Resources for medical writers
Education and qualifications
University courses: Some universities offer postgraduate courses in health communication.
Another option is to do a blended degree, such as Swinburne University’s Bachelor of Health Science/ Bachelor of Media and Communication.
Short courses: Writers looking to upskill in specific areas can take short courses in topics including editing, consumer health writing, freelance writing, magazine writing and technical writing.
Science journalism – a free online course for budding science writers and journalists, developed by a team of 35 writers and editors.
Copy writing and other writing courses – Australian Writers Centre
Courses in journalism, editing and publishing – Australian College
Copyediting course – Capstone Editing
AMWA PDP: AMWA’s PDP program offers specialised medical writing-related training
Readability tools to help ensure your writing is easy to understand:
Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT) and User’s Guide: helps you assess how understandable and actionable print and audiovisual patient education materials are
Plain language summary toolkit— Envision Pharma Group has developed a best-practice resource for PLS of peer-reviewed publications and congress abstracts
The EAST framework for behaviour change— four simple ways to apply behavioural insights
Medical writing career resources
From academic to medical writer – a guide to getting started in medical communications
MedCommsNetworking – networking and dialogue amongst professionals working in med comms
Science communication toolkit – practical tools developed by experts to help science communicators, researchers, journalists and policy makers add quality, impact and influence to their science engagement activities
Health Writer Hub – blogs, short online health writing courses and free resources for health writers
Ragan’s Healthcare blog – news in healthcare social media, marketing and communications
Codes and guidelines
PubMed – archive of medical journal literature with links to the full-text sources
Unpaywall – unpaywall is a legal, open-source database that allows you to access free
Style and grammar resources
Responsible reporting on medicines, tests and treatments – tips
to help journalists accurately and responsibly reflect independent, reliable evidence in their writing and reporting on medicines, medical
tests and treatments.
Guidelines for writing about specific health conditions:
- Cancer Institute NSW has produced guidelines for writing about cancer
- Mindframe’s guidelines for communicating about mental health issues, including suicide and alcohol and other drugs
- A group of independent experts produced these guidelines for journalists reporting on alcohol and other drugs, in an effort to reduce stigma, improve accuracy in reporting, and minimise harm
- Dementia Australia has developed guidelines for talking or writing about dementia and people living with dementia.
- Mindframe and the National Eating Disorders Collaboration created these guidelines for reporting on eating disorders
- People With Disability Australia developed these guidelines for portraying people with disability
- This position statement from Diabetes Australia focuses on improving communications with and about people with diabetes.