Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Medicine-related articles

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Revisiting the article title guidelines[edit]

Page traffic for Vaginal yeast infection

The chart at right shows the effect of renaming the article Candidal vulvovaginitis to Vaginal yeast infection. This rename was against the guidelines given in WP:MEDMOS, but clearly had a positive effect on people being able to find the article. Even though "Vaginal yeast infection" previously redirected to "Candidal vulvovaginitis", traffic to the article was virtually nil before the rename, despite the fact that this is a very common medical condition. This dramatic increase is likely due to traffic from 3rd party search engines, since "vaginal yeast infection" is a much more common search term. In light of this, I was wondering if we should revisit the wording of the MEDMOS guidelines concerning article titles. I know that using exact terminology is important for medical professionals, but I think it's important for us to keep in mind the general public as a consumer of medical information. If people can't find our articles, they aren't serving much purpose. Perhaps the wording in the guidelines could be softened to allow more exceptions. Thoughts? Kaldari (talk) 06:04, 10 June 2015 (UTC)

An excellent illustration of an effect I think many of us have long been aware of. Frankly though, in some cases one wonders if pushing our article to the the top of google searches is helping the public - it all depends what else is on the top half of the first page. We also lose out on traffic because usually the most common medical search terms (professionals will tell you) include condition + "symptoms" - so most big sites have special symptoms pages. Johnbod (talk) 13:34, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
I fail to recognize a problem with WP:MEDMOS or how the move was in opposition to WP:MEDMOS. At the move discussion the opposition was due to lack of case made that the new name was commonly used. I agree with the opposition in that discussion that supporting evidence of a term's popularity on Google is not the same as verifying that the same concept is being discussed in a Wikipedia article of a similar name. You proposed a name change and it passed quickly in an efficient process. What change to MEDMOS could generate any better outcome? Why bypass this review process? Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:49, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
One of the two oppose votes specifically cited MEDMOS as their reason for opposing and one of the support votes stated that the article should be an exception to MEDMOS. Personally, I would like to see WP:MEDMOS be more in line with WP:COMMONNAME, especially for common medical conditions. For articles like headache (aka cephalalgia), heart attack (aka myocardial infarction), etc. the results can be dramatically different if you look at all reliable sources vs. only medical sources. That's just my personal opinion though, and I'm interested in hearing other editors' opinions. Kaldari (talk) 17:47, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Where there is an exact equivalence between the common term & the medical one, I agree. The problem very often is that the common term actually covers a number of different medical conditions, which have their own articles. As Heart attack (disambiguation) says, "Heart attack may refer to: .... (#2) An inaccurate reference to cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death" - and to a linguist these meanings are so common they cannot be called "inaccurate". Johnbod (talk) 17:53, 10 June 2015 (UTC)
Page traffic for Candidal vulvovaginitis

Actually, your graph is not accurate in representing actual article traffic - just visits to the page titled "Vaginal yeast infection." The graph you displayed is how many people go to Vaginal yeast infection, and does not at all represent how many people go to Candidal vulvovaginitis. If look at this new graph, it is how many people go to Candidal vulvovaginitis. By looking at the first graph, basically no one used the redirect from "Vaginal yeast infection" to "Candidal vulvovaginitis" before the move on 25 May 2015. Afterwards, as the article was located at that title, the traffic to that title obviously went up and ranges roughly 80-200. By looking at the second graph, before the move, traffic was roughly 150-250. After the move, traffic to "Candidal vulvovaginitis" dropped to 50-100. So in summary, your point about the article being found more easily clearly is false. If anything, changing the title may have caused a drop in pageviews. --Scott Alter (talk) 06:07, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

I do not see a drop in page views. Simply adding the page views for Candidal vulvovaginitis + Vaginal yeast infection in the 7-day period June 3-9 and comparing that to the pre-change scenario Candidal vulvovaginitis from May 19-25 indicates an improvement: average 235 views versus 193 views. Page traffic from same source as above. --Lucas559 (talk) 19:37, 15 June 2015 (UTC)
To get an accurate count, you should NOT add the two together. Just look at each individual graph before and after the move. Before 25 May 2015, look at Candidal vulvovaginitis for the actual article's views. After 25 May 2015, look at Vaginal yeast infection for the actual article's views. If you add them together, you are double counting readers that went to one name, and then were redirected to the other. This report only tells you how many page views there were for each title. So if today, you click on Candidal vulvovaginitis, it would add a page view for both Candidal vulvovaginitis and Vaginal yeast infection (the page you are redirected to - so it double counts). I didn't do the math, but by looking at the graphs, there doesn't appear to be any significant difference after the move. --Scott Alter (talk) 19:14, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Adding stub templates, top vs bottom of page[edit]

