Thursday, 6 January 2011

Something medical

Today I learnt something new during work, but I thought I'd share a bit of my background before telling you about the new thing.

As my bio shows, I am a freelance editor. I went straight into a medical editing job after I graduated (I have a Biochemistry degree). The company I worked for was small but had some great staff who taught me a huge amount about grammar, editing, publishing journals and books, proofreading, and indexing. Sadly, this company began to fail and I fortunately jumped ship to a well-known medical journal, who began again with my training, teaching me how to edit research articles thoroughly, restructure text, and understand word origins and meanings. I also had to learn basics of cardiology, oncology, neurology, basic science, just to be able to understand the work I was editing (if you don't understand something you cannot edit it). This was achieved by talking to staff (doctors mainly, from many specialities) and reading. I received a privileged education here, and was fortunate to be funded through a Masters degree while working there also.

Now I'm freelance, I don't get as many opportunities to speak to staff if I'm unclear about technical phrases, so I have to rely on web resources. While editing a typical article, I will google about 20 to 30 words to check their meaning. These are usually medical terms or drug names that I'm unfamiliar with, but I also check country names, symbols for genes and proteins, and abbreviations.

Today I came across the phrase VITILIGO, and I have learnt that it is a skin pigment disorder where skin cells lose their colour, so white patches appear on the skin.

(Sorry if you think this is a bit of a dull post!)


  1. It's what Michael Jackson claimed he had.

  2. Ah, I'm not a Michael Jackson fan and never paid much heed to what he said! Makes sense I suppose.


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