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Mens Sana Monogr. 2007 Jan;5(1):169-78. doi: 10.4103/0973-1229.32161.

What medical writing means to me.

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Medical writer, editor and trainer. Member, Ethics committees, BMJ and WAME; Council member, COPE.


This is a personal account based on many years experience as a medical writer. It considers aspects of medical writing with particular focus on the intellectual and ethical dilemmas it can raise. What makes medical writing both so interesting and so challenging is the fact that it often takes place at the border between different disciplines. For example, it straddles both science and art. Ethical issues also arise at the boundaries between academia and commerce. Until recently there have been few guidelines to help navigate such potentially dangerous territory. I have been privileged to be involved in developing two such guidelines and I describe how I hope the Good Publication Practice guidelines for pharmaceutical companies and the European Medical Writers Association guidelines may improve the practice of this fascinating profession, Medical Writing.


European Medical Writers Association (EMWA) Guidelines for medical writers; ICMJE; IMRAD format; ghost writing; good publication practice guidelines; medical writing; trial registration

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