Medical Writing As a Career

Some of the most rewarding career paths are ones that people never intended to take. This is frequently the case for medical writers who did not consider this flourishing field when they began their careers. Medical writing may be an organic change for people with a medical, life science, or academic background seeking to move away from the lab or healthcare institutions because there are no clear qualifications. Passionate writers will find a rewarding career in this inspiring and unique field. Medical writing is in high demand in the communication, healthcare, and pharmaceutical industries.

What Is Medical Writing?

Medical Writing is communicating Clinical & Scientific Data clearly and effectively.

Scope of Medical Writing

  • Clinical Research Documentation
  • Content Writer for Health Care
  • Article writing for Healthcare Magazines and Journals

 

Types of Medical Writing

Medical Writing is mainly of two types:

Regulatory and Research Related Writing

  • Focused mostly on Medical & Pharmaceutical Industries.
  • The main audiences are people performing Clinical Trials, Government Regulatory Authorities.
  • The objective is to attain and maintain marketing authorization for new drugs, therapies, medical devices, and other health products.

 

Medical Communications

  • Documents about New Drugs, Therapies, Medical Devices, or other health products.
  • Examples are Scientific Manuscripts, Product Monographs, Conference Abstracts, Posters, Educational Material.

 

What are the Skills Needed to be a Medical Writer?

  • Domain Knowledge – Health Care Knowledge
  • Data Integrity – Data Analysis
  • Clarity – Communication Expertise
  • Language Skills – Scientific Expertise
  • Follow Ethical Standards
  • Knowledge about Legal Concerns
  • Good Writing Skills
  • Literature / Reference Search – Document Review Process
  • Interpretation & Presentation – Document Expertise
  • Formatting & Editing
  • Reviewing Published Paper

 

Courses for Medical Writing

Some of the Medical Writing Certification Courses are as follows:

  • PG Diploma in Medical Writing – 12 Months
  • Professional Diploma in Medical Writing – 4 to 6 Months (Online)
  • Advanced PG Diploma in Clinical Research & Writing – 6 to 8 Months
  • Certificate Program in Medical Writing – 6 Months
  • Free Courses

 

Job Titles for Medical Writers

  • Medical Expert
  • Editorial Manager
  • Senior Writer
  • Associate Writer
  • Junior Writer

 

Roles of Medical Writers

  • Proofreads regulatory documents and clinical documents.
  • Coordinates with Medical professionals.
  • Helps to write research articles.
  • Creates Educational and Informational materials for the Medical kits.
  • Writes Research Findings
  • Creates Standard Operating Procedures for Medical company’s planning

 

Where do Medical Writers work?

  • Pharmaceutical Sector
  • Medical Communication Agencies
  • Contract Research Organization
  • Journal Publishing
  • Biotechnology Sector
  • Medical Device Sector
  • Medical Translations
  • Other (Academic) Sectors

 

Benefits of being a Medical Writer

  • Challenging & Stimulating Work ENVIRONMENT
  • Always learning new things
  • Satisfaction in being an important part of a team
  • Lead groups of Multifunctional Professionals
  • Opportunities to travel

 

Conclusion

Medical Writers do Scientific Documentation. Medical Writing involves the above-mentioned skills and offers a good career. People with medical knowledge and writing skills would have a lot of opportunities.

Benefits of Outsourcing Medical Writing Projects

Outsourcing Medical Writing

Outsourcing scientific and clinical writing assignments lower the staffing needs by lowering the cost of recruiting, training, and retention. Medical device and pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning to outside vendors to meet their technological and regulatory writing needs for business development.

What are the Stages of Outsourcing?

What And When To Outsource Medical or Scientific Research Paper? 

  • If a team determines that it will need medical writing assistance, the process of outsourcing medical writing activities should begin with a schedule for what documents will be required and when they will be required.

