The Future of Medical Writing: Gazing into the Crystal Ball
Over the past eight decades, the role and perceived value of what we’ve come to know as the medical writer has evolved. As the process of document production became more complicated and time-consuming, a separate group of specialists evolved to serve the role of “medical writer.” Although this role may not have been formally defined, and certainly not consistently so, this was the genesis of the professional we consider to be the medical writer.
In preparing for this special topics edition of the AMWA Journal, I wanted to tap into a broad and varied spectrum of those who practice the trade of professional medical writing as well as some who collaborate with them. In eliciting thoughts, I decided to create a series of virtual panels, thus allowing for a more conversational and interactive experience among participants. What has resulted is a series of collective thoughts on where the profession is going, and which forces will shape the context within which we will ply our trade going forward. In one case, individuals formed their own “panel of one”; however, panels mostly comprised colleagues either from the same company or those who were invited because they were members of a particular professional organization (eg, the Drug Information Association (DIA)) or represented a particular viewpoint within the medical writing community.
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