How to Streamline Your Medical Writing Literature Review Process

Write Medicine

How to Streamline Your Medical Writing Literature Review Process

May 6, 2024

How to Streamline Your Medical Writing Literature Review Process

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed and frustrated when searching for relevant studies on PubMed for your medical writing projects?

As a medical writer, you know that conducting a comprehensive literature review is crucial for delivering high-quality work to your clients and audiences. However, the process can be time-consuming and challenging, especially if you don’t have a clear strategy. This episode of Monday Mentor will provide you with the tools and techniques you need to streamline your literature review process and find the most relevant, high-quality studies to inform your work.

Listen in to gain:

  1. Best practices for efficiently searching databases like PubMed
  2. Steps to find the most relevant and high-quality sources.
  3. Tools and resources to stay organized and produce a rigorous literature review

Tune in now to discover how you can elevate your literature review skills and deliver stronger, more valuable work to your clients and audiences!


1. Defining your research question or objectives is crucial for guiding your search strategy and ensuring a focused, efficient literature review process. Before diving into your literature search, take the time to clearly articulate your research question or objectives using frameworks like PICO, SPIDER, or PEO.

2. Using a combination of keyword searches, subject heading/index term searches (like MeSH terms), and database filters can help you capture a wide range of potentially relevant sources while narrowing down your results. Familiarize yourself with the search functionalities and controlled vocabularies of databases like PubMed, and experiment with different combinations of keywords, subject headings, and filters to optimize your search results.

3. Leveraging citation management tools, note-taking techniques, and reporting guidelines can help you stay organized, maintain transparency, and produce a rigorous literature review. Explore and implement tools like EndNote, Zotero, or Mendeley for citation management, and develop a structured note-taking system (e.g., literature matrices or apps like Notion or Roam Research) to synthesize and report your findings effectively.


NYU Libraries Literature Search Template

Literature Review Typologies


00:00 Introduction

01:47 Defining the research question

03:43 Establishing search terms

06:17 Exploring various databases

10:30 Grey literature sources

13:32 Additional search techniques

15:07 Tools and resources that can help you

20:28 The power of literature reviews

Subscribe to the Write Medicine podcast!

Subscribe to the Write Medicine podcast for more valuable insights on continuing medical education content for health professionals. Click the Follow button and subscribe on your favorite platform.

You may also like

We gratefully acknowledge the many organizations that have generously supported our podcasts and platform.

Network Sponsors and Advertisers

Event and Media Partners

Buffer LinkedIn WhatsApp