Many journals offer authors the option of submitting personal essays or perspectives related to the teaching, learning or practicing of medicine. MEDLINE/PubMed has a search filter to search for these types of works indexed in MEDLINE: “Personal Narrative.” Personal Narratives are works authored by physicians, investigators and students that reflect upon personal experiences in medicine ranging from caring for critically ill patients, fatigue, lessons learned as a resident, working in underserved communities, and other inspiring personal vignettes that touch upon the practice of medicine.
Below are journals currently indexed in MEDLINE that publish personal narrative works.
|Teaching and Learning Moments (TLM)
|TLMs vary in style and subject but must be first-person, narrative essays. Essays should be no more than 600 words and must fit on one journal page.
|There are several categories of Features ranging from Perspectives and Poetry and Creative Works.
|Annals of Family Medicine
|Essays are reflections from clinicians, patients, families, communities, and policymakers.
|Annals of Global Health
|Viewpoints may be submitted independently of original research manuscripts without prior invitation. Prior consultation with the editors may facilitate preparation of Viewpoints.
|Annals of Internal Medicine
|On Being a Doctor
|On Being a Doctor are short personal essays about the experience of being a physician.
|British Medical Journal (BMJ)
|Personal Views are compelling commentaries that appeal to the international readership of practicing doctors. BMJ also publishes opinion pieces authored by patients.
|Narrative essays published in Family Medicine should be stories (or poems) from clinical practice or from the educational setting and may be submitted by teachers, learners, patients, or health professionals.
|Narrative Matters features personal stories about experiences with the health care system and the people in it using the power of literary nonfiction to highlight an important public policy issue.
|Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
|Old Lives Tales
|Old Lives Tales are stories, experiences, or incidences which have instructed, saddened or gladdened us as physicians and, above all, taught us something about the care of the older adult.
|Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
|A Piece of My Mind
|A Piece of My Mind are personal vignettes (e.g., exploring the dynamics of the patient-physician relationship) taken from wide-ranging experiences in medicine; occasional pieces express views and opinions on the myriad issues that affect the profession.
|Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
|Heroes and Great Ideas
|Heroes and Great Ideas is a space for telling the stories of people and initiatives that have worked successfully to improve life in medically underserved communities. Styles adopted vary widely and include traditional biographical or historical accounts, essays, and narratives. Word limit of 2,000 words.
|Journal of General Internal Medicine
|Materia Medical or The Spark
|Materia Medica are well-crafted and engaging personal narratives, essays, or short stories of up to 1000 words or poetry of up to 40 lines. Works should tell a story that informs and illuminates the practice and teaching of medicine. The Spark is a new column that features stories of powerful patient experiences that have influenced non-clinical career work such as research, advocacy, or policy.
|Journal of Graduate Medical Education
|On Teaching are personal essays or reflections that speak to the experience of teaching, learning, or related topics, and that will be of interest to multiple specialties. Submissions are limited to 1,200 words. Both educators and learners are encouraged to submit articles for this category.
|Short Communications focus on matters of topical interest or work in progress. Word count includes title page, notes on contributors, summary, text, references and one small table (optional).
|Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics
|Narrative Education Reports
|NIB publishes reports on educational programs with health professionals that integrate narrative writing, journaling, or narratives by patients, participants, or caregivers. Articles may be written as case studies describing and evaluating the implementation of educational programs or as outcomes research studies using qualitative or mixed methods.
|New England Journal of Medicine
|Perspectives cover timely, relevant topics in health care and medicine in a brief, accessible style.
|Postgraduate Medical Journal
|Fillers are summaries of around 250 words that provide light, informative reading. Subjects might include favorite books and music, self-help groups, life defining moments, memorable patients, historical events and anniversaries.
|Rural Remote Health
|The Journal welcomes Personal Views related to the field of Rural and Remote Health. There are six regional sections: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Latin America and North America.
|Perspectives are often commissioned, but suggestions for contributions are welcome via firstname.lastname@example.org.
|The Lancet Psychiatry
|The Lancet Psychiatry encourages the submission of Essays. These should be up to 2000 words in descriptive prose, and can be on any topic related to psychiatry to shine light on a neglected area or highlight an inspirational experience.
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