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The Medical Writer’s Role in Promoting Shared Decision Making

This article is based on content presented by Kathi Whitman, MA, at the AMWA Medical Writing & Communication Conference. It was originally published in the AMWA Journal.

November 4, 2019 at 8:00 AM

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Writing for Lay Audiences

As medical writers, the heart of our work is to convey information to a specific audience. Writing for patients, we are trusted with interpreting highly technical information to educate, protect, enable, and empower our readers. The result of poor understanding can be directly harmful to health. However, successfully informing patients leads to better health outcomes, including more preventative care and fewer hospitalizations.

In this post I offer 3 questions that will help you use plain language effectively and successfully when writing for lay audiences.

October 28, 2019 at 1:30 PM

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Best Practices in Writing Test Items

This article is based on content presented by Lori L. Alexander, MTPW, ELS, MWC, at the AMWA Medical Writing & Communication Conference. It was originally published in the AMWA Journal.

Continuing medical education credits are often awarded based on answers to test questions, so it is essential that the questions be designed well.

Research shows, however, that “almost half of all test items have flaws,” said veteran continuing medical education writer and editor Lori Alexander. This problem is driving the need to develop better test items and is creating job opportunities for medical writers and editors. In this open session, she explained how to write test items using guidelines and best practices from the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine.

October 21, 2019 at 8:00 AM

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The Importance of Quality Control in Medical Writing

It’s hard being right all the time.

In fact, we aren’t. Even the best medical writer makes the occasional mistake. It’s challenging to ensure that your project’s content, style, and format are high quality.

That’s where our good friends the quality control (QC) specialists come in. QC specialists look at a document with “fresh eyes” that can spot mistakes an author may overlook. They may also have specific expertise in editing styles, data formatting, data presentation, or document design.

That’s why QC reviews are critical to medical writers.

October 14, 2019 at 12:30 PM

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Quality Control Review of Safety Narratives: Beyond Checking the Data

This article is based on content presented by Kent Steinriede, MS, at the AMWA Medical Writing & Communication Conference. It was originally published in the AMWA Journal.

“Find out what the story is,” Kent Steinriede stressed throughout his session about the quality control (QC) review of safety narratives. Steinriede highlighted the elements of the safety narrative, source documents and tools used in QC review, and tips for best QC work.

October 8, 2019 at 10:16 AM

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Everyone Leads: What You Need to Know About Servant Leadership

What is a servant leader? Servant leaders know their employees as whole people and strive to be a positive force in their lives. They build a first-hand understanding of the workplace. They create teams, address disparity, and create a vision for the growth of individuals and business. While most leaders are considered bosses or supervisors, all of us can serve as leaders to our colleagues and to peers as well. To start the path to leadership, it’s important to understand the qualities needed to act as a servant leader.

September 30, 2019 at 3:30 PM

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Looking for blog posts from prior to June 2019? Find them in the Engage blog archive.