 

Finding And Selecting A Medical Writing Company

  • Ask the right questions and provide the right information to the Medical Writing Company

 

Managing The Services Provided

  • Make sure the writer is an empowered member of the clinical team should be part of managing the ongoing medical writing

 

Evaluating Performance At The End Of The Project

  • It’s crucial to assess the results at the end of the project before deciding whether to work with the same writing company on future projects.
  • Take the opportunity to meet with the main clinical team members and the medical writer after the project’s final activities are completed to share and review everyone’s opinions about how far the partnership went.

 

What are the Benefits of Outsourcing?

Adaptability – The re-appropriated writings from the Medical or clinical research writing firms have a lot of versatility for those who can’t afford to hire their authors.

Increase in profits – When companies outsource to Medical writing firms, they can save money in a variety of ways by minimizing or removing in-house workers and relying on a team of professional outside authors.

Best to focus on your core competency – Most businesses do not specialize in medical writing. The world of medical devices and pharmaceuticals is rapidly changing. By outsourcing, focus can be directed on Core Competency.

Compact writing services – Medical Writers, skilled editors, specialist statisticians, and staff writers make up a competent medical writing team. As a result, you won’t need to employ many people to do the writing, editing, and presentation of the abstract poster. This will help you save even more money.

Documents that adhere to strict regulatory guidelines – Pharmaceutical companies and clinical testing firms must meet the conditions set out by the respective regulatory authorities to introduce a new drug or perform a clinical trial. Medical writing services make it simple to solve this obstacle by sending documents that meet regulatory requirements.

Effective medical communication – Health content writing necessitates knowledge of medical terminologies, as well as experience and technical writing skills. The rethought writing of medical writing experts helps you share your thoughts easily.

Improvement in your sales and services – Medical device ads, product literature, and service brochures can all be outsourced to professional medical writers who can create eye-catching marketing material and increase sales revenue.

Tips for outsourcing medical content writing

  • Clearly describe the need as well as the audience you want to reach.
  • Provide detailed indications
  • outsourcing entails a collaborative effort.
  • Establish realistic deadlines
  • Be ethical 

 

Conclusion

Outsourcing medical writing successfully necessitates selecting medical writers who are not only knowledgeable about the requirements of each paper, but also capable coordinators who can push your clinical teams to present a straightforward, well-argued tale.

 

Importance Of Meta-analysis In Medical research

Writing articles related to medical research today has to follow certain well-accepted forms of research in order to be accepted. Of the various types of medical research articles, studies based on metadata analysis is one of the most well-accepted forms.

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The concept of meta-analysis stems from the field of statistics. Meta-analysis is a process of combining the results of multiple scientific research related to the same field. Statistically, if there are multiple experiments on the same lines, the results of each are prone to certain degrees of error (for example, the most commonly occurring errors are Type 1 errors related to false-positives or Type 2 errors of false-negatives). However, if all those studies are pooled together, the net derivative result is less likely to have any of such errors and will yield a more definitive result. The key to the aggregation of data is higher statistical power and thereby more robust point estimates than any individual scientific research.

Meta-analysis based medical research started in the 70s and has gained immense popularity ever since. In fact, statistics suggest that meta-analysis based medical articles are the most cited articles in the field.

While meta-analysis generally refers to quantitative studies, there exists another form of studies called statistical meta-synthesis pertaining to integrating results from multiple but related qualitative studies. The approach to statistical meta-synthesis is more interpretive than aggregative and thereby have a different approach altogether. Before embarking on your work, you need to first determine whether you want to go for meta-analysis or statistical meta-synthesis, based on the type of field you are working on.

How to Approach Writing a meta-analysis medical research paper?

Meta-analysis is conducted to assess the strength of evidence, usually on the efficacy of any specific disease or particular treatment. Meta-analysis seeks to collate multiple pieces of evidence to arrive at a conclusion; whether any direct or indirect effect exists, and/or whether such effect is positive or negative (particularly pertaining to a specific type of treatment). This assumes importance as heterogeneity is vital for the development of any new hypothesis.

