Listening to the Experts — the Medical Experts, That Is

Traveling this week to the American Urological Association (AUA) annual conference in Chicago . . . it’s an overwhelming experience. I’m one small copyeditor in the midst of some 14,000 urologists. The program book for the conference tops 300 pages; McCormick Place, where the conference is being held, covers 2.6 million square feet.
I’m here to meet with the editorial staff of European Urology, a leading medical journal and one of our super-favorite customers. EU is published by Elsevier for the European Association of Urology, and has editorial offices in Milan and production offices in the Netherlands. So it’s a bit easier for me to meet everyone here, rather than in their home offices.
I’m also here to learn. Although you don’t need to have medical training to be a medical editor, it helps. I think that anything you can do to increase your understanding of the material you edit improves your work and reduces your chance of making errors. To whit:

  • You understand the subject matter more thoroughly, so you can edit more quickly and efficiently
  • You’re less likely to be confused by the content, so you wind up writing fewer unnecessary author queries — reducing bother to the customer and again, saving time
  • You better understand the authors’ jargon, so you’re less likely to unintentionally change the author’s meaning while editing — the cardinal sin of any editor or proofreader.

So, for the next three days, I’ll be missing my family, but soaking in all the information I can on the treatment of prostate cancer and urothelial cancers, and conditions like overactive bladder syndrome, lower urinary tract symptoms, chronic pelvic pain, stress urinary incontinence, varicocele, and infertility. Wish me luck.


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