Whether you need medical articles for medical brochures, a blog or article submissions, it is very important to ensure that the medical content in your article is accurate, and of a high quality. Albert Einstein once said that, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot”. If you wish to write medical content, you need to follow this advice to the hilt, as what you say or don’t say, may cause people more harm than good.
Below are some tips to help you write high-quality medical articles:
- Be careful about stating facts: Doctors, dentists and other medical professionals know that medical knowledge is constantly changing with advancements in new technology. It is crucial for professional content writers to also understand the same, and be very careful about stating anything as an irreversible medical fact while writing medical articles. Most readers believe that medical articles have been written by medical experts, and blindly follow online medical advice without consulting a medical practitioner about their individual case.
- Use proper terminology: Use the scientific or recognised medical name to describe a disease/drug, rather than a lay term, when you first mention it in your medical article. This medical name should be the word most commonly used in recently published, high-quality content, in English language medical journals. You can use lay terms, alternative names and synonyms later on, to help your readers understand the content better. This is even if you are writing medical articles for search engine optimisation purposes. Some sources you can use are WHO’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (for diseases); The International Non-proprietary Name (for drugs); and the Terminologia Anatomica (for anatomy).
- Use ambiguous parts of speech: If various reliable sources show different information, and you are not sure about a medical fact, use vague parts of speech (adverbs, nouns etc.) to describe that fact. For example, if three medical sources state different time periods (three months, five months, seven months) for dental implants to fuse with the jawbone, you can write ‘In most cases, titanium implants generally take around three to seven months to osseointegrate with the bone’.
- Conduct online research carefully: As accuracy is fundamental in any medical article, you should conduct online research only from reliable websites, such as those sponsored by an educational institution, medical organisation or the government. Some marvellous research sources for medical articles are the US National Library of Medicine, The American Medical Association and The American Psychological Association. Another good online source of information is The Web MD, even though it is not a professional medical association website. Avoid using Wikipedia or other doubtful websites that pop up in search engine results, when you search for a particular medical term.
- Include a disclaimer: As legal action can sometimes be taken regarding medical content posted on a website, it is always important to include a prominent disclaimer telling readers that you are not a medical expert. This disclaimer is in addition to the legal disclaimer, generally displayed by medical practices on their website. For example: “The writer of this article is not a medical professional. Information contained herein has been collected from sources believed to be reliable, and every precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The information provided here is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for medical care provided by a qualified medical professional”.