Writing, Reading, and Understanding in Modern Health Sciences: Medical Articles and Other Forms of Communication, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Writing, Reading, and Understanding in Modern Health Sciences

Medical Articles and Other Forms of Communication, 1st Edition

By Milos Jenicek

CRC Press

232 pages | 18 B/W Illus.

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Medical articles are one of the main vehicles of knowledge translation and evidence communication in the health sciences. Their correct structure and style alone are no longer enough to convey a clear understanding of the intended message. Readers must be able to understand the very essence of the article message. That is the purpose of this book.

Writing, Reading, and Understanding in Modern Health Sciences: Medical Articles and Other Forms of Communication will help the authors of medical articles communicate more effectively in today's practice and health research environment. It explores the most effective practices for communicating using three main medical literature formats: through scientific articles, articles where the subject is not based on the practice of the scientific method, and business reports.

Describing how to think beyond the prevailing IMRAD article format, this book focuses on the nature, content, domains of thought, and meanings of medical articles. The ideas and underlying propositions in this book are complementary to specific requirements appropriate for each type of medical journal. After reading this book you will better understand:

  • How to write what is considered the most important type of medical article, the research-based medical article
  • How to write an evidence-based argumentative medical article
  • The challenges of clinical case reporting
  • The general framework of medical and research ethics
  • Classification of medical articles and their underlying studies from the causal standpoint

Supplying you with the understanding required to write more effective medical articles, the book includes details about essay-type articles, research-based articles, thesis as introduction sections, definitions as part of the material and methods sections, modern argumentation and critical thinking underlying results and their discussion and conclusions about them. It also examines qualitative research and case study methodologies from other domains.

A must-read for all writers, readers, and users of medical articles, this book supplies the tools you need to write compelling medical reports that can help to improve the practice, research, and quality of healthcare at all levels.

Table of Contents

Essays as Communication Tools


General Types of Essays

Nature and Purpose of Essays

Structure of Essays

Health Sciences Essays as an Exercise in Rhetoric: An Argumentative/Persuasive Essay

Let Us Conclude


Research-Based Medical Article: Writing What Is Considered the Most Important Type of Written Medical Article


The IMRAD Format

Overview of the IMRAD Format

Comments on Additional IMRAD Elements

IMRAD Preceding Entities: Identifications

IMRAD Following Entities: Contextual and Collateral Information that Follows the IMRAD Core of the Article 2.3 Lab Report Format

Thinking Beyond Editorial Expectations for Structure, Language, and Style: The Scientific Method behind Research and Ensuing Medical Articles

Steps of the Scientific Method

The Business Method and Format: Medical Article as a Business Report

Qualitative Research-Based and Case Studies-Based Articles and Their Format

Conclusions: Back to the Article as a Communication Tool


Thesis: A Key Feature of the Medical Article "Introduction"—Seven Cornerstones for Reporting a Research-Based Study


Our Thesis of This Chapter

Article in Health Sciences as an Argumentative Path

Research Thesis and Its Seven Cornerstones that Define Both Research and the Presentation of Its Results as a Written or Oral Communication

Seven Cornerstones of Research Paper Design and Development

Research Problem or Topic of Interest: "About What Do We Wish to Talk?"

Critically Appraised Best Evidence Available: "Where Are We Now?"

Objectives of a Research Study: "Why Do We Do All This and What Do We Want to Achieve?"

Research Hypothesis: "What Is Our Idea about the Nature of the Problem to Be Elucidated?"

Research Question as a Formulation of the Research Problem: "What Is Then an Answerable Question about Our Hypothesized Problem?"

Definitions Used: The Essence of Understanding: "How Do We Delineate the Meaning of Everything We Are Using and Working with?"

Context and Setting of the Study: "What Is the Reality of All Happenings in Which the Study Is Valid?"

Let Us Conclude


Definitions: A Key Feature of the "Material and Methods" Section of a Medical Article


What Might Then Be a Thesis for This Chapter as an Essay?

What Are Definitions and Their Type in General? The Sort of Definitions We Use

Definitions in Medicine and Health Sciences and Their Subject

Why Are Definitions So Important?

Types of Definitions in Current Medical Research and Practice Uses

Desirable Qualities and Attributes of Definitions in General

Desirable Qualities and Attributes of Definitions in Medicine and Other Health Sciences

The Challenge of Composite Definitions

Adjectives and Other Challenges of Definitions

Let Us Conclude


Reporting Research Critically and the Argumentative Way: A Key Feature of the "Results" and "Discussion" Sections of a Medical Article


A Thesis for This Essay-Type Chapter?

