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July 1983

On Writing Medical Articles

Author Affiliations

PO Box 43700 Tucson, AZ 85733

Am J Dis Child. 1983;137(7):620-621. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1983.02140330004002

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Medical writing is a critical process in continuing education. Authors with a message of importance communicate with readers who need to know that message to affirm, correct, change, or add to their framework of medical knowledge. The message may be one of the following: new research findings, a new fact uncovered in the care of a patient or group of patients, restatement or reorganization of known facts (review article), a theory, a comment, a critique, or some other important communication.

If the message is important, it should be delivered in an effective way. This editorial purports to delineate the goals and methods of good medical writing. After all, being presumptuous is one of the few prerogatives left to editors!

I offer this analysis and advice from the vantage point of nearly 30 years of reading and writing medical articles, during which my own writing has been mercilessly critiqued and I