Joining a professional health, medical or science writing association is a fantastic way to stay connected to the industry, meet other writers, learn new skills, become aware of important industry trends and grow your career.
When I was starting out as a medical writer, I joined the Australasian Medical Writers Association and volunteered on their Executive Committee, where I stayed for 5 years and currently remain today as President. Through AMWA, I have made lifelong friends, learned so much about the field and discovered that no two pathways are the same. There really are vast opportunities for work and career development in our small yet thriving niche. Speak to any medical writer and you’ll soon realise that their story (professional background, credentials, qualifications, skills and experience) is quite different to yours – despite the fact we all share similar job titles.
I find the in-person networking events are one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling aspects of membership. Over the years, I’ve met a friendly, professional, intelligent, kindhearted and down-to-earth bunch of medical writers who genuinely care about the profession and helping others succeed. As writers, we spend a lot of time alone and in front of our computers – so getting away from your screen and meeting people in ‘real life’ is healthy and important.
Some professional associations charge an annual fee, while others are free but membership can be selective. Many associations also produce their own medical writing resources and toolkits for members. They are generally run by volunteers and operate a non-profit business model.
These professional associations and societies often run annual conferences and networking events where you can meet other health and medical writers, explore avenues for work and career development, share ideas and get advice from your peers. Members are usually a combination of new and experienced professionals working primarily in the healthcare, medicine, pharmaceutical, wellness and biotech industries as writers, journalists, communications professionals and researchers.
Being a member of a reputable medical writing association is also a great asset for your medical writing CV and shows prospective employers that you are serious about developing and enhancing your career.
Here are 20 of the most popular associations and societies in the field of health, science and medical communications.
Membership inside Europe costs €125, and outside Europe is costs €140.
Professional membership costs US$165, and for students the price is US$60.
Ordinary membership costs AUD$80, and affiliate membership costs AUD$60.
Full membership is AUD$88, student membership is AUD$35.20, and associate membership costs AUD$35.20.
Full membership costs $179, and student membership costs US$45.
Membership is free, but individuals must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for membership.
For individuals the membership fee is £77.50, for retired and/or over 65 yrs the fee is £39, and for students the fee is £39.
Membership costs US$50 and members must meet certain criteria to join.
Full annual membership costs $195.
Annual membership starts at $225.
Membership fees start at $25 USD per year.
Membership costs $75 per year for working copy editors; managers in the journalism industry with a copy editing background; teachers of journalism; and retirees from these categories.
Regular membership is $75 CAD per year.
Membership is open to journalists around the world and starts at US$60 per year.
Current member rates are US$90 for individuals and US$35 for students.
Not a member organisation, the Council is a non-member resource for science writers around the world.
Entry-level membership fee costs £100, and membership is open to all editors and proofreaders.
Membership costs £40 and you don’t need to be a British resident to join.
Membership starts at US$40 per year and membership is open to journalists around the world.
While this isn’t an individual member organisation, membership is arranged via an association. You can subscribe to their newsletter and monitor their site for the latest news and updates.
Are there any medical writing associations and societies you’ve joined that aren’t on this list? Share them below.