What Exactly Is Critical Thinking in Medicine?

Do We Argue in Medicine?

A Word about Argumentation and Argument in Medicine as an Exercise in Critical Thinking

IMRAD Structure, Format and Content

The "Modern" Argument and Its Building Blocks

Hence, Does All of This Fit the IMRAD Format?

Let Us Conclude

Some Recommendations to Authors and Readers of Articles in Health Sciences


Cause–Effect Relationships: A Key Feature of the "Discussion" and "Conclusion" Sections of a Medical Article


Classification of Medical Articles and Their Underlying Studies from the Causal Standpoint

Challenges of Understanding and Communication of Cause–Effect Relationships

Criteria for Accepting Etiology or Other Cause–Effect Relationships

Causality-Oriented Medical Article as Subject of Critical Appraisal

A Word about Reporting Meta-Analyses and Systematic Reviews Articles

A Word about Clinical Practice Guidelines Articles

Let Us Conclude

What Next, and What Should We Do in the World of Cause-and- Effect Relationships in Medical Communication?


Challenges of Clinical Case Reporting: Casus Clinicus Revisitus and Redivivus


What Might We Propose as a Thesis for This Essay?

What Will Be Covered?

Fundamental Considerations and Gnostic Classification of Clinical Case Reports

Case Reporting Topics

Types of Case Reporting

The "Classical" Clinical Case Report

A Clinical Vignette

A Case Series Report

Structure and Organization of Case Reporting

The Message Itself and Ways to Convey It in an Argumentative Manner

Challenges of Causal Proof Sought in Single or Few Clinical Cases

Epidemiological Demonstration of Causality Based on Frequent Cases

Considerations of Causality in Clinical Pharmacology: The Mainly NonEpidemiological Study of Infrequent Cases

Considerations of Causality in "Cognition-Based" Medicine; NonEpidemiological Reasoning Focused on Specific Cases

Single Subject Research Design

Other Ways of Considering Causality

Qualitative Research and "Case Study" Methodology from Other Domains: Error and Harm Inquiry (From "Valued" Events to "Bad" Events Evaluation and Reporting)

Let Us Conclude


Medical Ethics and Publication Ethics


The General Framework of Medical and Research Ethics

Scientific or Research Misconduct

Publication and Editorial Misconduct

Referencing in Medical Articles as an Example of a Challenging Tool for Scientific and Publication Misconduct

Conflict of Interest and Its Disclosure

Let Us Conclude


Concluding Remarks and Summary: Future Ways of Knowledge Communication


The Content: About What Are We Writing?

The Form, Format and Content: How Do We Make Ourselves Clear?

A Reminder about Article Format

A Reminder about Article Content

Let Us Conclude

How to Write an Evidence-Based Argumentative Medical Article




About the Author

Milos Jenicek, MD, PhD, LMCC, FRCPC, CSPQ, is currently a professor (part-time) in the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He also is professor emeritus at the Université de Montréal, Québec, Canada. In 2009, he was elected Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine, London.

Dr. Jenicek has contributed to the evolution of epidemiology as a general method of reasoning and decision making in medicine. Supported by the Université de Montréal, he undertook in the 1970s short sabbaticals and study visits to Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Yale, Tufts, North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Uniformed Services at Bethesda, Maryland, Universities to further enhance his teaching and research in this direction. Later on, academic, governmental, and professional institutions in Western Europe, North Africa and on the Pacific Rim also have benefitted from his lecturing, professional expertise, visiting professorships and other professional initiatives.

During his term as acting chairman of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université de Montréal (1988–1989), he established a Clinical Epidemiology teaching program at the graduate level at the university; his core course also being part of a similar program at McGill University, where he also was an adjunct professor at that time. Until 1991, he was a member of the Board of Examiners of the Medical Council of Canada (Committee on Preventive Medicine). In 2000, he was invited by Kuwait University to act as an external examiner of their graduating medical students.

In addition to numerous scientific papers and other collaborations with leading medical journals, Dr. Jenicek has published 14 textbooks that reflect his national and international initiatives.

His current interests include the development of methodologies and applications of logic, critical thinking, decision making and communication in health sciences; enhancement of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based public health; health policies and program evaluations; and decision-oriented (bedside) clinical research.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / Service Industries
LAW / Medical Law & Legislation
MEDICAL / General
MEDICAL / Administration