General medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology
A double major in English and Anthropology, this editor has applied her talents to editing documents from a diverse array of subjects, ranging from sociology to biosciences to clinical medicine. A member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), she has worked in a senior capacity for several well-known publishing firms.
However, I would probably ask more content-related questions while editing a medical paper, simply because the developments in the field of medicine are tremendous, and in some areas I would not be able to follow some of the technical details. So, if there are issues involving the clarity of the presentation, I try to provide some pointers if I can, but sometimes I can only mark the unclear passage and ask the authors to try to rework it.
Some authors write long paragraphs, with lots of supporting information, at the end of which they condense their main point into a single statement. When a paragraph is filled with supporting data, this type of statement may be more effective if placed at the beginning of the paragraph. This orients the reader to the main point that will be developed in the rest of the paragraph. So, rather than starting at one point and working through a series of statements to a conclusion, it may be better to make the main point available to the reader at the beginning, and then follow with the supporting information.
With Japanese authors in particular, a major issue is working with definite and indefinite articles (the, a, and an) because English articles don't have exact equivalents in Japanese. So, authors are often uncertain about which article to use in a particular instance. There are grammatical rules for using the definite versus an indefinite article, but other decisions, such as when to use and when to omit articles, are more subjective and can only be learned with experience.
When an opportunity came up to join a medical publisher, I jumped at the chance. My sister is a physician, a kidney specialist, and owing to her, I had an interest in medicine and health. So, I pursued medical editing, and from there I went on to general science and other areas. I have worked in many capacities within publishing - I've been a production editor, a managing editor for a large textbook publisher, and a development editor. I eventually decided to work as a freelance editor because I wanted to have some control over my schedule.