Everyone knows you’ve gotta be smart if you want to study medicine. Think back to your school days. You probably knew a kid or two who had their mind set on being a doctor or surgeon. Did they come complete with natural intelligence? I’m going to put the house on “Yes”, unless one of them was just watching too much E.R.
Medicine is often studied only by the very brightest of people; years and years of learning come together to allow doctors to understand the complex processes of the human body. The problem is, these complex processes often have to be explained to people with little to no experience in medical science – otherwise known as us, the patients. Medical blogs face the same conundrum. So how do you write a health article that anybody can understand?
The Problem with Medical Blogs
In truth, the problem is even more pronounced for medical bloggers. If a patient is in a doctor’s office, they’re giving the person in the white coat their full attention. If someone lands on your blog, you’ve got to work harder to keep them reading. So not only does your content have to be easy to understand, it also has to be dynamic and engaging.
How to Write a Medical Blog that the Public can Understand
The internet is a fantastic resource for medical journals and papers, but they are often geared towards other doctors and don’t lend themselves to deciphering by laypeople. So how exactly do you create a medical blog that can be understood by the general public?
1. Read it Back
First of all, read your blog back to yourself and pretend you know absolutely zero about the subject. If you find a reference or an obscure piece of info that requires any pre-attained knowledge, try to simplify it as best you can, or else supply the requisite information in the lead-up.
2. Use Metaphors/Similes
A complex function can easily be related to your readers by using a metaphor or simile, both of which are non-literal words or phrases applied to an action or concept. A metaphor says something is something else, while a simile says it’s like something else.
A medical example of a simile would be something like, “With those horrendous cataracts, Mrs. Jones, you’re blind as a bat!” Bedside manner aside, these language devices are a great way of communicating your point and making it easy to understand. Just don’t make them too complex!
3. Break up the Text
Medical blogging can be intimidating from the get-go, so don’t scare your readers from the get-go by making them tackle a wall of unforgiving text. Use the tools of the blog: headings, sub-headings, bullet points, white space – anything that can make your posts more digestible and presentable.
4. Don’t Lean on Jargon
Always explain things in the simplest terms you can. Don’t rely on medical jargon! Remember, some people who read your blog will be more learned than others. But to get the most out of your posts, you should be aiming for the lowest common denominator of understanding. Don’t worry: this won’t make your blogs feel ‘dumbed down’ – it will just ensure you can reach the most people possible.
5. Keep Sentences Short
Let’s talk about short sentences. They’re easy to read. They flow well. What else? They help communicate points quickly. And they pop. Try to aim for 20 words or less. Obviously we’re overdoing it here to make a point. But the point is crucial. Shorter is better. You’re already talking about complex topics. Don’t confuse your audience any more than necessary.
Last but not least, use images to break up the text and visually demonstrate what you’re talking about. Diagrams are great too. Anything that acts as a companion to what you’re talking about will work wonders for your posts.
How do you write a health article? Well, you sit down at the computer and type it out. Ha ha. But if you want to write a medical blog that connects with your audience, try implementing the tips and tricks above. A lot of eyes are on the health industry these days, for obvious reasons. Make sure your blog is one of the most clear and concise contributors around.
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Featured image by Daniel Frank from Pexels