Letter to the Editor

VOLUME: 38 | ISSUE: 1 | Mar 30, 2022 | PAGE: (1 - 2) | DOI: 10.51441/BioMedica/5-691

Developing a culture towards medical journalism


Authors: Sarah Ghafoor orcid logo


Authors

Sarah Ghafoor

Department of Oral Biology, University of Health Sciences Lahore, Pakistan

orcid logo ORCID

Publication History

Received: March 09, 2022

Revised: March 18, 2022

Accepted: March 20, 2022

Published: March 30, 2022


Abstract


A letter to Editor Biomedica has been written to congratulate and highlight the importance of programs on journalistic writing among health professional. A disconnect between public and health delivery system and healthcare providers can be avoided if medical professionals become involved in writing for community and masses. 


Keywords: Medical journalism, health professionals, Journalistic writing, courses, university


Pubmed Style

Sarah Ghafoor. Developing a culture towards medical journalism. biomedica. 2022; 28 (April 2022): 1-2. doi:10.51441/BioMedica/5-691

Web Style

Sarah Ghafoor. Developing a culture towards medical journalism. https://biomedicapk.com/10.51441/BioMedica/5-691 [Access: May 27, 2022]. doi:10.51441/BioMedica/5-691

AMA (American Medical Association) Style

Sarah Ghafoor. Developing a culture towards medical journalism. biomedica. 2022; 28 (April 2022): 1-2. doi:10.51441/BioMedica/5-691

Vancouver/ICMJE Style

Sarah Ghafoor. Developing a culture towards medical journalism. biomedica. (2022), [cited May 27, 2022]; 28 (April 2022): 1-2. doi:10.51441/BioMedica/5-691

Harvard Style

Sarah Ghafoor (2022) Developing a culture towards medical journalism. biomedica, 28 (April 2022): 1-2. doi:10.51441/BioMedica/5-691

Chicago Style

Sarah Ghafoor. "Developing a culture towards medical journalism." Biomedica 28 (2022), 1-2. doi:10.51441/BioMedica/5-691

MLA (The Modern Language Association) Style

Sarah Ghafoor. "Developing a culture towards medical journalism." Biomedica 28.April 2022 (2022), 1-2. Print. doi:10.51441/BioMedica/5-691

APA (American Psychological Association) Style

Sarah Ghafoor (2022) Developing a culture towards medical journalism. Biomedica, 28 (April 2022), 1-2. doi:10.51441/BioMedica/5-691


Biomedica - Official Journal of University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan

Volume 38(1):1-2

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Developing a culture towards medical journalism

Sarah Ghafoor

Received: 09 March 2021 Revised date: 18 March 2022 Accepted: 20 March 2022

Correspondence to: Sarah Ghafoor

*In charge, Department of Oral Biology, University of Health Sciences Lahore, Pakistan.

Email: sarahghafoor@uhs.edu.pk

Full list of author information is available at the end of the article.



To the Editor Biomedica,

Today, I will not be discussing a recently published paper as how traditional letter to the editor is based on but will comment on the news clips that I have read with great interest that your office has launched certificate courses in medical editing in your prestigious institute in the year 2019.1 More recently, you have launched an advanced level course for medical editors that may also be upgraded to additional credits as a diploma program.2 I must congratulate the administration and facilitators of the program for their innovative thinking and launching novel ideas through University’s platform. While journalism has blossomed in this country, a communication gap or link has always existed between medical doctors and medical writers as journalist in our country. This has led to a generation of reporters that have emerged as health journalists in Pakistan without appropriate qualification or experience in medical practice. In addition, many medical-related discoveries and successful surgical interventions carried out by expert Pakistani doctors have been published in print media, but the transformation of such successes into the health-care system or its amalgam into the medical practice is hardly seen due to a lack of connecting of clinicians, policymakers, and health media. By this, I specifically refer to those success stories that are reported as brief 4-5 liner news updates in the print media, but their actual translation into medical research and dissemination into the community for health-related benefits is not achieved. Furthermore, the print and electronic media have failed to develop a positive impact of our health system on the general public because of the continuous jargon of the media over the overburdened healthcare system. Resultantly, the common man is no longer interested to hear or focusing on such news; hence, a large communication gap exists. Thus, this initiative by the University of Health Sciences Lahore, through your Editorial office, can sow the seeds to encouraging clinicians to pick up their pens, not just to publish research papers, but to write stories of their own system for the masses while submitting their expert opinions regarding myths and fables about social taboos such as mental illnesses, sexually-transmitted disease such as human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome and risks associated with vaccination campaigns. This platform may also be utilized to generate empathy and humanist approach toward the marginalized population such as victims of sexual assaults and acid attacks etc.

The dynamics of the transfer of information has changed dramatically since the launch of social media platforms, which is now one of the most powerful tools for information transfer. It is need of the hour to encourage clinicians to write regularly in all forums of information transfer; launching their you-tube channels, writing blogs, or making pages and groups on social media apps to discuss issues and advances related to our local context. I would also suggest to you that while almost all medical universities are focusing on launching multiple medical journals, the launch or visibility of University’s magazine is extremely slow. Almost none of the medical universities in Pakistan publish their weekly or bi-monthly newspapers that may provide their students, staff, and faculty with the opportunity to write as journalist, poets, authors or artists, etc. Some institutes do publish newsletters that are full of the highlights of University’s own performance but do not ignite the creative, social or psychological insight thus failing to voice the motivations, dreams, and achievements of young and old clinicians. Maybe it is the high time that we overcome this hiccup and transform the health sector by inculcating a culture of medical journalism through connecting the voices and stories of students, faculty, staff and the community.


Acknowledgement

The author would like to acknowledge the critical input by the Editor, Prof. Nadia Naseem, in shaping this letter into its final version.


Conflict of interest

None to declare.


Grant support and financial disclosure

None to disclose.


Author’s contribution

SG: Conception, acquisition of data, drafting of manuscript and approval of the final version of the manuscript to be published.


Author’s Details

Sarah Ghafoor1

  1. Incharge, Department of Oral Biology, University of Health Sciences Lahore, Pakistan

References

  1. Jawaid SA. UHS Lahore starts the first ever Certificate Course in Medical Editing -29 candidates from all over Pakistan are enrolled in this six months basic course with two contact sessions of four days each. Pulse; 2019 [cited 2022 Jan]. Available from: http://www.pulsepakistan.com/index.php/main-news-september-15-19/3203-uhs-lahore-starts-the-first-ever-certificate-course-in-medical-editing
  2. Jawaid SA. Promotion of Medical Journalism in Pakistan. UHS takes yet another important step and starts Certificate in Medical Journalism for Editors. Pulse; 2022 [cited 2022 Mar]. Available from: http://www.pulsepakistan.com/index.php/main-news-february-15-22/4347-uhs-takes-yet-another-important-step-and-starts-certificate-in-medical-journalism-for-editors