Lesser-known medical careers: Health publishingDecember 11, 2014
If you love writing as much as you do medicine, a career in health publishing will allow you to indulge in both passions without having to compromise one for the other. You will have to go through education and training as any other medical professional but instead of direct patient care, your focus would be the dissemination of medical knowledge and news.
Health publishing has become a highly specialised field in the healthcare realm, covering everything from academic books and scientific journals to consumer health newsletters and natural health magazines.
Within the broader field of health publishing you can explore several different aspects depending on your personal preferences and your career goals. You may like to stick to more general articles and magazines while others may prefer to publish scientific articles and articles aimed at professionals in the healthcare industry. A more popular trend is to start in a more generalised field and then explore a more specialised niche after gaining experience in this field.
A look at the different areas of health publishing
Books on health
Informative books on health have always been very popular. These books are often written by professionals who have had a lot of experience in the medical field and wish to publish a book to share their expertise on the subject with others. These books are often written for a select audience.
Newsletters for customers are very common these days and there is a lot of scope if you get into this field. Newsletters can be found in all sorts of places such as the waiting room of a hospital or they may be delivered directly to people. Those who want to write in newsletters don’t necessarily have to be in the medical field. Some may work in advertising and write on behalf of medical institutions or people while others may be a part of the healthcare system.
Health journals are taken more seriously than generalised articles so a person who writes for a health journal will need to have very good writing skills as well as thorough medical knowledge. Publications in a journal would usually need a lot of research and investigation because it is necessary to include solid facts and relevant matter when it is published.
Expected salaries in this field
Unlike a number of corporate and mainstream jobs that usually have fixed salary levels, there is no fixed way to pinpoint an exact salary level in the field of publishing. Usually, beginners and new freelancers often start with a low-end salary. This could vary depending on the kind of organisation. Salaries in this field also largely depend on your networking and contacts because based on who you know, you will be handed better and more lucrative opportunities.
Health publishing is not a field that will suit everyone. It does require a lot of research and on-going education to keep up with the latest advances in medicine. If you have a love for writing and medicine and have plans of getting into this field, it may be a good idea to try it out first by way of an internship before you commit to it. If your internship cements your love for health publishing, you will find great satisfaction in this exciting, challenging and very interesting career choice.