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Medical Journalism – A Great Breakthrough In The Field Of Communication

Medical Journalism

Medical Journalism – A Great Breakthrough In The Field Of Communication

Many people often ask us: What is medical journalism? Well, medical journalism involves publishing health related information and news through various sources of media such as newspapers, magazines, television programs, websites and journals. May it be commercialized health related news covered by tabloid or an evidence based research report published in a journal, medical journalism is surely considered an amazing futuristic breakthrough in the field of communication. A huge amount of medical and scientific news goes live every day by various media.

Medical journalists can be divided into two groups: one group that writes for journals for scientific journalismprofessionals and the second group that writes for media aimed at the public. Whatever, they attempt to sift clarity and disseminate knowledge by presenting news in their own style. Medical journalists are generally regarded as the “gatekeepers of science” since they consistently work for the betterment and advancement of science by reporting advances in science and draw attention towards issues pertaining to public health.

Apart from health related news in the newspapers and scientific publications in the journals, there are different kinds of medical writing intended for different purposes according to which the language and style of writing is appropriated. That includes textbooks, e-learning modules, study reports, patient education materials, research proposals, regulatory documents, subject narratives and marketing collaterals of healthcare products.

More recently, there is a tremendous demand for medical journalists who can effectively disseminate medical literature in a way quite understandable by a lay man. There are many industries which require medical writers, to mention a few, pharmaceutical companies, medical devices companies, BPOs, KPOs and contract research organizations, scientific publishing companies, medical institutions, healthcare communication companies and websites. There is a scope for fierce competition between the people from both the backgrounds for the available opportunities and therefore to maximize the chances of getting into medical journalism and maintain the credibility it is essential to understand and keep in mind the requirements of both the disciplines- medicine and journalism. This profession can be taken up as a freelancer or an employee in the organization depending on requirements of the organization.

The main objective of medical journalism is to bridge the gap between physicians, general public and the government authorities. As the name says, the principles of journalism apply equally to medical journalism as well, but the perspectives and emphasis differ. The merging of these two traditional disciplines lead to huge conflicts of interest that often ends up in conveying misleading information to the common man. In the process of deciding what is newsworthy, a lot of arguments hurl backwards and forwards.

Good reporting practice involves fulfilling the obligation to the public interest by reporting news that interests public and not editors and media directors. It is required that medical writers acquaint themselves with clear and quick styles of writing that suits various types of publications like research papers, health articles and copy writing. Apart from technical knowledge in the fields of medicine, pharmacology, drug safety, statistics, guidelines, ethical and legal issues, general knowledge and skills pertaining to language, grammar, formatting and compilation, interpretation of data and referencing are prerequisites for effective medical writing.


At the James Lind Institute we conduct various medical journalism programs that equip you with the right skills and knowledge to function as a medical journalist. To know more about these online jli-click-here-to-know-moreprograms please visit the following link: Online Medical Journalism Courses

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