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  • Writer's pictureNick Lamb, PhD

Writing for Patients: 10 Tips for Aspiring and Experienced Medical Writers

Updated: Mar 6

Writing for patients is a unique and rewarding aspect of medical writing. It requires not only a deep understanding of medical concepts but also the ability to convey them in a manner that is both engaging and comprehensible.





Remember, each piece of content you create has the potential to impact a patient’s health journey significantly. With the right approach, you can make that journey a little easier and a lot more informed.


At Medcopywriter, we specialise in transforming complex medical information into patient-friendly content. In this blog, we'll share some essential tips for writing effective patient materials - whether you're just starting out as a medical writer or are you're a more seasoned writer.


1. Understand Your Audience: Writing for patients means breaking down complex medical terms into language that is easy to understand. Always keep your audience in mind. While we're seeing more and more patients becoming "activated" it's important to remember that not all patients are experts. In the age of the internet it's vital medical writers can help separate facts from myths.


2. Be Clear and Concise: Avoid medical jargon. Use short sentences and bullet points to make the content easier to digest. Clarity is your top priority.


 

Avoiding medical jargon


  • Medical Jargon: Hypertension requires consistent monitoring and lifestyle modifications to manage systolic and diastolic pressure levels effectively.

  • Plain Language Version: High blood pressure needs regular check-ups and changes in daily habits to control the upper and lower pressure numbers successfully.


  • Medical Jargon: Patients exhibiting symptoms of myocardial infarction require immediate intervention to restore coronary blood flow.

  • Plain Language Version: People showing signs of a heart attack need quick treatment to improve blood flow to the heart.


  • Medical Jargon: Administer antipyretics for pyrexia.

  • Plain Language: Give fever-reducing medicine for the high temperature.

 


3. Focus on the 'Why': Patients often want to know why a particular treatment or procedure is necessary. Ensure your writing addresses these concerns directly.


4. Stay Updated: Medical guidelines and treatments are constantly evolving. Keeping abreast of the latest developments is crucial.


5. Develop Empathy: Put yourself in the patient's shoes. Understanding their fears and concerns will make your writing more relatable and comforting.


6. Enhance Engagement: Try incorporating storytelling elements into your content. Sharing patient success stories or case studies can make the material more engaging.


7. Use Visual Aids: Including infographics, diagrams, or videos can greatly enhance understanding, especially for complex topics.


8. Test Your Content: Gather feedback from actual patients or healthcare professionals to refine your material. This step can provide valuable insights into how your writing is received.


9. SEO Optimisation: As you develop content, consider search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies. Use relevant keywords naturally to improve your content’s visibility online.


10. Continue Learning: Attend workshops or courses in medical writing and communication. This ongoing education keeps your skills sharp and your knowledge current.


Writing for patients is a skill that demands both scientific understanding and human empathy. Whether you're crafting a brochure, a blog post, or patient education materials, your goal is to make medical information accessible and reassuring.

At Medcopywriter, we excel in creating patient-focused content that educates and empowers. Visit our website to learn more about our approach to medical writing and how we can help elevate your patient communication strategies.


FAQs


How can medical writers strike the right balance between using plain language that patients can understand while still conveying complex medical information and concepts?

Can you provide examples of how medical writers should adjust their writing style when creating materials for different patient populations?

How do I handle sensitive or emotional topics when writing for patients?



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