit a target you don’t set and the Medical Writing Organization will give you the resources to figure out which career path is right for you in this program.

The Medical Writing Field Is Surging 

Remote work, the decentralization of workforces around the world is going to stay high. Why has this made the field of medical writing explode? Why is it surging right now, given everything that’s happened in 2020? 

This is a point that I wanted to make clear because medical writing is an umbrella term and it doesn’t only cover writing about medicine. It also covers editing, translation, project management, conference coverage, a lot of different types of works, and also different types of fields. And this includes writing about different sciences. 

I know people who transition from being a chemist to being a medical writer that writes about medicine. Your background is not a limitation and neither is your location. In my case, I transitioned into the science communications field while still being based in Argentina and there was almost nothing that I could do on-site, so all my work since I started –  about five years ago – was remote. I traveled the world. I worked from everywhere and I had clients in Europe, in the US, and even in Argentina. I never had to be there to be successful and I managed teams of 30 plus editors and writers from the other side of the globe. 

I really want all of you to experience this because right now a lot of you are probably seeing everything that’s happening in academia, right? Tenure professors getting pushed out. They’re closing down the PhD pipeline across the board and the hiring freezes. People can’t get promoted. 

There’s also spending freezes, you can’t get stuff you need for your research, and so on. A lot of universities have stopped even enrolling PhDs. The writing’s on the wall, but you can relax because you can write high amounts of high-quality materials. You can do what you’re doing right now for peanuts in academia, but you can be paid very well for it. You can write, you can work with all kinds of big companies within the medical writing field.

** for the full podcast, check out the audio player above.

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