Med School Hell – Alternative M.D. – Senior Scientific Writer

This post is raw and holds nothing back. If you’re uncomfortable with vulgar language, please turn back.

February 22, 2007
By: Hoover


This is the first installment of what will be (hopefully) regular updates regarding alternative careers that you can do with an M.D.

This particular career is through employment with Merck.

Senior Scientific Writer / Editor

Requisition number: SCI003023

Job Duties

  • Responsible for authoring regulatory documents (e.g., CSRs, and CTD Sections 2.5 and 2.7.
  • Preparing scientific publications (e.g., abstracts, manuscripts, presentations and posters), and medical/scientific editing and review of selected regulatory documents.
  • Reviews documents/publications for accuracy, completeness and consistency, and facilitates resolution of issues within the assigned Therapeutic Areas and MCD.
  • Tracks his/her individual workload as well as that of assigned (Associate) Scientific Writers/Editors, and ensures the timely completion of assigned documents.
  • Assist in mentoring and monitoring the performance of (Associate) Scientific Writers/Editors.


  • BS or BA plus 12-16 years of relevant experience
  • MS plus 10-15 years of relevant experience
  • PhD (in a relevant discipline)/PharmD plus 3-6 years of relevant experience
  • MD/DVM plus 0-3 years of relevant experience
  • To ensure a successful start of the Scientific Writing & Editing Department, candidates must have authored CSRs, Integrated Summaries of Efficacy and Safety, CTD Sections 2.5 and 2.7 for more than 5 years for at least 80% of their time.
  • A high level of experience with clinical databases/data management systems, clinical authoring tools (CAT, CARAT), document repositories (SPIDER & eDossier) and standards (e.g., GDPs) is required.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, verbal and written communication skills, and ability to work effectively in a team environment are a must.


  • To be considered for this position, please visit our career site at to create a profile and submit your resume for requisition # SCI003023.

Career Dissection

Some of the qualifications are quite specific, but it is worth noting that with an M.D., 0-3 years experience is required. This means they are willing to consider fresh M.D.’s out of medical school, with zero experience doing this type of work.

This would be a great career for those that have published before or have a background in technical writing.

Are you convinced to leave medicine? If so, you may feel like you are alone. You may feel clueless about what to do next. However, quitting medicine could turn out better than you have ever thought possible. And here is why you should get out …

This article is part of Hoover’s Med School Hell series. Med School Hell reveals the crazy truth about the crappiness of the US medical education and healthcare system … while making you laugh so hard, you’ll crap in your pants.

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