Making the Transition

Free training #2

In the first free training I told you my story—how I became deeply unhappy in graduate school but was able to finish my PhD and transition into a lucrative career as a freelance medical writer, which I have done now for the last 20 years. I also describe what medical writing is.

In this second free training, I’ll address the following:

Am I Qualified to Become a Medical Writer?

Am I Cut Out for Freelancing?

What’s the Best Way to Transition into Medical Writing?

PDFs of the best and worst things about freelancing

"Emma is a veteran in the medical writing/editing community who has been providing value (both free and paid) for several years. The 6 week course gave me greater clarity and a better perspective regarding my preferences in the field. Her mentorship, expertise, the potential to become a subcontractor of her own company, and the confidence one gains to solicit clients of their own, are far more valuable than the price of her course(s)."

Petal Smart, Veterinarian

Whenever anyone asks me how to get started in medical writing, I suggest taking Emma’s medical writing course. The course itself is tremendously helpful in learning the basics and business of medical writing and generating writing samples that can eventually lead to jobs. Perhaps the best part is the potential for getting paid work through Emma’s business. Other medical writing courses are out there, but few, if any, give this opportunity. Additionally, in taking the course, you become part of a medical writing community to exchange ideas and ask questions. In the past year, I’ve been able to bring in more income than I had hoped for doing a job that I love, and it all began with Emma’s training!”

Brigid Stadinski, PhD

"Emma is a great teacher and mentor, and I’m looking forward to her course on becoming a freelance medical editor, which I anticipate will be a great learning experience. Emma’s 6-week medical writing course was extremely helpful in getting me started in my new career. As a result of the course, I was able to successfully transition from clinical practice to full-time freelance medical writing in a short amount of time.”

Xiomara Santos, MD

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The free training materials will be available indefinitely after you've enrolled. The full-length 6-Week Course is also self paced and does not need to be completed in 6 weeks despite its name!
How long do I have access to the course?
After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Where do I find out more about the 6-week course?
Please see
What's the 6-Week Course?
This course covers everything you need to know to start your freelance medical writing business. If you have an advanced degree in a science and writing ability, it is the quickest way to find out if this work is for you and also to get into the field from whatever your current career is. The course helps you to get set up as a freelancer and to understand the types of work out there. If you pass at least 5 of the 6 feedback modules and have an advanced science degree and fluent native-level English, you will also get a chance to subcontract for Nascent Medical, LLC.

What does the full-length 6 week course cover?

Week 1—Prerequisite Skills and First Steps

  • Mistakes Medical Writers Should Avoid
  • Medical Writing Style
  • A Checklist for Pieces You Really Care About
  • Reading List

Week 2—Setting Up Shop

  • Potential Medical Writing Markets
  • Rules of Website Design for the Freelance Medical Writer
  • How to Get Your First Freelance Medical Writing Clients
  • Useful Software and Equipment for Medical Writers
  • Checklist of Questions to Ask Clients When Taking on a New Project
  • When to (And When Not to) Network and Help Others
  • Freelance Integrity–Meeting Deadlines, Plagiarism, and Other Issues
  • Part-time Clinician/Part-time Writer
  • Getting into Regulatory Medical Writing

Week 3—Writing the Medical News

  • Scope of Medical News Writing
  • Interview With the Director of Medscape’s Medical News
  • How to Write the Medical News
  • Interviewing Tips and Techniques for News Writers
  • How to Get Medical News Writing Work
  • Covering Medical Conferences
  • Recommended Links and Reading

Week 4—Writing CME and CPD

  • Understanding Fair Balance
  • Getting the "Ghoul" out of "Ghostwriting"
  • Writing Needs Assessments
  • Needs Assessment Checklist
  • Recommended Links and Reading

Week 5—Feature Article Writing

  • Scope of Feature Article Writing
  • How to Write Feature Articles
  • Interviewing Tips and Techniques When Writing Feature Articles
  • How to Get Feature Article Writing Work

Week 6—Running Your Freelance Medical Writing Business

  • Positioning Yourself as a Freelance Medical Writer
  • New Business Trends That Freelance Medical Writers Should Consider
  • Negotiating and Collecting Your Pay
  • Contracts 101 for Freelance Medical Writers
  • Invoicing Your Clients
  • Organizational Tips for Freelance Medical Writers
  • A Few Apps to Improve Productivity
  • When to Break Up With a Client
  • Freelance Customer Service (AKA Getting Repeat Business)
  • Self-Care for the Busy Freelancer

BONUS Content (includes but not limited to)

  • Several examples of different types of medical writing, including features articles, needs assessments, and news articles
  • Contract and NDA examples
  • An email program that will really help with sending out all those emails!
See more info here

Access the 6-Week Course here.

Your Instructor

Emma Hitt Nichols, PhD
Emma Hitt Nichols, PhD

Dr. Hitt Nichols is a long-time medical writer. Her mission is to help people with a scientific or medical background and writing ability to create a life they love working remotely in the lucrative field of medical communications, just like she did after finishing her PhD 20 years ago. To date, Emma has helped hundreds of people set up their own freelance medical writing and/or editing businesses. She is also founder of Nascent Medical, LLC, a company that delivers high-quality medical writing and editing services to the healthcare industry. Although there's no guarantee, she likes nothing better than to give the talented graduates of her writing and editing courses their first medical writing projects to help them get started.

Emma has a doctoral degree from the Nutrition and Health Sciences Program at Emory University and an MS in professional communication.