Writing Feedback

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Ted
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Writing Feedback

Post by Ted » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:54 pm

Hey guys, I'm in the midst of a career change. Sorry for the preface, stuff here, but I think context helps. I used to be an emergency medicine physician (Guess I still am, but I have stopped working as it made me miserable. I'm an introvert, so I suppose you all can see how working in an ER is not ideal. Add in that medicine is a mess and hospitals by and large are more interested in making money than helping people, and I've had enough). I do like teaching. I kind of like writing (or I never would have been here). There are careers in medical writing. Some of them including teaching material or instructional material. What I'd like to ask people here is, do you think I'm easy to understand or write in a way that gets my point across? Specifically I'm referring to the analysis pieces and guide stuff I wrote. Some of you have mentioned enjoying it, but I feel at other times people have taken what I wrote to mean something entirely differently than what I intended. I will note that I don't really temper my tendencies towards hyperbole and know-it-all-ness in this particular forum, and am already aware I'll have to be more judicious in pruning back that part of my personality. I also think I can stand to be more concise (he says, after the 200 word into to a simple question).

Anyway, this is one of my larger writing repositories, and while the subject material is different, I think your opinions are informative and helpful. I'd take any advice, large or small, or any critique. Thanks.
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Re: Writing Feedback

Post by RonCo » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:06 pm

I think you should write if you have passion for it. It's a tough business, especially in a freelance fashion. When you write something you like, though, it's a beautiful thing. As far as capacity to do the work, of course you're good enough. Do you know what kind of work you want to do?
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Re: Writing Feedback

Post by Ted » Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:28 am

RonCo wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:06 pm
I think you should write if you have passion for it. It's a tough business, especially in a freelance fashion. When you write something you like, though, it's a beautiful thing. As far as capacity to do the work, of course you're good enough. Do you know what kind of work you want to do?
I know what I want in a vague sense, but finding a career that meets most (of hopefully all) of those criteria is challenging. I'm kind of floundering about at the moment because it's not like there are big listings of non-seeing-patient's type work for doctors in easy to look up places. There are various organizations that can point me in the a direction for certain types of work, but even within those broad categories, individual positions vary greatly in both actual responsibilities, hours, flexibility, compensation, etc. Two people with the same title and "job" can be doing dramatically different things. I suppose that's what the world is like for most people, but physicians are kind of plug and play, at least within their specialties, so this is all a bit new for me. Never had to do it before.

As far as the writing stuff, I'd be looking at curriculum creation, test bank questions, study aids, etc, most likely. Something that helps organize information or train people to apply knowledge. I'm not super passionate about writing, but I AM passionate about making information useful/applicable and teaching in general. This wouldn't be freelance. I'd be employed by someone. I've found a handful of places that employ docs to do this, but don't know how suited I'd really be for it.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback, Ron.
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Re: Writing Feedback

Post by jiminyhopkins » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:19 am

I guess it depends on your audience. Will you be writing for the benefit of fellow physicians? If so, using a more esoteric tone would be appropriate. However if you would be instructing students or laypeople, of course perhaps you would have to make your style a bit more user-friendly. As a facility trainer at the refinery, I have to adjust my teaching style depending on whether it's a brand new hire, or a 10 year veteran simply switching jobs.

The best asset, IMO, when it comes to writing is how versatile you can be with your voice. If you can tailor your material to many different cohorts of people, you will have success. In any case, a career change is always a stressful time, so I wish you all the best.
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Re: Writing Feedback

Post by RonCo » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:53 am

Yeah. The writing you're talking about is more business and technical writing, where the whole point is often to remove yourself from the text. As far as job description variance, yes, that's not too unusual. All you can really do in those cases is (1) do as much homework as you can talking to people, and (2) once you find something that sounds reasonable, try it out.
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Re: Writing Feedback

Post by shoeless.db » Sat Jul 13, 2019 8:49 pm

Prior to my recent career change, I spent the last seven years working a leadership position within Clinical Informatics for a large hospital. Physicians like yourself would be highly valued in Informatics due to your ability to parse data and relay that information in, what I found, an understandable manner. Our CMIO (Chief Medical Informatics Officer) was not the most computer savvy guy, but he could communicate well via email, newsletter, and his various announcements. It could be something to consider.
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