CHICAGO — To better feature the central role of ethics in medicine amid the rapid rate of change in health care, the American Medical Association (AMA) has updated the name and design of its online ethics journal.

For the past 15 years, Virtual Mentor has been committed to helping students, residents and physicians explore and address the ethical challenges emerging from new medical technologies, changing patient expectations, and shifting public priorities. Beginning February 1, Virtual Mentor will be known as the AMA Journal of Ethics ( to better reflect the journal's subject matter and publishing roots.

"While our name will be different, the editorial mission of our journal remains unchanged," said Audiey C. Kao, M.D., Ph.D., editor in chief of the AMA Journal of Ethics. "We are committed to helping students and physicians make better, more ethical decisions when confronted with challenging circumstances during the everyday course of their professional lives."

The name change comes with a refreshed website featuring easily accessible expert commentaries and review articles that offer practical guidance and foster professional reflection on timely ethical issues in health care. With the click of a button, readers can receive email alerts, share their opinions via ethics polls, and listen to podcasts on timely ethical issues.

Each monthly issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics focuses on a theme selected by a medical student or resident physician who serves as issue editor. Themes that will be addressed in upcoming issues include: the culture of medicine, treatment of autism, professional boundaries, health reform and patient care. Medical students and physicians can also engage with the Journal by submitting manuscripts for peer review.

The MEDLINE-indexed AMA Journal of Ethics is advertisement-free and open-access, in line with the belief that ethics education for physicians and physicians-to-be is in the public's interest and should be made available without charge. As an editorially independent publication, the Journal freely explores issues and viewpoints that do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.

Watch for more on the new AMA Journal of Ethics at AMA Wire, or subscribe to receive email alerts about each monthly issue.

Media Contact:

Robert J. Mills

ph: (312) 464-5970

[email protected]

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.