Available Until 11/2/2025

Medical Writing Certificate

ACPE Numbers: Various - see below 
Release Date: 
November 2, 2022
Expiration Date: November 2, 2025
Activity Type: Application-based
CE Contact Hour(s): 27.5 contact hours


This certificate is a self-guided, online activity that has been created for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians seeking to expand their foundational knowledge and skills associated with medical writing. 

Medical writing is a skill that is important for the advancement of the medical community. Writers that create quality research, instructional, and advertisement pieces are important for helping the medical community understand and grasp new concepts and learn about advancements. This certificate will provide education on the foundations of medical writing and opportunities to apply that knowledge in practice exercises.

Professional Certificate Requirement 

Once a learner has completed the educational curriculum, they will have the opportunity to complete an online comprehensive exam. Once the learner completes the exam (minimum 80% passing rate; unlimited attempts permitted), they will earn the professional certificate.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

This continuing pharmacy education activity is intended for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians seeking to expand their foundational knowledge and skills associated with medical writing.

Introduction to Medical Writing
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-707-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 1 contact hour

  • Summarize how strengthening medical writing skills improves information dissemination.
  • Identify the skills necessary for becoming a medical writer.
  • Categorize the types of medical writing.
  • Differentiate the components of writing applicable to each type of medical writing.
  • Identify employment options for a medical writer. 

Building the Foundational Principles for Medical Writing
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-708-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 3.25 contact hours

  • Compare writing styles for effectiveness.
  • Apply writing tips in compositions.
  • Differentiate active and passive voice.
  • Demonstrate the use of active voice in written work.
  • Identify the principles of Adult Learning Theory.
  • Analyze writing samples for effective language use.
  • Summarize the evidence for changing health-related language.
  • Identify language guidelines and resources.
  • Apply language guidelines to writing.
  • Select appropriate messages for health-related writing content.
  • Apply principles of plain language to writing.
  • Demonstrate writing that reflects strengths-based, person-centered messages.
  • Differentiate helpful and potentially harmful written messages. 

Biostats 101
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-709-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 2 contact hours

  • Analyze types and strengths and limitations of data and statistics.
  • Calculate standard deviation, coefficient of variation, range, interquartile range, and standard error of the mean.
  • Differentiate hypothesis testing, decision errors, p-values, and confidence intervals.
  • Interpret the similarities and differences between statistical tests used to compare two or more groups.
  • Interpret the similarities and differences between regression, correlation, and survival analyses for appropriate use. 

Navigating the Literature Search
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-710-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 2 contact hours

  • Prioritize efficiency and effectiveness in searching free online search engines and databases.
  • Develop multiple approaches for finding full text articles.
  • Analyze the content of scholarly healthcare literature on authoritative attributes (e.g., research impact factor, author credentials, and overall journal quality).
  • Differentiate studies (e.g., Case Studies, Randomized Control Trials, Systematic Reviews, Clinical Practice Guidelines) to determine which has the highest quality of evidence.
  • Compare free health sciences databases and subscription-based databases.
  • Select keywords and MeSH headings to gain experience building search strategies in PubMed.
  • Identify citation management tools for storing research results. 

Legal and Ethical Considerations
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-711-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 2.5 contact hours

  • Given a case, interpret how to handle an ethical situation as a medical writer.
  • Assess copyright permission needs for appropriate material use.
  • Analyze levels of contributions for authorship determination.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of medical writing.
  • Design a freelance writing contract/agreement.
  • Describe what can constitute a conflict of interest.
  • Create a business plan for medical writing. 

Made You Look: Data Visualization & Supplemental Materials
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-712-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 3 contact hours

  • Choose a visualization component (graph, table, figure, etc.) that best prioritizes knowledge and application for draft content.
  • Apply formatting (font family, font size, font leading, font tracking, font kerning, color, icon use, etc.) that ensures digestibility and readability of data.
  • Prioritize the integrity of data.
  • Design visualizations that assist in telling the story. 

Understanding the Editorial Process
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-713-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 3.5 contact hours

  • Describe a stepwise approach to conducting peer review of manuscripts under consideration by biomedical journals.
  • Describe the biomedical journal publication process from beginning to end.
  • Assess the peer review process challenges faced by biomedical journals, including how journals can address them.
  • Apply a stepwise approach to the peer review process including responding to reviewers’ comments.

Social Media in Medical Writing
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-714-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 1 contact hour

  • Assess the benefits of using social media to reach the public and key stakeholders.
  • Assess the qualifications for thought leadership and the activities associated with successful thought leadership.
  • Differentiate the sections of an op ed and strategies for approaching each section.
  • Analyze the challenges associated with writing for the public and strategies for dealing with those challenges. 

Scientific and Scholarly Writing
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-715-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 2.75 contact hours

  • Compare the types of scholarly work.
  • Select an appropriate journal for submission, based on mission, vision, and/or aim of the journal.
  • Identify where to obtain journal formatting instructions.
  • Categorize the key sections of a manuscript.
  • Differentiate between data reporting tools.
  • Choose the intended outcome of your writing (motivating change, sharing insights, etc.).
  • Select the most appropriate platform for your writing (poster, research proposal, abstract, journal publication, etc.).
  • Design an engaging manuscript to achieve your objectives. 

