What do Anton Chekhov, Michael Crichton, Atul Gawande, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle all have in common?
If you guessed they are all writers, as well as physicians, you are right!
“Medicine is my lawful wife,” Chekhov once said, “and writing is my mistress.”
I think there are a lot of lonely mistresses out there. I keep hearing from different people how much they love to write, but struggle to find time. Lately I have heard:
“Writing used to be a creative outlet for me. I wish I could get back to it.”
“I have a manuscript I was working on, but it’s gathering dust in the closet.
“I would love to do writing for a living, but that’s just a pipe dream. “
Maybe it’s not a pipe dream. And maybe it’s time for that manuscript to come out of the closet.
A good first step could be looking into some resources for aspiring writers. Here are a few suggestions:
American Medical Writers Association This organization has been in existence since 1940 and has chapters all across the country. A sample of the offerings includes:
- Courses in medical writing leading to certification
- An annual conference
- Self-study workshops
- Networking opportunities
- Job postings
- Quarterly journal
The annual dues are $155 for regular membership and $55 for students. Pursuing some of the certificate programs can be helpful in building credibility as a medical writer. Certificate programs are available in these areas: Essential Skills, Business, Composition and Publication, Concepts in Science and Medicine, and Regulatory and Research.
Dr. Joseph Kim, founder of nonclinicaljobs.com, medical writer and blogger, states that many people have entered the field of medical communications without any experience or additional degrees. A medical writer may be able to make $50 – $150 per hour.
Starting a blog and writing on a topic of interest to you, or being a guest blogger on an established site, is one relatively easy way to get started. KevinMd is a blog that covers a wide variety of medical subjects and welcomes guest posts.
If you are feeling like you need a creative outlet, maybe it is time to pick up that pen and see where your words take you. Your writing could become a cathartic outlet, a way to share your knowledge, a potential income stream, or a chance to meet others who share a similar passion.
Who knows, in a few years your name could be added to the pop quiz!
Find what you're looking for:
The Physician's Insider Guide
15 of the most common FAQs on physician career transition
Sign up below to get the resource to jump-start your career transformation! You will also receive the latest blogs and updates from Heather.