Key to such study is developing the metadata pool, based on a thorough filing and coding system, proper categorization of data, and thereby identifying the key analytical data- crunching exercise that is expected to yield the best results.

The key to a good meta-analysis exercise is proper identification of the different methods adopted in each exercise and thereby identifying how they may have affected the findings of those exercises. Identifying and mapping methods is also critical given not all methods are comparable and therefore all data may not be compatible.

Tools for meta-analysis

Needless to say, the main tools for such analysis are hardcore statistical tools, mostly software like SAS, STRATA, R. The data is usually pooled from recognized medical research sources like PubMed, Embase, or CENTRAL.

Reporting of results is usually done via the form of Preferred Reporting Items for Systemic Reviews and Meta-analysis or PRISMA.

All About Medical Case Report

Medical practitioners come across a large number of patients with variations in disease expression and subsequent prognosis. Sometimes a unique non reported disease phenotype or may notice the significant outcome of any innovative combinative treatment. These surgical table details are crucial and need to be recorded to provide direction to both doctors and researchers. However, with the hustling profession of being a medical practitioner, it seems an overwhelming task to report “insights of new and unique observations” in form of full-length paper. Does this mean publishing is all about lengthy research article or review writing? The answer is No, the alternative is a MEDICAL CASE REPORT.

What do we mean by Medical Case reports (MCR)?

It is written communication of previously unknown or a rare disease presentation. Also, MCR can be reporting of de novo treatment strategy of utmost medical significance. Since, its frontline of evidence, therefore, can pave the way towards the development of medical sciences bringing better diagnosis and prognostic strategies.

Components of MCR and their relevance

Similar to any scientific text, MCR too has a specific format to provide clarity and keeping the readers engaged until the end.

  • Title
  • Abstract: Short and crisp conveying the gist of the article in a structured manner.
  • Background: Origin of study with highlights’ of what’s known to date.
  • Case Presentation: Physical examination of the apposite prognosis of the subject in chronological order.
  • Discussion: Illustration of the uniqueness of case and future significance.
  • Conclusion: Take home message of MCR.
  • References
  • List of Abbreviation
  • Consent
  • Author information
  • Acknowledgment
  • Cover Letter 

Conclusion: MCR can be the first step to revolutionize the field of medical sciences with heart-throbbing findings of life significance.

                                      

Modulation of life expectancy by weight statistics in young adulthood

Ideal weight not only impacts the overall personality of a person but at the same time, is also the hallmark of good health. Weight management is often goggled in view of its various implications, mostly in the form of grave lifestyle associated disorders.

Obesity implication in early lives:

The obesity statistics in India are alarming, thereby expected to be tripled by 2040, as suggested by the latest research. Narrowing the studies to the early adolescent population worldwide, the figures are a bit scarier.

Contrary, to the age-old, believes that childhood is the “time of liberty” in terms of food choices we make, and cautiousness towards ingredients in the serving plate is applicable only with old age is a misnomer. Junk food, high sugar diet with loads of trans fats, lack of workout, irregular and unhealthy eating habits are making the adolescent population predisposed towards obesity. Primary or secondary obesity prevalence at a younger age has immersed as a deadly threat, closing the survival bracket to just mid-age. Researches have shown that around 12.4% of premature death can be linked to early adulthood associated with obesity.

The timeline of weight management:

A retrospective survey using the BMI (Basal metabolic index) corresponding to the early ages of the participants has shown that the negative implication of obesity on life expectancy remains unaltered. The tough part is that the damage caused due to being obese at a young age can’t be countered by weight reduction in later years. Also, premature death probability remains unchanged in both “presently overweight but previously obese” and “currently overweight” participants. This signifies the irreversible damage incorporated on the cellular dynamics due to early-onset obesity. Subsequently, paving ways to other comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes in later lives.

Conclusion:

Weight management awareness at the right age is warranted to make a healthy population with survival fitness. Inculcation of proper lifestyle habits and realization of gross detrimental effects of obesity at the beginning of early adulthood shall help to build future generations with a superior quality of life.

