Rochelle Monteiro, MD | Effective Writing for Health Care
Rochelle Monteiro is a dermatologist at Father Muller Medical College Hospital in Mangalore, India. Monteiro earned her Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and Doctor of Medicine in Dermatology, Venereology & Leprosy from Manipal Academy of Higher Education. A practicing dermatologist for thirteen years, Dr. Monteiro also conducts research and writes publications. She recently published an article in the International Journal of Dermatology while in the Effective Writing for Health Care program. Currently enrolled in the Medical & Scientific Journal track, she has a special interest in writing for the public and narrative medicine. This program has allowed her to grow her writing in multiple areas. While she was initially hesitant to join the program due to her busy work schedule and being a mom to two young children, she shared, “The course has given us enough space to fit in our commitments. As I draw toward the end of the course, I can say, I am so glad I took the plunge.”
Advancing Foundational Writing Skills
As a clinician, Dr. Monteiro didn’t have a formal background or training in writing. “I was always interested in writing, but I never really got into it…once you join medical school, you don’t necessarily get time to write. But from this program, I’ve learned a lot of different facets of writing, like blogs and narrative medicine, which really interested me.” The certificate program encompasses a core curriculum as well as two specialized tracks. Learners come together throughout the yearlong learning experience for the core curriculum, which focuses on foundational skills, process, productivity and promotion. “This program has given me a lot of structure to my writing. I used to write what I felt, but how we start the introduction and the approach to writing is also important.” The lectures and curriculum directly impacted her writing and she noted that the literature review and grammar classes have been valuable in her work.
Enhancing Professional Writing and Communication Beyond Medical Writing
Although many students come into the program with a specific goal for their personal writing in mind, the course exposes learners to various channels related to writing as a career. The program aims not only to improve writing skills but also gives the tools for writers to improve their reach and likelihood of publication. She’s found the program useful for helping to communicate her work. “There were a lot of aspects of the program that were new to me, like podcasts and social media…I think as writers, we should know this information in this particular era we are in; we need to know how to promote ourselves, so that was helpful,” she says.
A core component of the program is to produce a personal capstone project, a submission-ready piece of writing. Dr. Monteiro is currently working on her capstone project based on a study she conducted on antibiotic sensitivity and resistance patterns in acne. She completed the study a few months back and is now using the capstone project to write up the study, with support from her capstone reviewer.
Encouraging Others to Pursue Their Interest in Writing
Dr. Monteiro first learned of the program from a postdoctoral student who was enrolled. After she began writing more articles, she decided to join to improve her writing skills and get support to pursue writing in her career. For other people considering enrolling in the Effective Writing for Health Care program, she highly recommends the experience and offers some advice. “I think for someone interested in writing, it’s a very good course. A lot of people don’t know nuances of medical writing- so you can learn a lot.” She pointed out another highlight has been the diversity of the cohort. “You are exposed to so many different types of people…not everyone is a medical writer; there are a lot of other people who work for newspapers and blogs, so that’s been great. This course has enabled me to connect with so many different individuals across the world. Although we come from different backgrounds, we have grown together as a group. Some of them will continue to be lifelong friends. The team activities helped us bond and learn to work as a group drawing from each other’s strengths and working together despite our differences. If someone is interested in writing or advancing their career, this would be a very helpful course.”
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