2020 MacDermot writing prize winners

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 63, No. 4, May 2021, Page 180 News
Jillian Lin Paige Dean
Jillian Lin Paige Dean

The 2020 J.H. MacDermot Prize for Excellence in Medical Journalism: Best article or essay was awarded to Jillian Lin for her article “Palliative care and legacy creation” [BCMJ 2020;62:292-293].

Jillian would like to thank both Betty and her late aunt, who inspired the article, as well as Dr Pippa Hawley for providing guidance on the Legacy Project. Jillian wrote this article as a second-year UBC medical student. She is now a third-year student going through clinical core rotations in the Vancouver-Fraser region. As she goes through her clinical rotations, she continues to learn from patient encounters and feels fortunate to be involved in caring for another person’s well-being. Jillian aspires to be a resident physician in Canada when she graduates in 2022. She is excited for the years to come and curious about what kind of physician she will become. Her professional interests are broad but consistently include youth and children’s health, mental health, social medicine, and palliative care.

The 2020 J.H. MacDermot Prize for Excellence in Blog Writing: Best blog post was awarded to Paige Dean for her post “Stay informed, stay safe: How to handle everyday activities during the COVID-19 pandemic” [BCMJ.org, 28 June 2020].

Paige is in her final year of medical school at UBC and feels fortunate to have spent the past 4 years training in beautiful British Columbia, a place she proudly calls home. Although the past year has brought many changes, she found great fulfillment by participating in this project (Practical solutions for COVID-19 challenges), which helped her navigate the uncertainty brought about by COVID-19. Paige hopes to spend her career providing holistic medicine as either a pediatrician or a family doctor. Outside of medicine, Paige is an avid runner, enjoys exploring the great outdoors by hiking and skiing, and looks forward to the return of live music and theatre performances so that she may continue to indulge her passion for the arts.

The winning article and blog post were selected by BC physician and regular contributor to the BCMJ, Dr George Szasz, in lieu of the Editorial Board. An Editorial Board member had competing interests with several of the eligible articles; therefore, the Board elected to defer to an external judge to ensure an impartial result.

Dr Szasz found the candidates’ work to be excellent, clever, and sometimes even touching. Each article was informative, interesting, and wildly varied in content, while the blog posts were short, focused, and written in a conversational manner, making it a difficult task to choose a first among equals. In the end, Dr Szasz found Jillian Lin’s essay to represent the most significant achievement in medical writing. He was grabbed by her touching presentation about a medical student’s journey in understanding death, and the description of her halting and fearful approach to death and her evolving courage to be involved with dying people. In the blog writers’ group, Paige Dean’s post resonated for Dr Szasz. He felt her fear of inadequacy and insecurity when trying to offer factual health information to patients, and her description of how she gained confidence made for a realistic blog post.

Congratulations to all authors. BC medical students are encouraged to submit full-length scientific articles and essays for publication consideration. Each year the BCMJ awards a prize of $1000 for the best article or essay written by a medical student in BC, and may award a prize of $250 twice per year to the writer of the best blog post accepted for online publication in the preceding 6 months. For more information about the prizes, visit www.bcmj.org/submit-article-award.

. 2020 MacDermot writing prize winners. BCMJ, Vol. 63, No. 4, May, 2021, Page(s) 180 - News.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

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