Long before Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, the seeds of what we now know as medical writing were planted. Consider the Greek physician Hippocrates, who in addition to his fame as the “father of medicine” also is recognized for a sizable collection of books that are considered the oldest surviving complete medical texts. Flash forward through the centuries, to the birth of a full-fledged communications profession. Today, thousands of modern medical journals line library shelves, health books for consumers routinely soar to the top of the best-seller list, pharmaceutical regulatory documents could fill many warehouses, and articles of every type populate myriad Web sites, newspapers, and magazines. And this is not to mention the existence of a bevy of writers researching and producing ...

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