Book review – Medical Writing: A guide for clinicians, educators and researchers.

Taylor_ Medical Writing-1Medical Writing: A guide for clinicians, educators and researchers [Second edition]. By Robert B. Taylor. This review was written by Dr Justin Coleman, AMWA President, and was first published in Australian Family Physician, Vol 41, No8, p 638, Aug 2012. Reproduced with permission.

For the medical reader journeying to the ‘input’ side of a publication, Medical Writing makes a fine companion.

Medical Writing falls somewhere between a discursive read and a reference guide. The first five
chapters warrant thorough attention, covering not only the essential tool kit of word use, paragraph structure and technical aspects, but also answering the fundamental questions ‘What should I write?’ and ‘How do I start?’ The arduous journey from blank computer screen to reading your name in print should be hugely rewarding.

Later chapters cover specific aspects of medical writing such as research, letters to the editor and book chapters, possibly best dipped into as a reference when occasion demands. The internet earns a mention only as a writing tool, not a destination, so medical writers curious about publishing online will remain unenlightened.

Taylor’s conversational style conjures images of a friendly grandfather dispensing wisdom and
encouragement to his fledgelings. No topic escapes a sprinkling of gentle humour; his application of Kübler-Ross’s stages of grief to the receipt of a rejection letter lightens the mood during that grim moment of loss familiar to every writer. As Taylor says, his substantive credential as an author is not his hundreds of published chapters and articles, but the fact that he has ‘made all the errors’ and copped the rejection letters before us.

I found myself busily earmarking pages with particularly apposite quotes or advice. It’s no trouble mentally correcting Americanisms such as, ‘Do not call an anesthesiologist an an[a]esthetist,’ particularly when his final pearl is a beauty: aspiring writers should join the [Australasian] Medical Writers Association!

Justin Coleman
President, Australasian Medical Writers Association

AMWA 2020 – Medical Writing and Communication During the COVID-19 Crisis

For those who attended the AMWA 2020 Special Virtual Event: 'Medical Writing and Communication During the COVID-19 Crisis' on Thursday 19 November, we are sure you would agree that it was an invaluable two hours. The calibre of speakers and their learnings from this unprecedented crisis were beyond our expectations. We are humbled by their willingness to give their personal time to share their experience with us. 

If you missed the live event, a recording will be made available to AMWA members in the Members Area shortly. If you are not yet an AMWA member, but would like to join, you can visit our membership and benefits page here. Annual membership is $80 for full members and $40 for students.

Read more