Memo from the Editor: Write on!

March 7, 2003

Winners of our 2002 Doctors' Writing Contest

 

Memo From The Editor

Write on!

Marianne Dekker Mattera

For eight months last year, we invited you to enter our 2002 Doctors' Writing Contest—Grand Prize, a vacation worth up to $6,000, you choose the spot. More than 250 physicians submitted more than 300 manuscripts. More than half of the authors had never written anything for us before.

Antonio J. Dajer, a emergency physician from New York City was one of those first-time entrants. He's also the Grand Prize winner. His warm, dramatic, and well-told story ("What do we steal") is not only touching, but presents a dilemma many doctors must face and presents it in language that's just beautifully descriptive. See what the winner looks like.

The big prize wasn't the only one we offered. Because we are the sort of magazine we are, we wanted to encourage readers to share their "smarter business" strategies with their colleagues. So we offered a $3,000 award for the Best Practice Solution. You've already read the winner in that category, "We're not leaving $250,000 on the table anymore," in our Sept. 9, 2002 issue. The author, Ohio internist Scott P. Rigby, followed his winning piece, which detailed how to set fees to maximize reimbursements, with this month's bold tale, "We fired our biggest payer."

Another group of writers we'd like to encourage are those new to practice. A truly gifted writer, John A. Vaughn, also from Ohio, wins the Young Doctor Award—for the second year in a row! His story, "My longest year" is not a happy one, but it's one that—sadly—too many of you may recognize. I hope you'll also recognize, as Dr. Vaughn did, that a calling to medicine will express itself differently in different eras.

Although we offered just three prizes in the competition, we tapped other doctors for Honorable Mention this year. Pratik S. Pradhan, an otolaryngologist in West Roxbury, MA, and Charles P. Vega, an FP in Orange, CA, will each receive a generous gift certificate. Check out Dr. Pradhan's "Faster, cheaper transcription" and Dr. Vega's "My first inclination was to hit him in the mouth."

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. You'll find the details here and immediately following the articles by Antonio Dajer and John Vaughn. Read two winners, then figure out how to be one yourself!

Write in? Right on!

 

Marianne Mattera. Memo from the Editor: Write on!. Medical Economics Mar. 7, 2003;80:8.