ASI Online Learning Replay: Medical Indexing with Dr. Anne Fifer

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ASI Online Learning: Medical Indexing

Three-Part Series with Anne Fifer, PhD, DO


Medical indexing—which embraces a wide variety of medical and pharmaceutical books and manuals—is a rigorous, but lucrative, specialty for indexers. Gaining a proficiency in medical indexing can widen indexers’ client base and enhance their skill sets. This series is designed to introduce the specialty area of medical indexing for indexers with a medical background—as well as those without one.

Session 1: Overview

This session will focus on the kinds of content that fall under the rubric of medical indexing. The material which you might be asked to index covers a wide range of difficulty, and the users of the index can be quite varied. You will learn to (1) define the range of users; (2) evaluate materials before accepting a project; and (3) recognize what skills are needed for various levels of texts. Indexers will be provided with numerous examples of typical content to analyze and evaluate.

Session 2: Medical Terminology Use

Perhaps the biggest challenge in medical indexing is understanding and becoming familiar with medical terminology, which is often unique to specific subject areas. This session will address issues arising from the derivation of medical terms from Greek and Latin. It will also show indexers how to construct terms for an index on an as-needed basis. And what happens with a term in the text isn’t in a dictionary or other reference? Don’t panic! You will learn the secret of determining the meaning and not be stymied.

Session 3: Writing the Index

This session gets to the heart of what a medical indexer needs to know—how to create a medical index. First you will learn how to approach the text. Then you will receive crucial instruction on how to shape an index for the specific user– doctor, nurse, researcher, layperson, or pharmaceutical company worker. And here you will get the added help of Dr. Fifer’s insider tips, including synonyms and equivalent phrases for the different audiences. Finally, you will learn how to handle a thorny, but all too common situation: how to index a work that includes sections by multiple authors — who use differing terminology.

A true reference work available to you online, ASI’s Medical Indexing course helps you handle this specialty area with professionalism and confidence.

Anne Fifer began freelance indexing at Graffito in 2008. She indexes trade books, encyclopedias, and medical books of various levels. She does embedded indexing using InDesign, Word, and WordEmbed. Education includes a PhD in psychology and DO with specialty in neurology.

The online learning classes were originally produced January 18, January 25, February 1, 2017

ASI members, please log in to the website for member pricing.

The 3-part class is $349 for non-members, and you will have long-term access to the replays.

After you purchase the class, return to this page, refresh your screen, and watch the three replays immediately. You will also find three handouts that accompany the presentations.

Best Practices for Optimal Viewing

We wanted to share a few best practices to improve your viewing experience of this three-part presentation. Please be aware that the setup of your computer and software impacts the quality of your connection.

Note that this useful info from YouTube, via which attendees receive the streamed presentation, says, “To give you the best viewing experience possible on your computer, YouTube adjusts the quality of your video stream from standard definition (such as 240p or 360p) to high definition (720p or 1080p), based on the speed of your Internet connection (bandwidth). This is why you may notice that the quality of your video changes as you watch videos.”

For an optimum experience, we recommend that you turn off other computer applications. Ask others at your location to avoid excessive use of the internet such as video streaming. Use a wired connection, rather than wireless, if possible. Also ensure that your browser is updated. It is good practice to reboot your computer before joining the live event.

While most webinars go off without a hitch, if you happen to experience connection issues, remember that you can view the replay on the ASI website within an hour of the end of the live session.

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