Basics of Grant Writing
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-716-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 1.5 contact hours

  • Interpret requests for proposals (RFPs) to understand the funding organizations needs and priorities.
  • Analyze your organization’s priorities and strengths to select grant/funding opportunities that are most likely to generate success, both for the grantor and awardee.
  • Design a comprehensive and compelling grant proposal.
  • Differentiate a grant proposal from other applicants. 

Instructional Writing
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-717-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 2.75 contact hours

  • Identify the elements of instructional design.
  • Differentiate the sections of an educational needs assessment.
  • Analyze assessment question construction.
  • Modify presentation development workflow to save time, incorporate branding, and create engaging presentations.
  • Interpret the objective(s) and target audience of a presentation to apply appropriate elements and design.
  • Compare features in PowerPoint to choose which functions will efficiently and effectively share educational messaging.
  • Given a scenario, choose appropriate PowerPoint elements, design a brand theme based on a logo, and apply master slide setup. 

Thinking Outside the Box for Additional Medical Writing Opportunities
ACPE Number: 0204-0000-22-718-H04-P & T
Credit Hours Earned: 2.25 contact hours

  • Apply regulations and expectations to types of medical marketing materials.
  • Compare scientific and regulatory writing, including format, writing style, and technical guidelines.
  • Analyze a consent form for an investigational review board (IRB)-approved study.
  • Differentiate the phases of the drug development process.
  • Identify ways to find freelance opportunities, including using personal marketing and developing client relationships.

Learning Activity

ACPE Number

Contact Hours

Introduction to Medical Writing



Building the Foundational Principles for Medical Writing



Biostats 101



Navigating the Literature Search



Legal and Ethical Considerations



Made You Look: Data Visualization & Supplemental Materials



Understanding the Editorial Process



Social Media in Medical Writing



Scientific and Scholarly Writing



Basics of Grant Writing



Instructional Writing



Thinking Outside the Box for Additional Medical Writing Opportunities



  →  Final Assessment: 80% passing score

Mary Andrawis, PharmD, MPH, CPHQ
Founder & President
Serafina Health Strategy
Springfield, Virginia 

Daniel J. Cobaugh, PharmD, DABAT, FAACT 
Vice President, ASHP Publishing Office
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
Editor in Chief
American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Bethesda, Maryland 

Christine L. Cooper, PharmD
Director, Scientific Projects, Special Projects
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
Bethesda, Maryland

Jane K. Dickinson, RN, PhD, CDCES
Program Director/Senior Lecturer
Teachers College Columbia University
New York, New York 

Natalie K. Lueders, MPH, BBA
Founder and Lead Consultant
Natalie Lueders Marketing & Graphic Design
Coto de Caza, California 

Milena Murray, PharmD, MSc, BCIDP, AAHIVP, FCCP
Associate Professor
Midwestern University College of Pharmacy
Downers Grove, Illinois 

Katherine O'Neal, PharmD, MBA, BCACP, CDCES, BC-ADM, AE-C, CLS, FADCES
Associate Professor
University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 

Sherry Pagoto, PhD
University of Connecticut
Storrs, Connecticut 

Kevin M. Sowinski, PharmD, FCCP
Professor of Pharmacy Practice
Purdue University, College of Pharmacy
West Lafayette, Indiana
Adjunct Professor of Medicine
Indiana University, School of Medicine
Indianapolis, Indiana 

Paula S. Tiedemann, JD
General Counsel, Senior Vice President & Chief Compliance Officer
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists
Bethesda, Maryland

Rachel Wedeward, MLIS, AHIP
Research Manager
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
Adjunct Instructor
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

In accordance with our accreditor’s Standards of Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, ASHP requires that all individuals in control of content disclose all financial relationships with ineligible companies. An individual has a relevant financial relationship if they have had a financial relationship with ineligible company in any dollar amount in the past 24 months and the educational content that the individual controls is related to the business lines or products of the ineligible company.

An ineligible company is any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services consumed by, or used on, patients. The presence or absence of relevant financial relationships will be disclosed to the activity audience. 

No one in control of the content of this activity has a relevant financial relationship (RFR) with an ineligible company. 

As defined by the Standards of Integrity and Independence definition of ineligible company. All relevant financial relationships have been mitigated prior to the CPE activity.

This online activity consists of a combined total of 12 learning modules. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are eligible to receive a total of 27.5 hours of continuing education credit by completing all 12 modules within this certificate program.

Participants must participate in the entire activity, complete the evaluation and all required components to claim continuing pharmacy education credit online at ASHP eLearning Portal. Follow the prompts to claim credit and view your statement of credit within 60 days after completing the activity.

Important Note – ACPE 60 Day Deadline: Per ACPE requirements, CPE credit must be claimed within 60 days of being earned – no exceptions! To verify that you have completed the required steps and to ensure your credits have been reported to CPE Monitor, we encourage you to check your NABP eProfile account to validate your credits were transferred successfully before the ACPE 60-day deadline. After the 60 day deadline, ASHP will no longer be able to award credit for this activity.