Associations for Medical Writers

If you are interested in becoming a medical writer, then I’d recommend that you join national association(s) for medical writers or scientific writers.

Their online forums, essentially professional chatrooms for medical and scientific writers, provide a source of peers who often offer suggestions on writing, medical subjects, and business opportunities and challenges. The following list includes the most common organizations.

American Medical Writers Association (AMWA)

AMWA serves an enrgetic and friendly community of medical communicators whose expertise ranges from regulatory writing, scientific publications and presentations (articles, slide sets, posters), promotional writing and sales training, health communication, grantsmanship, and education for professionals in the science and healthcare fields. Their monthly webinars provide opportunities to broaden your skills in medical communication, career development, and business strategies.  

Annual AMWA meeting [Oct. 27-29, 2021, virtual] offers numerous  educational programs on basic and advanced subjects in medical writing as well as networking opportunities.

Local chapters in the USA offer networking opportunities, lectures, panel discussions, and one day programs. For example, the Annual Freelance Workshop held by the AMWA Delaware Valley chapter is usually in March and their Princeton Forum in May. I am very active in the AMWA-DVC chapter.

AMWA provides training for certificates in Essential Skills of medical writing and advanced topics. Self study modules include basic medical writing subjects include English grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, ethics, medical terminology, and statistics. I highly recommend the Essential Skills certificate as it reviews the basics and highlights common writing errors of scientists and physicians.

International Society of Medical Publication Professionals (ISMPP)

This organization serves an energetic community of medical publication professionals whose roles range from Editors, publication planners, and writers for scientific and clinical articles for professional journals. If you write original research manuscripts, reviews, systematic reviews, preclinical studies, meta-analyses, case reports, cohort studies, and observational studies, consider checking out their website and joining.

The ISMPP also provides a forum and monthly webinars for improving or expanding your crafts. I am a member and have presented at their annual meetings in 2019-2021.

European Medical Writers Association
Biannual meetings with numerous educational and networking opportunities.

Australasian Medical Writers Association
Annual conference and a professional development program.

National Association of Science Writers
Annual meeting [Oct. 8 to 11, 2021, Boulder, Colorado and virual] has numerous networking opportunities and educational programs. Local chapters also host meetings, arrange tours, and provide service and networking opportunities.

Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS)
Certification for Editors in the Life Sciences (ELS). Exams are usually offered in conjunction with a meeting on medical editing.