I think I have mentioned in one of my earliest posts that you don’t need to be a medical doctor to be a medical writer. As long as you have a science-related tertiary education qualification, you can be trained to become a medical writer. Even a medical assistant who is interested to write may consider medical writing on a part-time basis, or even turn it into a full-time career later.
In case you would like to know more about the job of a medical assistant, here’s some information.
A medical assistant is basically the assistant to a doctor. People who want to become a medical assistant have to go through medical assistant training.
A doctor is usually extremely busy consulting patients in his or her office, and needs to focus on providing direct patient care. Therefore, a doctor relies a lot on his or her medical assistant to keep the office running smoothly. The responsibilities of a medical assistant vary from day to day (or from hour to hour, in fact). At times the medical assistant have to perform clerical work (e.g. record keeping, appointment scheduling, billing) and some times assist the doctor in carrying out clinical duties (e.g. simple lab tests, changing dressings and sutures, assisting doctor in administering electrocardiograms, explaining medication and procedures to patients). In short, a medical assistant is not like any other assistant jobs; a certain level of professional medical knowledge is required.
Medical assistant programs are usually available in the medical faculty of universities. In the US, there are also specialized schools - medical assistant schools - that provide further specialized medical assistant trainings in different areas of health care, including (but not limited to):
• X-ray technician training
• Occupational therapy assistant training
• Natural health practitioner training
• Massage therapy training
• Medical laboratory technician training
• Physical therapy training
• Dental assistant training
• Diagnostic medical sonography training
As you can see, being a medical assistant gives you an edge in medical writing, because you have already possessed a certain degree of knowledge about the healthcare industry. You also have had experience in patient care. Those knowledge and experience you acquired will help you in your medical writing, e.g. understand medical presentation more easily, recognize the important aspects to be included in a patient healthcare brochure, etc.
So, if you a medical assistant who wishes to write, by all means give medical writing a try. You can start off writing part-timely at the beginning. If you like it and feel that medical writing is a ‘new’ career path you wish to pursuit, then I would say give it a go! :)
P.S. Vice versa, if you are a medical writer now, but thinks that it’s time to switch career for good, there’s nothing wrong with that either. :)