And the Award goes to...

April 8, 2005

Meet the winners of our 2004 contest.

It may not have the cachet of an Oscar or an Emmy awards show, but we consider the announcement of the winners of our 2004 Doctors' Writing Contest to be just as big an occasion. For seven months last year, we invited you to enter the competition-Grand Prize, a vacation worth up to $6,000, anywhere in the world. More than 160 doctors submitted 202 entries-23 of them submitted more than one; 36 had never written for us before.

R. David Lee, an FP from Stanley, VA, was one of those first-time writers. He's also the Grand Prize winner. His anguished story of a harrowing, unsuccessful attempt to save a two-week-old infant and the effect it had on his faith appears in this issue ( http://www.memag.com/memag/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=154642). It brought tears to the eyes of more than one hard-bitten editor on staff. His is a powerful story, beautifully told. We believe that many of you have been confronted by similar challenges to your religious beliefs, but may have been reluctant to share them with your colleagues. Perhaps Dr. Lee's experiences will at least let you know that others suffer the same doubts, fears, and losses that you do, and that you can reach a place of peace on the other side of the ordeal.

Cynthia M. Troiano is the winner of our $3,000 Best Practice Solution award. You've already read her winning entry, "My 3-step hiring test," in our July 23, 2004 issue ( http://www.memag.com/memag/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=108997). She presented clearly and concisely the approach she uses to get the best applicants she can to staff her family practice in Columbia, IL. Dr. Troiano presented information that every doctor needs, in such detail that the reader need go no further: You got the questions, the best answers, and just what those answers will tell you about a job applicant, and it was all put together with an eye toward saving the busy doctor's time.

Antoinette Cheney is the winner of this year's $2,000 Young Doctor award. You'll read this Highlands Ranch, CO, family physician's winning entry in the May 6 issue. Dr. Cheney's had more than her share of opportunities to observe the doctor-patient relationship from the other side of the stethoscope in recent years, both as patient and as the mother of patients. She says she's learned a lot about how she wants to run her own practice from those encounters and she's written those lessons down in case others might find them useful.

Although we offer only three prizes in the writing contest, deciding who'll get them is always difficult, and some pieces are just too good to go unrecognized. So this year, as last, we've chosen three doctors to whom we give Honorable Mention-and a monetary token of recognition.

Harold S. Jenkins, an FP who's board-certified in emergency medicine, told a gripping tale of a late-night, operating-at-full-tilt emergency that vied with Dr. Lee's manuscript for Grand Prize winner. There's a message in it for every middle-aged doctor who's wondered "what am I doing here?" and you'll be able to read it in the May 20 issue.

Arthur Rein gets Honorable Mention in the Best Practice Solution category for an article that explores a compensation alternative for a doctor who's past his first-year salary guarantee but isn't quite ready to make a go of it strictly on productivity. You can read it in the April 22 issue. You read internist Rein's other submission, "Gen X vs Boomer: A call schedule solution," in our Nov. 5, 2004 issue ( http://www.memag.com/memag/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=130918).