Medical Editing and Style: Learning the AMA Manual, 10th edition, April 17-May 21 (5 weeks online) SP19


Where: AsynchronousOnline (Sakai)

April 17, 2019

Registration is closed for this class



The purpose of this course is two-fold: (1) to teach the fundamentals of the AMA Manual of Style, 10th ed (AMA 10/e), the style reference guide that informs medical writing and editing—regulatory, promotional, CME, or journal and textbook projects—and (2) to introduce students to medical editing, fact-checking, and annotating. Whether students eventually work for pharmaceutical companies, publishers, continuing medical education companies, medical communications firms, medical journals, or other entities, they will need a firm command of AMA style. Content areas will include preferred usage in grammar, punctuation, and capitalization; terminology and abbreviations; numbers and units of measure; typography; tables and graphs; passive vs active voice; and referencing. The medical editing overview will discuss working with authors, CME providers, brand teams, and others and introduce medical writers to preparing documents for various types of submission. There will be practice in editing and revising documents according to AMA style and to promote clarity. Also reviewed will be authorship responsibility, acknowledgments, conflicts of interest, intellectual property, confidentiality, and other legal/ethical considerations of medical writing.

PREREQUISITE: Copyediting experience


At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate use of precise terminology and syntax to improve clarity and simplicity of medical writing for different intended audiences
  • Revise a variety of medical documents to accurately reflect AMA 10/e style and maintain consistency in text, tables and figures, and references
  • Explain the process of obtaining permissions, peer review, and acknowledging contributors
  • Identify the steps in fact-checking and annotating and prepare a document for submission to a journal and to a medical-legal-regulatory review committee


Week 1

  • Overview of medical editing, types of jobs, types of employers
  • Introduction to style points regarding periods, commas, hyphens, abbreviations
  • Overview of clinical trials

Week 2

  • Overview of journal manuscript editing
  • Introduction to style points regarding references and preferred and correct usage

Week 3

  • Continuation of journal manuscript editing with emphasis on tables and figures
  • Introduction to style points regarding tables, figures, statistics, numbers 

Week 4

  • Overview of editing slides
  • Overview of editing promotional medical materials

Week 5

  • Annotating and fact-checking
  • Avoiding medical speak

Required text:

American Medical Association Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors (AMA) (Hardcover) by JAMA and Archives Journals. 1032 pages; Publisher: Oxford University Press; 10th edition (March 15, 2007); ISBN: 0195176332. You may prefer the online version of the manual, which is available by subscription at

Suggested texts:

Lang TA. How to Write, Publish, & Present in the Health Sciences. Philadelphia, PA: American College of Physicians; 2009. ISBN: 978-1-934465-14-1. Available at:


Instructor Jennifer Maybin is a Certified Editor in the Life Sciences (ELS) and has run her own medical editing and writing company for more than15 years. She teaches copyediting for the University of California–San Diego Extension and has created medical editing courses for University of the Sciences and Arcadia University. She edits and writes for medical education companies, medical publishers, and pharmaceutical companies.

A Note About the EFA's Online Courses

Our online courses are conducted through Sakai, a learning management system (LMS). You never need to be at your computer at any specific hour. More information about how these asynchronous classes are conducted is available here. Information on our refund policy is available here.