Medical Writing Public Disclosure Creative medical writing: An oxymoron?

Volume 27, Issue 2 - Public Disclosure

Creative medical writing: An oxymoron?


According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, creativity is “the ability to create”, and to create means “to make or bring into existence some - thing new”.1As it applies to writing, creativity is most often associated with imaginative, fictional accounts. Yet, creative nonfiction is a wellaccepted literary genre, suggesting that a text can be both factual and creative. In this essay, I contend not only that medical writing can be creative, but that it should be.


  1. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. 2017 [cited 2017 Sep 15]. Available from: Available from:
  2. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The complexities of communicating science. In: Communicating Science Effectively: A Research Agenda. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2017.
  3. Peters E, editor. Numeracy and the Affordable Care Act: Opportunities and Challenges. In: IOM (Institute of Medicine). Health Literacy and Numeracy: Workshop Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press;2014
  4. Peters E, Dieckmann N, Dixon A, Hibbard JH, Mertz CK. Less is more in presenting quality information to consumers. Med Care Res Rev. 2007;64(2):169–90.
  5. Wager E. What medical writing means to me. Mens Sana Monographs. 2007;5(1):169–78.
  6. Wikiquote. Charles Mingus. 2017 [cited 2017 Sep 15]. Available from Available from: Mingus.



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Anonymisation reports from 2016 to 2017: A preliminary analysis
Preparing anonymisation reports in general and for an orphan drug in particular
Policies 0070 and 0043: Juggling different requirements
Clinical data publication by the EMA: The challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry
Clinical trial results disclosure on and EudraCT
Writing lay summaries: What medical writers need to know
Lay titles for clinical trials: A balancing act
Why clinical study reports really matter
CORE Reference – a tool for modern clinical study reports in an era of increasing transparency and disclosure
Preparing clinical study reports for external sharing
Harmonising format and style requirements for scientific and medical publications
News from the EMA
Winners of the Geoff Hall Scholarship Essay Competition
Creative medical writing: An oxymoron?
Creative medical writing - An oxymoron?
An interview with Chris Winchester
Journal Watch
In the Bookstores
Good Writing Practice
Medical Devices
Getting Your Foot in the Door
Out on Our Own
Upcoming issues ofMedical Writing

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