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    Hi,

    I'm in year 12 and have been asked to write a 500 word ish article for my school's medical journal- it's to pick who is going to be the new editor for this out of about 6 people. I can do it on basically any topic I like associated with medicine. The problem is, I've left it a bit late (which is completely my own fault as I thought it would be easy to pick a topic and write) and I have no idea what to write about or where to get information from.

    I love lots of different parts of medicine, especially to do with ethics, but with a looming deadline I'm not sure how to cut it down. I've narrowed it down to a few options:
    Genetic engineering (crispr etc. and the ethics surrounding it)
    Euthanasia (e.g. what does it mean to be alive? what should we be concerned about in end of life decisions?)
    Medicine and the arts (e.g. during NCS I made a mosaic table for blind children to help them bring their hands down to read braille, the importance of portraying medicine within art, why medicine is an art etc. (i'm not really sure either, but could be a bit different))
    Placebos (I'm not sure of the specifics on this one, maybe just on why placebos work and their ethics??)

    Does anybody have any other suggestions or advice? I want to make this really interesting.

    Thanks!
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    (Original post by niamh787)
    Hi,

    I'm in year 12 and have been asked to write a 500 word ish article for my school's medical journal- it's to pick who is going to be the new editor for this out of about 6 people. I can do it on basically any topic I like associated with medicine. The problem is, I've left it a bit late (which is completely my own fault as I thought it would be easy to pick a topic and write) and I have no idea what to write about or where to get information from.

    I love lots of different parts of medicine, especially to do with ethics, but with a looming deadline I'm not sure how to cut it down. I've narrowed it down to a few options:
    Genetic engineering (crispr etc. and the ethics surrounding it)
    Euthanasia (e.g. what does it mean to be alive? what should we be concerned about in end of life decisions?)
    Medicine and the arts (e.g. during NCS I made a mosaic table for blind children to help them bring their hands down to read braille, the importance of portraying medicine within art, why medicine is an art etc. (i'm not really sure either, but could be a bit different))
    Placebos (I'm not sure of the specifics on this one, maybe just on why placebos work and their ethics??)

    Does anybody have any other suggestions or advice? I want to make this really interesting.

    Thanks!
    You're going to struggle to say much of anything about those big topics, in just 500 words.

    What about "should we still be so keen to do medicine" given Hunt and his crusade to destroy the NHS and its staff.
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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    You're going to struggle to say much of anything about those big topics, in just 500 words.

    What about "should we still be so keen to do medicine" given Hunt and his crusade to destroy the NHS and its staff.
    That is a very good idea, actually.

    So you think it's too ambitious to do it on any of those- what if I zoomed in on something more specific within the topics? The only thing is, whilst I do like your suggestion, I'm wondering if a bigger, ethical topic I am more interested in will give a better first impression than the more political side of medicine.
    What do you think?
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    (Original post by niamh787)
    That is a very good idea, actually.

    So you think it's too ambitious to do it on any of those- what if I zoomed in on something more specific within the topics? The only thing is, whilst I do like your suggestion, I'm wondering if a bigger, ethical topic I am more interested in will give a better first impression than the more political side of medicine.
    What do you think?
    I mean it is up to you. But 500 words isn't a lot. And those topics aren't exactly new (and have probably been covered a lot). I do think something more current is likely to fare you better. What about rationing in the NHS? Should we have a BMI target for routine ops? Etc.
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    If i were you I wouldn't necessarily go for something ethnic based, I'd go for something actually medical related but not so obvious. So a prime example would be to speak about a medical condition that isn't that well known and maybe not enough research is done for. If it was me I think I'd pick IIH, probably because as a student you have a lot of headaches, right?They begin to almost become part of you and you tend to not notice or just think its normal, whereas it could be a genuine condition, or even New persistent headaches I think its called. I'd talk more about conditions simply to raise awareness because sometimes people forget that not everything is obvious and you don't need to be at deaths door for it to be serious. Especially in young people, you don't necessarily know if its normal or not. I rambled a lot then so not entirely sure what does and doesn't make sense ahah
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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    I mean it is up to you. But 500 words isn't a lot. And those topics aren't exactly new (and have probably been covered a lot). I do think something more current is likely to fare you better. What about rationing in the NHS? Should we have a BMI target for routine ops? Etc.
    Yeah, I think they are a bit cliche looking over them. Especially genetic engineering, which is something I'm probably only interested in because I've heard so much about it.
    The thing is, although I'll look into it, I'm not sure if politics is going to be something that will give me a good article. My style of writing tends to be quite... haha I'm not sure how to put it but it's not really the kind that would do political journalism any justice. I prefer topics more associated with people receiving treatment or treatment itself and my writing style (for whatever reason) suits this more- do you have any ideas like that?

