May 1977

Medical Writing

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(5):697. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630170093026

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To the Editor.—  Over the years there have been several good articles published on medical writing. These dealt mainly with style, brevity, simplicity, and other niceties of good writing. An area still in need of remedy is the use of jargon and misuse of words. Words that are awkward to use in everyday speech are used with impunity in medical reports. The most annoying case in point is the use of male or female to denote the gender of patients. More insult is inflicted when the ethnic group of the patient is added though it may have no medical import. Everyone is familiar with the terms "black male" and "Chinese female." A better choice would be simply to use man or woman. Another common error is to mix up case and patient. To avoid such errors it is wise to give up using the word case.It is quite amusing,

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