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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

For Medical Students

Explore medical ethics via online journal competitions

Applications are due over the next few weeks for medical students and residents who are interested in exploring medical ethics in-depth by getting involved in Virtual Mentor, the AMA's online ethics journal.

The journal is seeking applications for theme issue editors, due Oct. 15, and essays for the John Conley Ethics Essay Contest for Medical Students, due Sept. 30. Open-access and advertisement-free, Virtual Mentor explores the ethical issues and challenges that students, residents and other physicians are likely to confront in their training and daily practice.

Theme issue editors. Each issue of Virtual Mentor has a theme, such as a medical specialty field or a topic of concern or debate in medical ethics. Medical students and residents are encouraged to apply to serve as theme issue editors. With help from Virtual Mentor staff editors, each theme issue editor undertakes the following tasks, to be accomplished at each editor's "home" location:

  • Selecting a theme for the issue and defining the ethical and professionalism concerns inherent in that theme.
  • Generating case narratives that provide opportunities for examining those concerns in clinical and educational contexts.
  • Identifying, securing and corresponding with 10–15 contributors to the issue.
  • Reviewing unsolicited manuscripts that are submitted.
  • Editing copy of solicited manuscripts and reviewing page proofs before the issue goes live on the first working day of the month.

Theme issue editors, selected in November, meet in Chicago with Virtual Mentor staff in January. Each theme issue editor receives a $1,500 stipend.

The abilities to critique an argument or article, work well with authors, and meet deadlines are essential. Experience in editing or journalism is desirable. Visit the Virtual Mentor website to learn more about applying.

John Conley Ethics Essay Contest for Medical Students. Each year, Virtual Mentor poses a question in medical ethics or professionalism as the topic for that year's ethics essay contest. All current U.S. medical students (pursuing an MD and DO) are invited to submit essays of up to 2,000 words in response to the question. Essays are judged on clarity of presentation, writing style and applicability of the argument to actual decision making.

The author of the best essay receives an award of $5,000. When more than one exceptional entry is received, authors of up to three runner-up essays receive $1,000 prizes. Students are encouraged to use some of the funds to attend an ethics conference of their choice. Winning essays are published in Virtual Mentor.

This annual ethics essay contest for medical students is supported by the John Conley Foundation for Ethics and Philosophy in Medicine. John J. Conley, MD, (1912-1999) was an otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon with a passion for medicine and its ethical practice. In addition to establishing the student ethics essay contest, Dr. Conley endowed an annual ethics and philosophy lectureship at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, where he was clinical professor of otolaryngology for many years.

View the contest entry requirements and this year's essay topic.

Register for the AMA-MSS Interim Assembly Meeting

Represent the voice and vision of medical students across the country at this year's AMA Medical Student Section (MSS) Interim Assembly Meeting, which will take place Nov. 14-16 in National Harbor, Md. Attendees will have an opportunity to influence AMA policy, serve the community, and advance their skills and knowledge.

Students should keep the following deadlines in mind:

  • Final resolutions are due Sept 25.
  • Applications for open positions, including AMA-MSS Governing Council chair-elect, regional delegate and the student position on the AMA Board of Trustees, are due Oct. 4.
  • Registration for delegates and alternate delegates in AMA-MSS Assembly closes Oct. 11.

Visit the AMA-MSS meeting page to learn about the meeting and register today.