The double catastrophe of cardiovascular-pulmonary disorders

Darkness crippled in the lives of family members, with the sudden demise of the only son of the family, aged 38, years undergoing treatment for an interstitial lung disorder. The death report stated cardiac arrest not a pulmonary failure as the cause of untimely demise. This incidence like many more, hints the fine-tuning at the cellular-functional axis, amongst The MOST VITAL organs “Lungs & Heart” to support life.

Pulmonary cardiovascular disease

Both cardiovascular and pulmonary disease is the leading cause of deaths worldwide. Cardiovascular diseases developed in respiratory patients have a high mortality rate apart from affecting day to day lives. For instance, patients with lung fibrosis or COPD are more likely to die due to heart failure as compared to those with a pulmonary issue but no cardiac involvement”. The irony of the story is that the patient with lung disease is less likely to receive coronary revascularization or coronary artery bypass graft.  It is due to similar symptoms in both condition and complex management in the pretext of existing lung complications.

The dynamics of Heart Lung Reciprocity

Lungs and heart not only share the thoracic cavity in common but also are functionally interdependent. A load of transporting oxygen laden pure blood is a composite effort of both the organs. This is evident in heart diseases having breathlessness as a hallmark.

Pulmonary disease conditions such as ILD can exert backpressure to heart known as pulmonary arterial hypertension causing right-sided heart failure. Also, conditions like left-sided heart failure, mitral stenosis, myocardial infarction can cause pulmonary edema or waterlog in the lungs due to venous hypertension. Fluid accumulation in air sacs or obstruction in blood flow due to fibrosis leads to a build-up of arterial pressure resulting in morbidity due to heart collapse.

Conclusion

Advancement in medical and surgical intervention has undoubtedly increased life expectancy and strengthened emergency care. However, the major lacuna to date is the prognosis mystery regarding the unrevealing of complex lung disorders. The situation is highly alarming with the involvement of pumping organs, eventually leading to untimely catastrophe, known as DEATH.

Diabetic Mice Improve With Retrievable Millimetre-thick Cell-laden Hydro-gel Fiber

There has been a recent advancement in the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes as the researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo) found out that the diameter of hydrogels carrying cells can establish its longevity after transplantation, making the cell therapy for Type 1Diabetes Mellitus efficient. In short, researchers have come up with a fiber shaped hydrogel transplant that can be successful at treating T1DM.

Type 1 Diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes, is becoming an increasingly common disease among young and adults alike. A 2017 report revealed that about 425 million adults in the age group of 20-79 were living with diabetes around the world. The cause of Type 1Diabetes Mellitus is autoimmune destruction of -βcells that are responsible for producing insulin which is an important hormone that facilitates sugar flow in the cells to produce energy.

At the moment, the treatment for T1DM involves timed exogenous insulin administration and continuous blood glucose measurements. This creates an unnecessary burden not only on the patient but also on the health system. The aim of the new cell therapy is to eliminate the need for insulin replacement as it focuses on substituting lost pancreaticβ-cells. Although cell replacement therapy appears to be an interesting option, its clinical success is quite limited. It is often compared to an organ transplant that depends highly on the transplant -acceptance. Foreign body reactions are common factors behind transplant rejection. The idea behind cell therapy is to make use of hydrogels to provide long-term protection for transplanted cells.

This is not the only research that focuses on the replacement of damaged cells to cure this auto-immune disorder, the whole pancreas transplant has already been successful at many clinics. It was noted that even though blood sugar levels were immediately restored following the transplant, the survival rate of the transplanted pancreas was as low as six months. This improved over the years with the advancement of technology but even at present, the transplant doesn’t survive for more than three years.

