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Widener Professor Robert J. Bonk Releases New Book on Writing for Healthcare Audiences

book coverDr. Robert J. Bonk, professor and director of professional writing at Widener University’s School of Education, Innovation, and Continuing Studies, has published “Writing for Today’s Healthcare Audiences” with Broadview Press.The book is primarily designed for students seeking careers in healthcare communication; it also serves as a useful guide for students who are hopeful practitioners, as it covers writing for an increasingly diverse healthcare audience from patients and physicians to government officials and insurance groups.

According to Broadview Press, the book has just enough theory to lay the groundwork for effective communication coupled with practical examples and practice exercises. It stresses the importance of the writing process, from pre-writing to final editing, and includes writing checklists to ensure completeness and accuracy.

“In concise chapters that make good use of sample documents from many medical contexts, Bonk relies on a solid rhetorical underpinning to encourage writers to be alert to the importance of purpose, audience and genre in designing medical documents,” said Stephen A. Bernhardt from the University of Delaware in his review of the book. “He covers the practicalities of researching and writing from medical sources, and he offers advice on designing both documents and their accompanying visuals. Bonk’s book should prove popular on many campuses in the growing number of undergraduate courses in healthcare communication.”

Find “Writing for Today’s Healthcare Audiences” in print and PDF formats for purchase through Broadview Press and Amazon.

Bonk’s first book, "Writing for Today’s Healthcare Audiences: A Primer on Research, Techniques, and Information," was selected in 1999 as one of the 250 best books in the health sciences. As a noted professional in the field of medical writing, Bonk previously worked for nearly two decades in the pharmaceutical industry. He is an active member of AMWA (American Medical Writers Association), for which he has served as chapter president, committee chair and member of the executive board, and was selected as the administrator of the 2008 annual conference. In 2009, he was named a Fellow of the AMWA.

Bonk joined the Widener faculty in the fall of 2001. Due to his academic service-learning curriculum, he has challenged students to apply their learning to the betterment of their communities. He regularly engages his students in writing projects that serve not only the Widener community, but the external community. For his dedication to his students, in 2007, he received the Clarence R. Moll Professor of the Year Award.

A native of Wilmington, Del., Bonk received his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and chemistry from the University of Delaware, his master’s degree in technical and science communication from Drexel University and his doctorate in health studies (pharmacy administration) from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

Widener University is a metropolitan university that connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention, leadership development and experiential learning are key components of the Widener experience. Widener is comprised of eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences, professional and pre-professional curricula leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral degrees. The university's campuses in Chester, Exton and Harrisburg, Pa., and Wilmington, Del., serve more than 6,300 students. Widener is proud to be a tobacco-free campus. Visit the university's website,