I am at the tail end of my rotation at mdBriefCase and it has been an amazing experience. Developing content for the Pharmacy Student eNewsletter (sent to your inboxes last week!) and the Pharmacy Corner program on medSchool For You exposed me to the world of medical writing.
I learned that continuing education material can have important and relevant information, but if it is not created in a way that engages and appeals to the readers then the information can be lost. While still very far from being an expert, I did learn a couple of approaches and techniques that help engage a reader.
4 Tips and Tricks for Continuing Education
Think like your reader
Make sure your reader can understand what you're writing by tailoring your language to the target audience. This is especially important when writing for patients as common medical terminology for you may be foreign to them.
Fluff is your enemy
Always remember that it’s quality over quantity and ensure that all text is relevant. If it doesn't add to the reader’s knowledge then feel free to toss it out the door.
Tables, lists, diagrams, oh my!
It's easy to get lost in a sea of words, adding tables, lists, or flowcharts will decrease the amount of text and reduce the chances of lengthy paragraphs. It will also organize content in a way that is visually pleasing and easy to follow for the reader.
HAS-BLED, FAST, SIGECAPS
You have likely heard of these acronyms before and they act as a great memorization aid. If you have a list of important risk factors or red-flag symptoms, consider creating an acronym. Readers find value in acronyms as it gives them an easy way to remember important, and sometimes lengthy, lists.
I have learned a lot at mdBriefCase. From how a program topic is selected to final tasks before a program goes live, I have a new found appreciation of all the work that goes into creating a continuing education program. At the end of the whole process, the result is a masterfully crafted program. Participate one of the programs on rxBriefCase to find out for yourself.