All of the Neuroanatomy stub templates I've seen are at the very bottom of pages, where they're very unlikely to be seen. Other non anatomy articles I've read have their stub templates front and center at the top of the page, which I think increases visibility and awareness. If the goal is to get contributors to help out where they can, wouldn't it make more logical sense to place the "This article is a stub" at the very top of pages, so more people see it, rather than basically hiding it in the "fine print" that nobody pays attention to at the bottom??? Bush6984 (talk) 16:53, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Hi Bush6984,
Stub templates are placed last per WP:ORDER, no matter what the subject is. If you've seen pages that do not follow the standard order, then I would be happy to see a few examples. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:32, 20 July 2015 (UTC)


When considering the content of an article about a medical condition the prognosis (outlook, outcomes, result – whatever you want to call it) is hugely important to readers, and it's often ignored by editors. We usually write about causes, symptoms, diagnoses, and and treatments. This is probably a consequence of our demographics (healthcare professionals make diagnoses and prescribe treatments, but they don't have to live with the results) and our sourcing guidelines (there are no Cochrane reviews about whether you're going to live or die if you've got Scarynameitis), but we need to do something about our blind spot. Is there some way we could flag this as being important in MEDMOS? Perhaps ==Prognosis== could get an encouraging note saying that it "should always be included unless no reliable source addresses it"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:46, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Simple first sentence[edit]

IMO the pronunciations should be moved to the infoboxes as I have done here

And the etymology should occur near the end of the lead and end of the body of the article.

Neither one of these should be in the first sentence as WP:NOT a dictionary. Others thoughts on this case and thoughts on the issue in general? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:36, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

Instead of dealing with the one article, I think that we should have a discussion at WT:MEDMOS on the general question of whether pronunciation and etymology should normally be in the lead at all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:05, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
That is why I started this discussion here. We can move it to talk WT:MEDMOS though. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:40, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
agree..Wikipedia not a dictionary, should have better use for first sentence--Ozzie10aaaa (talk) 12:55, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
Should probably be put in a "History" or similar section. The article should focus on the subject, not the word. Sizeofint (talk) 18:20, 2 September 2015 (UTC)

If memory serves, the usual views run something like this:

  • Pronunciation needs to be early in the article, because it helps people actually read the article.
  • Everyone wants an audio link to pronunciation (so that you can find out how to pronounce it even if you can't read IPA or other pronunciation symbols), but nobody makes them.
  • I don't believe that a proposal to relegate either etymology or pronunciation to the infobox has ever been considered before.
  • Etymology is considered important for anatomy articles, but less important for other stuff.
  • Etymology is usually stuffed into ==Society and culture== and occasionally into ==History== (if it's an eponym).
  • Nobody has ever been really satisfied with any of the locations for etymology. ==Etymology== doesn't seem like a good section on its own, and it doesn't really fit into any of the other stuff.

Does that seem about right? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:44, 3 September 2015 (UTC)

The element folks have been putting pronunciation in the infobox for a long time per Iron etc. So not my idea. But I am following their lead. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:12, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Just to say that fully agree with location of infobox for pronunciation. A separate section at the end of an article for etymology is almost the norm in anatomy articles which seems to suit there - save for saying that some of these are excessively lengthy. I think often a straightforward origin is helpful in the lead - not in the first sentence which I agree needs to be kept simple as for example in Streptococcus and Dysphagia. Such a short reference then needs no etymology section.--Iztwoz (talk) 12:43, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
I agree. It's difficult to read a long introductory sentence and I am not familiar with IPA so that's just symbols. Then some editors want to include national variants and it just makes the lead a mess and difficult to understand. As Iztwoz says, if it is useful to the reader then we should keep a short summary in the lead, but certainly not in the lead sentence. --Tom (LT) (talk) 00:42, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

User:Quercus solaris has been adding a link right after the name to one section of the article.[1] I strongly disagree with this. Imagine if right after the name we provided a list of all sections in the article? This is what the TOC is for and should not be duplicated in the first sentence. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 22:14, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

