Medical journals, articles and papers are propagating in various media forms including newspapers, television programs, websites and social media that influence healthcare professionals, policy makers and general public. Health researchers participate in promoting the key role and driving force of advancing economy of knowledge in global development of healthcare sector.
What is Medical Journalism?
Healthcare or medical journalism is an instrument having potential role in strengthening advocacy of health policies, developing international communication standards and ensuring effective management of scientific knowledge. Medical or Healthcare journalism involves dissemination of medical or healthcare information and related topics in mass media. Disseminating knowledge among healthcare stakeholders is greatly facilitated by progressive nature of communication and information technology. Medical or Healthcare journalists report developments and deliver public health messages that influence physician, clinicians and patients behaviour. The health related information is delivered via famous media outlets that focus on the entire community rather than a particular group of individuals or professionals. The information provided communicates the benefit, risks and uncertainties associated with drug therapy and other interventions. In-depth research on the topic can assist journalists to help identify broader context, limitations and various other aspects of Medical or Healthcare information.
Challenges of Medical Journalism
Health communication strategies ameliorate population health problems and meet health challenges faced by different stakeholders. Media is widely used by government or non-profit organizations and international agencies to induce local, national or international unity and overcome health issues among people for complete physical, social and mental well being. Healthcare institutions, government and non-profit organization encounter multifaceted and complicated challenges of communicating public health strategies which necessitates integrated and interdisciplinary expert coordination. The apparent inadequacy and limitation associated with constructs of communication warrants for more effective intervention strategies.
High quality journal improves medical science while that of poor quality can have damaging and distorting effects attributable to inability to interpret scientific information or ignorance to convey the nuanced results of clinical research studies. The international principles and policies are formulated and accepted to prevent spreading misleading and inaccurate data. Progressive and frequent obstacles or qualifying problems of medical journalism are categorized into problems related to reviewers, authors, editors, editor-in-chief and managing editor. Professional medical journalism training courses for editorial boards; mandatory public scientific writing education to students and education for appraisal critical skills can help meet the challenges.
Career opportunities in Healthcare / Medical Journalism
A Career in Medical Journalism provides voice to the voiceless by broadcasting investigated and researched health trends, issues and events for many different purposes to a wide range of audience. Medical journalism is a form of communication that promotes and broadcasts health information through public health education campaigns via different media channels. The key purpose of communicating health or medical information is to improve health literacy and influence personal health choices. To achieve this purpose, health journalists require mass level, interpersonal and extensive health research communication skills. It is necessary to assess and utilise reformed health communication strategies and training programs to improve performance and scientific knowledge. Extensive healthcare training programs improve verbal and nonverbal communication between healthcare professionals and the audience for a better health outcome. The benefits of opting for freelance medical journalism by clinician, physician and other healthcare professionals include writing researched news articles and features, continuously updating knowledge and improving professional credibility and recognition.