ASJA 2016 Health & Medical Writing: No Science Degree Required

At the ASJA 2016 conference in New York for the American Society of Journalists and Authors, I organized and spoke on a panel about how to prosper as a freelance writer specializing in health and medical writing, without having a science degree.

Joined by two friends and colleagues, Maureen Salamon and Marijke Vroomen Durning, we shared useful tips, tricks and resources on how we bridge the gap. Science journalist and author Patchen Barss served as our moderator. None of us have an advanced degree in life sciences, biology or chemistry.

ASJA 2016

We each bring different transferable skills to the job to make it work for us. We write for hospitals, healthcare organizations, consumer and trade publications, and healthcare brands. We all share a passion for creating content that helps people, a keen interest in the subjects we write about, and rely on strong researching, interviewing and writing skills.

Handout: Health and Medical Writing, No Science Degree Required

For a summary of our tips and resources, download a copy of our handout which includes these goodies:

  • market ideas
  • a list of the different types of communications in demand
  • top qualities you’ll need for success
  • top resources for evidence-based health information
  • where to find good story sources – doctors, researchers, scientists and patients
  • where to find help to understand clinical studies
  • professional development and networking opportunities

Wish you could hear the whole panel discussion? Our panel was Session S20 on Saturday, May 21, 2016. Download a recording from the ASJA store, which should be available within a few weeks of the conference.

Thinking of joining ASJA? Attending and participating at conferences and volunteering behind the scenes in programs like Virtual Client Connections has been a productive way to grow my business. Find out more about the benefits of joining ASJA.

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