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Memo from the Editor: And the winner is . . .


2001 Doctors' Writing Contest


Memo From The Editor

And the winner is . . .

Marianne Dekker Mattera

About six months ago, I urged you to enter our 2001 Doctors' Writing Contest. Well, lots of you did. We received 321 manuscripts last year from 288 physicians—all of them eligible to win the Grand Prize vacation getaway valued at $9,000.

Brent G. Greenberg did win it. A family physician from Escondido, CA, Greenberg told us of a harrowing experience that gave him—when he was a rather full-of-himself newbie—a whole new perspective on a colleague's skills. I don't want to give away too much of the story here, because you can read his tale, "The day I learned how to be a doctor," in this issue.

Newbies aren't the only ones who can learn things, though. Our second-prize winner, L. W. Ghormley, is a 75-year-old general surgeon in Blackwell, OK. Anyone who read his story "Retire? Not likely!" in our Oct. 8 issue knows that Ghormley is not living by anyone else's rules. But in the manuscript that won him the $4,000 second prize, Ghormley explains the evolution of a hate-love relationship with Medicare.

Third prize ($2,000) goes to internist Brian S. Jacobs of Indianapolis for a piece that relates his decision to open a solo practice right out of residency. It took guts—no one thought he could do it—but, two years and a lot of out-of-the-box, seat-of-the-pants, Hyundai-not-Lexus tactics later, he's making a go of it. You'll read his story in the April 12 issue.

Brent Greenberg and Brian Jacobs would both have qualified for the special $2,000 award we reserved for a physician who's been in practice for no more than five years, but we gave that prize to John A. Vaughn, just out of residency and working in a family practice in Columbus, OH. Vaughn could have become a writer instead of a doctor. His entry is not only a powerful story but one that's told with a grace and style I don't always see from professionals. If the patient whose story he relates touched him, his telling of it will touch you. Look for it in May or June.

We tapped three other doctors for Honorable Mention in the competition this year. Christie Murphy, in family practice in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, William T. Sheahan, a family physician in Winter Park, FL, and Robert M. Biter, an ob/gyn in Harrisburg, PA, will each receive a generous gift certificate.

We congratulate the prize winners for their efforts; we thank them and all the doctors who entered the contest for being willing to share their experiences with their colleagues. We urge you to do the same. A new writing contest begins today. Read a winner, then figure out how to be one yourself!


Marianne Mattera. Memo from the Editor: And the winner is . . .. Medical Economics 2002;5:7.

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