Niche or specialty editing

Learning to edit medical manuscripts

Editing medical manuscripts

Course details

Suggested timeline: 24–36 months into editing

Total time: Approx. 6 hours


Course description

A good part of editing medical manuscripts involves routine copyediting activities. Medical writing may also have certain inappropriate terminologies as well as some unintended mix up of ideas, which will have to be spotted and corrected by the editor within the available time.

This course on editing medical manuscripts will provide an overview of the types of incorrect terms and errors of expression that may be seen in medical manuscripts. Examples of sentences with incorrect expressions will be shown, pertaining to the following general areas:

  • Presentation and admission
  • Physical examination and case history
  • Description of tests done and results obtained
  • Diagnosis and description of actions taken
  • Discharge and follow-up
  • Mixing up of subjects or their presentation with medical history, tests, treatment, or procedures
  • Miscellaneous points of preferred usage in the medical field

As live examples will be used to clarify these errors of expression, the reality of the problem associated with medical editing will be obvious. But how is one to remember these diverse errors—and spot and correct every one of them? (And oh, I have to look at general circumlocutions, wordiness, redundancies, and unclear expressions too!)

This course will summarize the points presented as a medical “catchwords” database of almost 100 terms and expressions to watch for. This will be followed by a demonstration as to how a freely available Word add-in can be used to highlight these catchwords as checkpoints in any manuscript. Other possible uses of the Word add-in will also be mentioned.

After completing this course, you will be able to

  • understand the types of problems to look for in medical manuscripts—and by extension other similar issues that may be waiting to be discovered
  • learn how issues noticed in manuscripts may be evolved into a growing database of checkpoints for future manuscripts
  • learn how to use the free Word add-in to highlight checkpoints in any manuscript
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