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5 Ideas to Encourage Caregivers Publishing Activity

Sonal Chandratre was one of the speakers at the Rural & Community Medical Educators Virtual Conference 2020. She titled her talk How do We Publish Without Doing Research?, and the aim was to identify opportunities that go beyond the peer-reviewed, data collection-involved type of publications. Here is a screenshot from her presentation to clarify what that means:

After the talk, I shared how in library sciences is very common to write about the tools we use, processes, books (reviews), etc. I also said that blogs are often an excellent tool for those less formal publications.

The discussion part of the session included some excellent ideas to encourage physicians and other caregivers to write and publish more. I made a little list of them, with some brief comments and resources added:

  1. Writing Clubs: identify a common interest, set up small groups, develop ideas, make a calendar, and start writing and publishing. This idea reminded me of two projects I’ve been part of: Thinkepi (Library and Information Sciences specialists) and Tradiling (Translation and Language specialists). A writing club in the medical field: The Pegasus Physician Writers at Stanford. Another useful resource: American Medical Writers Association.
  2. Bulletin board to share for a few days/weeks the latest publications made by the organization caregivers. It can include posters.
  3. Publications expo/conferences: once or twice a year, set up an area where authors share their latest works, leading to discussion, new ideas, and more publications.
  4. Writing courses: they can answer to different goals, and the design can be very different among them. I think it can be a good idea to link them to other initiatives, like the Writing Clubs or the Publications expo/conferences. A couple of examples: Fundamentals of Healthcare Writing (Society for Technical Communication) and Foundational Skills for Communicating About Health (University of Michigan).
  5. Incentives: points that convert to money (for caregivers) or credits (for students) after a certain period of regular publishing activity, or some published items.

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