Time for Step 7 of the “Beginner’s Medical Writing” series – a step-by-step guide to getting yourself started in freelance medical writing – an extremely basic guide for making the first move into medical writing.

If you’re just arriving, feel free to check out the earlier steps:

The next best step, if you haven’t already jumped the gun and done so, is to join AMWA – the American Medical Writers Association.


The current annual membership fee is $165 ($60 if you’re a student). If you’re hesitant to spend this much money without really knowing what it’s about or what it might be able to do for you, I’d advise checking to see if there’s a local chapter anywhere near you. Local chapters hold meetings throughout the year, and you can still attend these without being a member – you just end up paying about $5 extra on the local meeting fee than members pay.

This way, you can attend a meeting and get to network with some friendly medical writers local to your area – this will certainly help you get a feel for the organization and how you can benefit from it.

So check out their website and at least consider attending a local meeting – I guarantee you’ll feel inspired afterwards!


  1. Do you personally get leads for work from it? I’m always hesitant to join professional groups because I fear I’m lost in the multitudes. And I usually am. This one looks like it offers much aside from medical writing leads, so I’m just curious if it ever goes into that area.

    • Jacqui, I didn’t actually join AMWA for work leads – I joined it for the great networking opportunities, especially by way of our local chapter here in New England. There is a job listing via the site that members have access to – being a member doesn’t get you a better chance of getting the jobs, but might get you access to some ads before other places get to advertise them etc. I don’t join lots of organizations for the same reaosn as you say – there are so many, and you could spend a lot joining them. But AMWA is the main national organization for medical writers here in the US, & if any medical writers or budding med writers were looking to spend money on a single thing each year for their business, this is the one I’d recommend.