One of the hardest parts of the editorial process is having doctors, or subject matter experts, edit content for factual review. Your only goal is to make sure the content is medically accurate…their goal is to make sure it sounds the way they want it to.

You’ve already decided on a conversational, consumer-friendly voice and tone, and the doctors want it to sound like The New England Journal of Medicine.

What’s a healthcare marketer to do?

A 3-Step Process for Editorial Reviews

As a content creation firm who specializes in creating content for healthcare, we have learned how to deal with this issue.  We have a three-step process that we think avoids the headache of doctors saying the content is too simple or not sophisticated enough.  Here’s what we do:

  • Set expectations: When we interview doctors, our writers spend about five minutes reviewing the purpose of the content. Our writers explain that the content will be consumer-friendly and easy for people to understand. Preparing doctors for what they will see in a draft sets expectations that become invaluable when they actually sit down to edit. (We even have a FAQ sheet we use, so doctors can see exactly what we mean when we say we use headings, bullets and keyword rich content.)
  • Coach: We often remind doctors that content should feel as though the reader is sitting in the office, talking to you directly. We provoke doctors’ empathy when they hear that content should be like a conversation with a sick or anxious patient.
  • Use research: Doctors are scientists and academics. Trained as such, it’s important to use research to back up our writing choices. That’s why we rely on the best practices of our field; when doctors question our approach, we can use these sources. Three that we really love include:
    1. Readability online
    2. Health literacy
    3. How people choose hospitals (research from Google)

Need help with your healthcare content? Contact us today for a free quote or to discuss a project.


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