Trying to break in to the medical and healthcare writing space, but don’t know where to submit, particularly if you are not a physician-scientist and/or are seeking to publish material that is not research-based? Here are five publications that accept many other kinds of healthcare-oriented submissions.
1. Annals of Internal Medicine
The Annals of Internal Medicine is the premier publication of the American College of Physicians (ACP), with a readership of more than 154,000 and a worldwide circulation. In addition to clinical research articles and position papers, Annals features several sections of non-research articles, often covering areas of the medical humanities that would be of interest to their physician readership.
These non-research sections include those as diverse as the “History of Medicine” section; “Ad Libitum,” the poetry section; a “Graphic Narratives/Comics” section; and the “On Being a Patient” section (with a counterpart for physician authors, “On Being a Doctor”). Other sections open to submissions include spaces for articles related to health economics, ethics, and the political environment as it pertains to medicine. A full list of article types and how to submit can be found at https://annals.org/aim/pages/authors.
2. The British Medical Journal
Widely read by a global audience and highly respected, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) accepts “Personal Views” and “BMJ Opinion” pieces by both physician and non-physician authors.
The BMJ describes “Personal Views” articles as “highly readable and compelling commentaries that appeal to our international readership of practising doctors.” They also publish opinion pieces by patients.
The “BMJ Opinion” section features “comment and opinion blogs about medicine, healthcare and publishing”; this is an online site that publishes content submitted by the BMJ’s “international community of readers, authors, patients, and editors.”
3. Health Affairs
Health Affairs describes itself as “the leading journal of health policy thought and research,” and focuses on exploring “health policy issues of current concern in domestic and international spheres.” The journal has a broad, worldwide audience that includes leaders in government and in the health industry, health policy scholars, healthcare advocates, and many others, including members of the media, who frequently cite the journal.
Health Affairs welcomes submissions on a variety of topics related to domestic and global health policy, including blog posts, briefs, feature articles, and more. Future theme issues are announced in advance, with corresponding requests for abstracts.
4. Journal of the American Medical Association
In publication since 1883, the Journal of the American Medical Association, affectionately known to all in medicine as JAMA, reaches a worldwide audience of physicians, researchers, other health professionals, policy makers, journalists, librarians, and anyone else interested in medicine and public health.
While JAMA is well known for publishing peer-reviewed clinical research articles in both its flagship journal and throughout its network of subspecialty journals, it also has several sections that accept non-research submissions. These include the “Viewpoint” section, a poetry section, the “Arts and Medicine” section, and “A Piece of My Mind” (personal vignettes, usually by physician authors, that often explore aspects of the patient-physician relationship).
5. AMWA Journal
The AMWA Journal is the journal of the American Medical Writers Association, and is a nationally-circulated publication that “aims to be the authoritative, comprehensive source of information about knowledge, skills, and opportunities in the field of medical communication worldwide.”
The AMWA Journal encourages submissions, and though manuscripts reporting original research in the field of medical communications are given high priority, the journal has several other sections and features, including “Topical Features,” a “Science Series,” “Around the Career Block,” “Media Reviews,” and much more. Anyone looking to break into the medical writing space should read the journal itself for valuable career-related insights, and check out the many ways to become a journal contributor.
Dr. Yasmine S. Ali is a cardiologist and award-winning writer who has published in multiple genres and is currently completing a medically-themed novel with international appeal. She is President of LastSky Writing, LLC, which offers a wide array of services to aspiring physician authors and to those in need of medical writing expertise.