Medical writing is about developing and producing print or digital documents that specifically deal with healthcare or medicine. Medical writing is quite different from other forms of writing because it requires thorough research, in-depth knowledge, and accuracy. We have created this ultimate guide to medical writing to show you how to excel in healthcare writing in no time!
Medical writers perform writing in a wide range of areas. In this piece, we will discuss how to write medical articles using the four pillars of good writing. These four pillars include:
- Giving your readers a good experience
- Reading more, especially stuff you love
- Editing until you enjoy it
- Actually writing
So let’s get started!
Ulimate Guide to Medical Writing Pillar #1: Give your readers a good experience
Every writer aims to give their readers the best experience possible. Your piece needs to enlighten and engross. While medical writing is quite different from other types of writing, it still entails the three Cs:
- Clear: the writer should leave nothing to the imagination.
- Concise: this entails using brief, straightforward language and avoiding repetition and redundancy as possible.
- Correct: the writer must be accurate in their writing.
Medical writing can be quite complicated, so the writer shouldn’t complicate it further. The writer needs to make it easier for their audiences by keeping the language clear and straightforward.
Making an outline for your medical writing/ manuscript
First things first, before you start writing your medical content, you must have a clear understanding of the type and scope of your writing. Do you want to write a case study, a literature review, or a textbook chapter? Knowing the type and scope of your work can help you craft and present your material accordingly. This guide to medical writing assumes that you are writing an article to submit to a scientific or medical journal, but the same steps apply, regardless of the type of document you are writing.
How to structure your medical writing to give your readers a good experience
Here is an outline to help you with your medical writing.
The title for a medical article should be as brief as possible while conveying the article’s objective. Refrain from using unnecessary jargon and ambiguity.
The abstract is an essential part of a medical manuscript. It is usually the only part of a paper that is read. This is why it should convey the vital points of your writing. You may also include an objective of impact.
In some instances, the publisher may give the writer some keywords. If you are not given the keywords, you may have to figure out some and note them down. Keywords generally increase the number of search results your paper will appear in search engines.
Your introduction should grab the attention of your readers if you want them to continue reading. You can achieve this by talking about the current state of the field and identifying knowledge gaps. One of the best ways to understand how to arrange your intro is by taking a look at similar papers that your target journal has published.
This section needs to respond to the questions of how you studied the problem. For instance, if your material is proposing a new method, you should include detailed information so that your readers can reproduce the experiment.
This section responds to the question, “What have you found?” This is why only representative results from your research should be presented. The results are crucial for discussion.
This is an essential part of your article. It is probably the easiest section to write but the hardest to get right. Here, you get the chance to sell your data. It should correspond to the results.
You should write a clear conclusion.
In your work, you must cite all the scientific publications on which your article is based. You can learn how to cite medical journal articles properly. However, it is not advisable to over-inflate the article with too many references. You can use software such as EndNote to format your references in your writing.
Ultimate Guide to Medical Writing Pillar #2: Read more
As mentioned above, medical writing requires in-depth knowledge, research, and accuracy. This is why it is crucial for a medical writer to read more. To produce quality writing, you must appreciate it when you read it before it gets published. You should also be able to distinguish it from poor writing.
But how can you become an excellent medical writer? Well, you must practice: you need to read plenty of books and articles on healthcare and medicine. There are also plenty of scholarly sources on the internet. Tools, such as PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Google Scholar, etc., can help you find all the reputable and reliable sources you may need in your medical writing.
Ultimate Guide to Medical Writing Pillar #3: Edit until YOU enjoy reading it
Editing an article is crucial. Through editing, you will be able to correct any mistakes, whether they are grammatical or with spelling. In your first draft, you are bound to make some mistakes. You should then go back and edit your piece until you truly enjoy reading it. Rearrange sections to make them flow logically. Reword phrases you feel are awkward. Edit your piece as many times as possible until you have an article you are proud of. You can hire editors to edit your medical writing if you’re not satisfied.
Ultimate Guide to Medical Writing Pillar #4: Actually write
The best way to improve your skills as a medical writer is by writing a lot. Even if you go through numerous trips and tricks, or an expert’s dos and don’ts list, it is still up to you to teach yourself how to write well through self-evaluation and experience. Yes, reading this guide to medical writing is a great first step, but it’s not enough to just read it. Write as many medical articles as you can, as often as you can, and you will become a better medical writer.
If writing isn’t your thing, even after reading our guide to medical writing, or you’re just too busy, hire professional medical writers with PhDs in biomedical sciences. Contact us for a quote.