TPG aims to provide readers with a consistent and reliable experience. The goal of any article can generally be summarized by these questions:
What do we need to do (at a minimum) to teach a reader to safely, effectively, and efficiently perform this procedure? Or to effectively learn the main points of this blog post?
Table of Contents
See currently published articles on theprocedureguide.com to see examples of how each section should be written
- First and foremost the content should be written with intent: to speak to a specific type of visitor and to solve a specific and identified problem for the visitor (as opposed to creating content for the sake of having content). Ie, the articles have a goal, which is informed by the visitor’s need.
- Focus on who the visitor is. In some cases it’s an attending, in some cases it’s a med student. Those are very different and the content should be written appropriately.
- Focus on what the visitor is trying to accomplish with the article and write for that.
- The procedure guides are written specifically to solve the problem of “how do I reference a document that helps me immediately, practically get through a procedure”
- The material should answer the questions immediately related to the goal of that article, and no more.
- The procedure guides are missing a lot of clinical info related to disease processes, workup, evaluation, alternative treatments, etc. The omission is intentional, not from lack of thoroughness. More info would detract from the goal.
- Articles should be long enough to achieve the goal and no longer
- Wording itself focuses on brevity and precision.
- Procedure guides have some content (such as a sample opnote) separated to keep the main article readable. Some related procedures are broken up if their combination makes the article unfocused.
- All links/references/videos/etc should get straight to the point.
- EX: If a reference is included, make it clear to the reader what exactly they are looking for in that reference that is relevant.
- Use consistent formatting, headings, punctuation, style, layout, etc.
- Visitors should learn how we present information in one article and never have to learn it again. This makes it easier for them to adopt usage of the site.
- Procedure guides usually follow the same document outline, present images similarly, describe similar steps in similar ways, etc.
- Focus on basics:
- Good formatting
- Avoid long sentences
- Split large amounts of text up (ie, lists, steps, bold highlights, smaller paragraphs, etc.)
- Useful images
- What needs to be included to meet the goal? Explanation? Images? Samples? Examples? Etc.
- Procedure guides don’t use standard reference/citation formatting. This is intentional, not accidental: Modern websites should remove as many sources of friction as possible: The References section directly lists the reference titles. They link directly to the source.
- Whenever a video or other site is relevant, the material is directly included (i.e. an embedded video).
- When a user is linked somewhere it goes exactly where they need to go, not just to the other site’s homepage or a general page.
- Focus on basics:
- Innovate and Steal
- We usually don’t want to reproduce what other sources do well. Instead, it’s better to take what others do well and build upon it.
- Some procedure guides exist on other sites but with several flaws that we fix: other sources may only exist in academic articles, may not have enough sample images, have inconsistent structure, not as practical, not rooted in experience, etc.
- Think outside the box
- Use #2-6 as a mold but remember #1 trumps all: If the mold doesn’t work for a specific task then re-invent it to accomplish #1 in the most effective way possible.
- The existing format isn’t good for interactive learning. Custom multiple choice quizzes and chatbot quizzes were created for that.
- Plan what images (especially fluoro images) and diagrams should accompany the text. They should be complimentary but also somewhat independent:
- Images should match and explain what is described in the text
- But, many readers will skim images as a way to understand the procedure, so the images/diagrams should tell a story themselves.
- Provide relevant images for the article (we can edit/markup/anonymize them for publication)
- Whenever possible plan to use sections from other articles that might apply to the article that you’re writing:
- i.e., the anatomy section of a lumbar medial branch block and lumbar medial branch radiofrequency article will be the same.
- The common sections can be updated whenever necessary so all articles are using the best version, and readers get consistent information across the site.
- In these cases, just put [Common block] in the draft, so the common block can be pulled in later.
- Sometimes there are variations on a technique (like unipedicular or bipedicular kyphos).
- Usually it’s best to outline an approach you are most comfortable with and that is accessible to the reader.
- Subsequent sections can be included under the Technique Section to outline other techniques with a focus on the differences.
- This is a very important section, even though the content within varies a lot.
- These are the clinical pearls that help move a reader from barely completing a procedure to becoming proficient at it.
- Include good primary literature whenever appropriate.
- Also include atypical sources like blogs, YouTube videos, etc. that might have relevant info.
- Relevant in this context is anything relevant to the procedure itself, and not a full academic review.
- Under each reference include commentary about what is relevant for that reference. (i.e., it might only be one section of one article that is relevant)
- Provide a profile photo and bio for the Contributors page
- Please include your medical school, residency/fellowship training facilities, current country of practice, specialty/subspecialties
- All articles are published without author information and the site has a common Contributors page
- All content including diagrams and images are published under the creative commons license indicated on the site
- Save relevant article images/diagrams and their relevant annotations with the article drafts so everything is together before moving to publication.
Stock images – https://www.pexels.com/