The art of writing has been diminishing in the medical community. Sadly, medical professionals and students are tied up in their hectic lifestyle, and find little time for any literary activity.

JPMS International Medical Writing Contest 2012, aimed to promote the writing culture in the medical professionals. The event was well participated by professionals from more than 10 countries. It received much popularity in the Indian Sub-continent particularly.

A total of 142 submissions were made after the event announcement which was made on May 20, 2012. The deadline for the submissions was set to be August 15, 2012, which was later extended to September 20, 2012. More than 80 articles were published. The winners of the event are yet to be announced in the coming six weeks.

It is worth mentioning that the co-Chairs included two medical doctors from India and Pakistan. Dr. Soumyadeep Bhaumik, from Kolkata, India and Dr. Sidra Ishaque from Aga Khan University, Pakistan. A team of editors worked professionally over the entire period to make sure that the quality articles were published without any bias.

“Medical Writing has some various niche concerns not present in any other field. Concerns about patient confidentiality, ethical issue, putting proper references and plagiarism are things which need to be taken care of when writing about medical issues. It is this neglected aspects of medical writing that we intend to generate awareness on. The contest is just a small step towards it”, said Dr. Soumyadeep Bhaumik, Chair of the contest. “Through the submissions , including the ones we have rejected we have identified the problems in medical writing scenario in the Indian sub-continent. A lot needs to be done to improve medical writing”, add Dr. Sidra Ishaque, the co-Chair of the event.

The event was organized by Drs., Anis Rehman and Haris Riaz, founders and Chief Editors of Journal of Pakistan Medical Students (JPMS). JPMS supported the event financially, and it was organized from the platform of JPMS Medical Blogs. Meanwhile, the online publishing technical assistance was provided by Medicalopedia.

While speaking to Medicalopedia, Anis Rehman, MD., said, “It is very important that doctors should write and put forward their views and share their experiences. I see many colleagues who are not into writing and it persuaded me to organize an event to encourage the writing culture.”

“It is unfortunate to learn that there is no reliable medical blog from the Indian Sub-continent which is publishing articles pertaining to reliable medical information for both the medical professionals and the general public. I believe that JPMS Medical Blogs will fill up this gap”, he added.

The contest covered the following themes:

  1. Challenges in Global and Public Health
  2. Future of Medicine
  3. Classic Papers in Medicine Literature
  4. Medics and Print/Electronic Media
  5. Social Media and Doctors
  6. Medical Education
  7. Evidence Based Medicine
  8. Learning from Medical Errors
  9. Becoming Better Doctors
  10. Lifestyle of a Doctor

“The themes were very balanced and the authors had the opportunity to focus on not only the scientific content, but also highlight their personal and professional experiences”, Dr. Haris Riaz said.

Abdul Nafey Kazi, the Managing Editor, talking to Medicalopedia, highlighted the jury of the contest. He said, “The jury members of the event included renowned scholars from top-most universities of the world. It included, Asim A. Shah, MD from, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA, Muhammad Amer, MD from Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA, Vasumathi Sriganesh, MLIS from Quality Medical (QMed) Knowledge Foundation, Mumbai, India and Dr Kulsoom Ghias, PhD from, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.”

“Addition of such renowned scholars, added credibility to this international event”, Dr Rehman added.