Interestingly, the study conducted by the researchers at the University of Tokyo revealed that the diameter of these hydrogel fibers can be detrimental in anticipating foreign body reactions. The tests were conducted on diabetic mice. Barium alginate (Ba-Alg) hydrogels with different fiber diameters were implanted into normal mice. This was done to demonstrate that immune reactions seemed quite low at 1.0 mm. In order to further concretize the claim, researchers compared these findings with the foreign body reactions at 0.35 mm. The results revealed that covering hydrogel in 1.0mm-thick fibers resulted in long-term immune-protection for islets of Langerhans and also helped maintain glycemic control in diabetic mice. These fibers also facilitated the easy flow of small molecules of glucose, insulin, and oxygen to pass through the membrane, which is crucial for better functioning of the cells.

The findings definitely give hope, and more clinical trials could be helpful in repairing all possible loopholes.

Raw milk may do more harm than good

There is a popular belief that consuming raw milk or raw milk products is a healthier option, in contrast to consuming pasteurized milk or milk products. There exists a lot of misconceptions about pasteurization, with some suggesting it leads to loss of essential nutrients while others accuse pasteurization as an artificial or ‘unnatural’ processing of milk that risks spoiling the product.

However, scientific studies have found all such allegations to be unfounded. But what is more disconcerting is that scientific evidences suggest consuming raw milk or raw milk products poses definite health threats for us and that pasteurization of milk is critical before it is consumed.

Some critical scientific evidences from across the world suggest:

It is true that the heating process during pasteurization affects some nutrients in raw milk; viz thiamine, vitamin B6 and folic acid within the B-complex, and vitamin C. However, our present diet ensures these nutrients are received from other sources and hence missing them in milk products does not affect us much.

In contrast, raw milk or raw milk products have a higher content probability for harmful germs like Brucella, Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. Between 1993 till 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the USA reported 127 outbreaks of diseases due to raw milk, which includes 1,909 illnesses and 144 hospitalizations.

Scientists at UC Davis have discovered that unrefrigerated milk, often done intentionally to allow it to ferment to produce clabber actually leads to these bacteria developing anti-microbial resistance genes which then makes them immune to antibiotic medicines.

The gastrointestinal tract in humans in modern times are often not able to digest certain components which we could earlier; or resist certain types of bacterial infections. A major factor in this development has been the advances made in medicines and how the human digestive system has evolved with these advances. Thus, the gastrointestinal tracts of infants and young children, older adults, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems such as people with cancer, an organ transplant, are unable to face the challenges of the different types of bacteria present in raw milk. While most healthy people can recover from an illness caused by harmful bacteria in raw milk products, there always exists the risk that some may develop symptoms that are chronic, severe, or even life-threatening.

A big form of risk stems from raw milk products like cheese, with a new-found customer preference for hand-made cheese or what is known as artisan cheese. Often these are part of ‘back to nature’ products, where the milk and cheese are produced in ‘organic farms’ with pasteurization. While handmade cheese from pasteurized milk is not a concern, such products from unpasteurized milk risk contamination (animal feces, dirt), cow diseases (mastitis, bovine tuberculosis), cross-contamination from dairy workers, etc that raises the risk of harmful elements in the raw milk thus produced.

It is therefore always advisable to consume only pasteurized milk and milk products.

AI making its way to improve results and efficiency in Cardiovascular Imaging

Artificial intelligence is showing reassuring results in cardiology, especially in the area of cardiovascular imaging. Ever wondered how it works? 

Machine learning algorithms (a subdivision of AI) are making it possible for cardiologists to find out new opportunities and delve into new discoveries difficult to be noticed using conventional techniques. This offers newer gateways helpful in medical decision-making.

Key features of AI in Cardiovascular Imaging:

  • AI can help improve performance at low cost thereby facilitating decision making, interpretation, and precise image acquisition of anatomical structures as well as diagnosis.
  • The big data obtained using imaging will be helpful in personalizing medical treatments and keeping an electronic record of patient data, health records, and outcome data.
  • It is believed that this will help physicians work more efficiently on core issues while computers will handle the technical part.

