Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Medical Writing and the Pay Gap

Science Careers takes a look at medical writing as alternative career for people with science PhDs. It's a potentially interesting career for those who are interested in science and writing, but not interested in performing experiments or running a lab.

"Critical-thinking skills, project-management skills, independence, and the ability to clearly communicate complex topics are key assets for succeeding in this type of position as well as in research," she says. And all those skills are nurtured, if not always systematically and intentionally, by graduate science training. Companies often look for writers with an expertise in a particular medical area. So although an advanced degree in a relevant field isn't required for work as a medical writer, it's a distinct advantage.

Five scientists who took the writing path are profiled - all women, giving the impression that medical writing is dominated by women. Whether that's the case or not, as in many other fields the average pay is significantly higher for men: $94,000 vs. $83,000 a year. The article doesn't go into why that is the case, but I suspect it may be because women don't ask.

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2 comments:

hsien@eyeondna.com said...

I read that article earlier this week and it didn't even occur to me they were all women until you mentioned it! D'oh. I don't know if I should care that there aren't any men profiled because we're supposed to be sex-blind, but...it does seem weird.

Hsien Lei said...

Oh oops. The autofill put my email address as my name!!