Medical Proofreading Techniques for Manuscript Editing


Medical proofreader or transcriptionist often work from a remote site and are connected to their clients, only through the internet. This means that a medical editor needs to be dedicated and shoulder the entire responsibility for a medical document.

A medical writer needs to be an expert in his job. Proofreading requires an in depth assessment of the paper to filter out any errors and rectifying them.

Take a look at some of the best techniques for proofreading:

  • A medical proofreader should consult reference books for difficult words or medical jargon. He should bookmark valid Internet sites like PubMed for reference material and create a library of medical textbooks. He should look up the medical concepts and difficult words as he encounters them and not wait till the end of the report to check them out or else he might forget that he has to fix them.
  • After writing a couple of pages of the medical manuscript, go back to proofread it briefly. This can help a medical proofreader catch any mistakes in short order. If he is writing on a word processor, he should take a printout of the manuscript and view that for errors; sometimes mistakes which are not apparent on the computer screen, pops out on paper.
  • If a medical writer encounters a difficult phrase or word whose meaning he cannot find, he should highlight it or attach a flag, either electronic or paper, to it so that it becomes easy to spot later on. After the paper is finished, he can go back to research the word.
  • The last step should be to check your manuscript via a medical as well as an English spellcheckers. However, know that spell checkers usually do not catch mistake like ‘not’ instead of ‘no’ or ‘ileum’ instead of ‘ilium’.

A medical writer can establish good medical proofreading skills only through practice. Take a look at some of the tips to improve your medical editing skills:

  • Many transcribers use a dictator to facilitate their medical editing process. Make sure that when you are dictating, you pronounce your words clearly and do not overlook any of the important medical words. Once you become comfortable with working with a dictator and learn to type quickly, you can increase its speed.
  • Human voice often sounds incomprehensible and garbled when reproduced through a voice recording. A medical writer should be proficient enough in his job to know only to write words which makes sense, not what he thinks he heard through the dictator.
  • Review and re-read the manuscript several types to ensure that there is no spelling or punctuation mistakes and use a good proofreader at the end of the manuscript.
  • Read the manuscript out aloud to see if the sentences make sense and proper grammar is used.
  • A medical transcriptionist should organize his work by specialty and physician. Before starting on the proofreading, thoroughly review the criteria provided by your medical professional, and check out their style of review. Keep a strict watch for words which sound alike (eg. ilium or ileum) and make sure you format each section correctly.

By effectively proofreading a medical document, a medical editing services provider can towards quality patient healthcare.