 

Different kinds of imagining possibilities using AI

Echocardiography – This is the most commonly used imaging technique in cardiology, but it is highly user-dependent. It is also important to undergo serious training in order to interpret the results accurately. AI can be a low-cost alternative to provide a standardized analysis of echocardiographic images. It has already shown great success in this area.

Computed Tomography – AI has been greatly appreciated in the field of cardiac CT as it has helped in noise reduction, and image optimization thereby preventing invasive coronary angiography (ICA) in the identification of severe stenosis.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging – This includes anatomical images of various aspects of the heart including flow imaging, contractile function, perfusion imaging, and myocardial characterization. As is the case with Echocardiography, MRI is also highly user-dependent. Reports have shown that implementing computer-aided detection in the clinical setup can increase accuracy and simplify the analysis.

Nuclear Imaging of the heart – This is performed to assess any perfusion defects within the myocardial lining. AI-based models can improve the clinical value of the results obtained. AI-based models have been highly successful at detecting abnormal myocardium in CAD, and their efficiency is at par with manual analysis images received.

Conclusion  

Technology is not new to humans. We’re getting more and more comfortable with the idea of relying on machines for safer and more accurate conduct of our day to day lives. In the case of cardiovascular imaging, AI has proved itself promising in various ways. Here are the reasons why the medical industry is ready to adopt computer-aided detection and diagnosis in Cardiology:

  • Detection and diagnosis of disease
  • Interpretation of data
  • Collection and comparison of data for future studies
  • Clinical decision making
  • Accurate image acquisition of images
  • Reducing health care expenditure
  • Reducing the workload for physicians

 

AI seems to have a lot of pros for the medical industry, but it needs to be made perfect with more testing and re-testing. It will definitely be a great tool for cardiologists as it is capable of recognizing patterns that are otherwise difficult to assess for the human brain.

What are clinical trials?

Scientists follow different methods to test their findings. While it involves observing the subjects in a normal setting, sometimes these can be achieved through questionnaires, medical exams, tests, etc. When scientists come up with a new drug, medication, or therapy, and it is required that a study is performed directly on people who are targeted for the product – it is known as a clinical trial. It is performed to evaluate the efficacy of the treatment at an early stage, and also helps find out if there are any possible dangers or side-effects.

Sometimes, clinical trials are also performed to detect early symptoms of a disease. Every medication approved by the FDA (United States Food and Drug Association) must have performed clinical trials before it can be marketed.

Importance of clinical trials

 Clinal trials help find the best-suited medical procedure or drug to cure a disease. The results of these trials help with feedbacks on the research front in order to improve the intervention.

For any new therapies to be suggested to the patients, it’s important to conduct clinical trials. They form an integral part of medical research because it not only helps find newer ways to cure but also provides ways to reduce the chances of developing the disease.

How are these trials performed?

Clinical trials are well planned and conducted by a group of scientists or researchers. The person-in-charge of these trials is called a principal investigator, and he/she is the one who manages the team of researchers.

The trials are conducted using a protocol that includes details about the objective of the research, a number of subjects required, eligibility criteria, age (if applicable), information required (blood, stool, urine, etc.), and the treatment plan. It might involve a single test or a set of tests at different intervals or all at once. These steps are taken by the medical practitioners in order to avoid any kind of bias that is irrelevant to the protocol.

Here is what happens in a trial:

  • Details about the subjects are gathered by one of the study staff, and information about the trial is given.
  • The subjects can ask questions related to the study.
  • A consent form is then signed by the subjects giving permission to proceed.
  • Screening is done to find out the eligibility, and a first visit, also known as the baseline visit) is scheduled.
  • The subjects are assigned to a treatment, a therapy, or a control group and the family members can followup to report any concerns or issues.
  • More visits are scheduled to evaluate the impact of the intervention.
  • The subjects can visit their physician for usual health concerns regarding ongoing therapies or drug intake even during the period of the study.

 

How to find a clinical trial?

 Those who wish to participate in a clinical trial can find out more information online by simply running a keyword search. You can also consult your general physician to help you connect to an association or support group in your area.