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February 20, 1978

Dx + Rx: A Physician's Guide to Medical Writing

Author Affiliations

American Medical Association Chicago

JAMA. 1978;239(8):767. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280350091032

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The Careful Writer: A Modern Guide to English Usage, by Theodore M. Bernstein, 487 pp, paper, $7.95, New York, Atheneum, 1977.

Dr Dirckx has already published one book on language, The Language of Medicine (JAMA 235:2656, 1976). In this earlier volume, he dissected the English language as it pertained to medicine and, in rather discursive fashion, cast a great deal of light on the structure, growth, and byways of English. The present work has a more precise orientation, directed to the improvement of medical writing. Dirckx, concerned with technical communication and not with belles lettres, intends a practical approach to the needs of physicians.

He has divided the book into three parts that he calls respectively the anatomy, the physiology, and the pathology of language. The first part, comprising two chapters, provides a readable and interesting introduction to linguistics. The second section is, however, a hybrid. It gives a splendid