John Conley Ethics Essay Contest for Medical Students

Established by the John Conley Foundation for Ethics and Philosophy in Medicine, this annual essay contest was administered by the Journal of the American Medical Association until 2004, and since then by the AMA Journal of Ethics.

Each spring, a question in ethics and professionalism is posed as the topic for the contest. Essays are judged on clarity of writing, responsiveness to questions posed in the essay prompt, and applicability to decisions presented in the case. Authors of the best essay in each of two categories (medical student or resident/fellow) receives a $3,000 winning prize and two honorable mention winners in each category receive $1,000. Authors of winning essays must be willing, if needed, to revise their essays at the request of AMA Journal of Ethics editorial staff in order to have their work published in the journal.

Currently enrolled US medical students (MD and DO), resident physicians or fellows are eligible to submit essays for consideration. Essays must not have been previously published in print or electronic format and must not have been submitted to any other publication.


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