Moving your research from the medical conference poster board to the pages of a peer-reviewed medical journal can be a difficult process, but it’s far from impossible.
Three physicians who have produced and published medical research recently offered their insights in a 2021 AMA Research Challenge presentation geared toward medical students, resident physicians and international medical graduates featured. The AMA Research Challenge’s semifinal round featured 730 posters. The top five posters advanced to the finals, during which the finalists will present their research to a panel of four expert judges and will broadcast on YouTube on Dec. 8. The winner will be awarded a $10,000 grand prize, sponsored by Laurel Road.
Here are some key insights from the expert physicians that can help medical students and residents looking to get published.
The publishing process can be rigorous, but it is designed to create the best possible product.
“We are trying to get our work out there and we are trying to do it through academic publishing, but that also really means trying to unwed your ego from the actual review process and from the eventual rejection process,” said AMA member Carl G. Streed Jr., MD, a clinician investigator at Boston Medical Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. “Because you will face a number of rejections as you are trying to get published. So really trying not to have that be a hit to your personal sense of self is really important.
“Those reviews, more often than not, provide valuable feedback that allows you to improve work and have the largest impact possible.”
There’s a formula for creating an effective research paper. To get the basics of it, Karyne Vinales, MD, recommended consulting an article published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, “How to write a scientific masterpiece.” The article was originally published in 2007 and updated in 2019.
“One of the things that resonated with me [from the article] was during the abstract and introduction you should speak about what is known of the literature in the present and what you found in the past,” said Dr. Vinales, associate program director for the endocrinology fellowship at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. “Really, it offers so many little details. It gives you advice to construct the article in a way that will make it easier to get published if you follow some of those tips “
Find out how you can make your poster presentation stand out at a conference.
Proofread everything. Then proofread it again. Then find somebody else to give it a proofread.
“There are things in the way science is written that differ from the way English is spoken,” said AMA member Ricardo Correa, MD, program director for endocrinology and director for diversity on GME at University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix. “So, if you have an opportunity to have a reviewer, like a librarian, that’s a very good opportunity. From a reviewer’s standpoint, the worst thing you can read is a paper that doesn’t make sense.”
Find out more about how to get published in medical school and boost your CV.
When it comes time to submit your article, know which publications you are targeting and their readership.
“You need to figure out who is your target audience and what are the journals you are aiming for and read those journals,” he said. “As a reviewer, I can’t say the number of times I get an article that is a good article, but the people who have written the article clearly haven’t read and don’t know the journal.”