Friday, April 29, 2011

Improve Your Business E-mail and Medical Writing – Part Four

Author: Michelle Mudge-Riley, DO, MHA

This is the last entry in my four-part series about medical writing. In my first three blog entries, I discussed business e-mails and other medical writing such as blogging and book writing. I want to provide a couple more tips to strengthen your medical writing but also provide you with a special offer.

Verbalize a desired action.
People often understand their audience but at the point where they have to identify their overall objective, they think, “I want them to read it.” This goal falls short of the purpose of business writing – to influence behavior. Verbalizing what you want from the reader encourages specific action. If you are unclear about your desired outcome, your reader will be unclear, too–and less likely to act. On the flip side, by having a clear idea of what the goal of your communication is, you are more likely to convince your reader to act. It may not result in the desired outcome, but at least it won’t be for lack of understanding. Remember, time is of the essence in business writing so make the writing short and to the point. You only have a moment to let the audience know that what you have to say is valuable and needs quick action.

Close the sale.
Ask for the sale at the end of your business communication. Request from the reader the action you expect and when you expect it.

Now, the best way to be effective in business writing is to PRACTICE. Try writing a business e-mail using the tips I provided in the four blog April blog entries. Then send me a copy of your draft and I’ll help you critique it – for free! Send it to

About the author:

Dr. Mudge-Riley is a senior consultant for brokerage firms, health systems and large employers in wellness and health promotion and President of Physicians Helping Physicians in Richmond, Virginia.  She has spent the past seven years advising and coaching other doctors in their career by counseling physicians on business skills, assisting with compliance and risk management issues and mentoring in personal wellness and balance.  She has worked with hundreds of doctors and in various health systems located throughout the United States. To read more about Dr. Mudge-Riley, click here.

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