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  • Writer's pictureNick Lamb, PhD

Building a Successful Freelance Medical Writing Career

Updated: Mar 6

Freelance medical writing can be as challenging as it is rewarding. It offers a unique blend of flexible working life, diverse projects, and the opportunity to make significant contributions to healthcare communications. My own journey, spanning over 20 years, is a testament to the fulfilling career path that medical writing offers.

My Start: From Academic Thesis to Medical Writing

Like many in this field, my foray into medical writing wasn't straightforward. It began during my PhD in Biochemistry at Imperial College, London. Unlike many of my peers, I loved writing my thesis, and soon realised that my skills were best suited outside the lab. So began my transition from academia to medical communications, initially starting as a proofreader and copy-editor in STM publishing.

From publishing to advertising

After 2 years in publishing in moved to advertising. Working across London in various award-winning healthcare advertising agencies, I honed my craft in medical writing. Each project, whether it involved crafting content for specialists or simplifying complex concepts for the general public, was a new learning experience. The diversity of the work kept the thrill alive, as I navigated through different aspects of medical communications, including working on some of the best-selling prescription medicines of all time.

Starting out on my own

My passion for writing and science eventually led me to establish Medcopywriter Limited in 2012. Here, I have been providing concise, creative, and compelling freelance medical writing services for the MedComms industry, using my extensive experience to offer high-quality content that resonates with diverse audiences.

Building a Successful Freelance Career

The key to building a successful career in freelance medical writing lies in continuously evolving your skillset, staying abreast of the latest medical advances, and understanding the needs of different audiences. It also involves networking within the industry and consistently delivering high-quality work. My journey is a testament to the fact that with passion, dedication, and a willingness to continually learn and adapt, a career in freelance medical writing can be exceptionally rewarding.

Freelance medical writing is not just about stringing words together; it’s about conveying complex medical information in an accessible manner. It’s about continuous learning, adapting to new challenges, and making a tangible impact in the world of healthcare communication. As the medical landscape continues to evolve with the arrival of generative AI, so too does the role of the medical writer, making it an exciting and fulfilling career choice for those passionate about healthcare and writing.


What specific steps should be taken to build a personal brand and market oneself as a freelance medical writer?

How do I balance the need to produce high-quality work with the need to meet tight deadlines?

What are some of the most in-demand specialties within medical writing that a freelancer could focus on?


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