Hi all. The bold that follows is not shouting, it is just for emphasis for those who might skim fast (TL;DR). The model I'm following right now has been moving etymology and pronunciation info out of the lede and into a later section, to make the lede cleaner. I do leave a jump link behind. I think people would not object to this link if it was shorter, as in tiny—like one symbol instead of 2 words. But this model replaces an earlier tendency throughout Wikipedia (not just in medical articles) of having that info not only in the lede but also clogging up the opening sentence. So what I'm doing is an improvement on that aspect, but I think the move to one symbol for the jump link is the next step. This has been broached before at Help talk:IPA for English but the brainstorming did not proceed to action points yet. Another option is a footnote, it still accomplishes the same point of jumping to a lower spot on the page. One more thought. Why does anyone care about etymology and pronunciation? Answer: for some learners, it helps them to absorb and recall. It is a learning aid. When all words are just long gobbledegook of unknown sound, a student is less likely to remember what they all mean later. The jump link is meant to lower the barrier on that. It moves students past rote memorization into spontaneous recall of what things are. Quercus solaris (talk) 23:15, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
I see that Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Pronunciation#Placement exists. This will be relevant to the solution. Quercus solaris (talk) 23:41, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Here is one example of a new, tiny jump style:
Cytokinesis[word help] is the process during cell division in which the cytoplasm of a single eukaryotic cell is divided to form two daughter cells. It usually initiates during
Quercus solaris (talk) 23:33, 4 September 2015 (UTC)
Not a fan of this approach as we are not a dictionary, readers can access the table of contents and select sections on their own, and links such as this encourage editors to do the same with other topics in the lead, eg:--Tom (LT) (talk) 00:42, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Cytokinesis[word help] is the process [mechanism]during cell division in which the cytoplasm of a single eukaryotic cell is divided to form two daughter cells. It usually initiates [develompent]during

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── OK, that makes sense. A footnote, as Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Pronunciation#Placement does it, would eliminate that possibility. Quercus solaris (talk) 02:40, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

I think this content should go in the infobox and that is sufficient. We should not be putting this info in the first sentence or adding notes their. It is undue weight IMO. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 03:58, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Have proposed changeing Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style/Pronunciation#With_respect_to_placement here [2] to reflect the practice at the elements project
I find those tags make our content harder to read. We need to make it easier to read. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:01, 5 September 2015 (UTC)
Brought it up here [3] Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:21, 5 September 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Update after some days of open comment opportunity. I am going to implement Doc James's preference in my editing, to the extent of infobox existence. Regarding a note link in the first sentence as described at Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Pronunciation#Placement: its abolishment is unlikely to become a Wikipedia-wide standard, because almost no Wikipedians have ever objected to it. However, as pointed out by Doc James, there has been movement away from it in certain categories of articles when the infobox offers a pronunciation parameter. Examples are chemical element articles (Infobox element) and disease entity articles (Infobox medical condition). Here's my plan: If I am adding or fixing pron or etym info, then as follows: (1) If I edit an article that has Infobox medical condition, then I'll remove any pron and etym info from the lede and make sure that pron is in the infobox and that etym is in an etym section near bottom. And if the word uses combining forms (eg, cyto- + kinesis or hyper- + kerato- + -osis), they will fall in parens after the infobox pron and be linked to the etym section for explanation. This is a pedagogical service to people learning vocabulary, such as A&P 101 students and, frankly, many humans who are trying to parse big words rather than treat them as unanalyzed black boxes, and thus having a hope of internalizing them (versus rote memorization). (2) Else if I edit an article that has no such infobox (for example, an A&P topic that is not a disease entity), I will use the note link in the first sentence as described at Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Pronunciation#Placement, which successfully gets pron and etym out of the lede (serving goal of simple and clear lede) but leaves a tiny breadcrumb behind so that people who want it can instantly find it. Another way to summarize the above is that I'll be following the best option of the WP general standard for placement of pron and etym info except in any articles, such as element or disease articles, where the infobox approach is available instead. Quercus solaris (talk) 22:51, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 07:15, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Identity-first v. person-first[edit]

Person-first language has been criticized by some Autistic, Deaf, ADHD, Dys*ic, Bipolar, etc. people as, they believe, their condition is an inseparable part of who they are and of their identity. They argue you can't separate a person from their Autism, Deafness, ADHD, Dys*ia, Bipolarity because if you did, "they" would not be them anymore. Some people have complained they can't use identity-first language with cerebral palsy easily for the same reason.

The MOS knows this and says some people dislike person-first language. However, when should we use what language. When it comes BLPs it is easy, whatever they prefer. However, what about articles about general subjects? "People with lupus are more likely to give birth to autistic children" or "give birth to children with autism?"

Sorry if I make no sense. Should we just let it be or should we have guidelines for what language to use and when? Andrea Carter (at your service | my good deeds) 15:42, 20 September 2015 (UTC)