    I was thinking about researching current non-scientific treatments and talking about whether this is harmful or if culture should be respected, as I feel like this could suit me in talking about who is being affected and the specific treatments but it could also have that more current aspect to it. However, is this just another cliche topic?

    Thanks so much, by the way.
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    (Original post by emilyyytaylorr)
    If i were you I wouldn't necessarily go for something ethnic based, I'd go for something actually medical related but not so obvious. So a prime example would be to speak about a medical condition that isn't that well known and maybe not enough research is done for. If it was me I think I'd pick IIH, probably because as a student you have a lot of headaches, right?They begin to almost become part of you and you tend to not notice or just think its normal, whereas it could be a genuine condition, or even New persistent headaches I think its called. I'd talk more about conditions simply to raise awareness because sometimes people forget that not everything is obvious and you don't need to be at deaths door for it to be serious. Especially in young people, you don't necessarily know if its normal or not. I rambled a lot then so not entirely sure what does and doesn't make sense ahah
    You made perfect sense, thanks so much for your reply.

    I see where you're coming from. In my school's medical journal they actually have a few separate sections: news, ethics, interests in medicine and applying for medical school. I'm not too clued up on the last one and I feel like everything in the news section to do with politics has been covered to death in the articles- it's also something I'm not sure about writing a first article on..
    So what you're describing would come under interests in medicine and I now basically have to choose between going for something like you said or something that would include more evaluation etc. under ethics. I like these two pretty much equally, but I'm just thinking: will the other applicants go for something more like this, which doesn't cover much evaluation and is just a simple article spreading awareness? Do you think evaluation would help with writing a more compelling first article rather than just information or is simple better?

    Thanks ! :-)
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    (Original post by niamh787)
    You made perfect sense, thanks so much for your reply.

    I see where you're coming from. In my school's medical journal they actually have a few separate sections: news, ethics, interests in medicine and applying for medical school. I'm not too clued up on the last one and I feel like everything in the news section to do with politics has been covered to death in the articles- it's also something I'm not sure about writing a first article on..
    So what you're describing would come under interests in medicine and I now basically have to choose between going for something like you said or something that would include more evaluation etc. under ethics. I like these two pretty much equally, but I'm just thinking: will the other applicants go for something more like this, which doesn't cover much evaluation and is just a simple article spreading awareness? Do you think evaluation would help with writing a more compelling first article rather than just information or is simple better?

    Thanks ! :-)
    As a reader I'd personally feel more interested towards medicine itself simply because it's interesting whereas ethnic wise I feel like you have to have an interest in medicine to understand, well personally thats how I feel. In all fairness other candidates may go for raising awareness as it's simple but they may go for the ethnical approach as they feel that others will go simple. I think it comes down to how you word it more than anything else, you can talk about the most interesting thing ever but if you word it poorly and don't make it inviting then it's not going to do well. Make yours stand out and use the thesaurus and look at other researches that others have done, but make sure it's interesting because thats what will make you win, not necessarily the originality
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    (Original post by niamh787)
    Yeah, I think they are a bit cliche looking over them. Especially genetic engineering, which is something I'm probably only interested in because I've heard so much about it.
    The thing is, although I'll look into it, I'm not sure if politics is going to be something that will give me a good article. My style of writing tends to be quite... haha I'm not sure how to put it but it's not really the kind that would do political journalism any justice. I prefer topics more associated with people receiving treatment or treatment itself and my writing style (for whatever reason) suits this more- do you have any ideas like that?

    I was thinking about researching current non-scientific treatments and talking about whether this is harmful or if culture should be respected, as I feel like this could suit me in talking about who is being affected and the specific treatments but it could also have that more current aspect to it. However, is this just another cliche topic?

    Thanks so much, by the way.
    It doesn’t have to be political. Back to my first suggestion, how much do you have to want to do medicine to up with an increasingly difficult situation? Is wanting to do good, good enough? At what point do you let ‘selfish desires’ such as a work life balance or fair remuneration, outweigh the more ‘noble’ side of medicine.
    15 years ago everyone would recommend medicine. I think most medics would now advise some caution before signing up
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    (Original post by ForestCat)
    It doesn’t have to be political. Back to my first suggestion, how much do you have to want to do medicine to up with an increasingly difficult situation? Is wanting to do good, good enough? At what point do you let ‘selfish desires’ such as a work life balance or fair remuneration, outweigh the more ‘noble’ side of medicine.
    15 years ago everyone would recommend medicine. I think most medics would now advise some caution before signing up
    Ok, I actually love that topic in the way you have described it. I could be deep whilst also being pretty straightforward,
    I think I'm going to do the starting paragraph/ first 100 words for a couple of topics (I have until friday) including that one and see how they go.
    Thanks a lot !!! Especially if I end up stealing that idea
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    (Original post by emilyyytaylorr)
    As a reader I'd personally feel more interested towards medicine itself simply because it's interesting whereas ethnic wise I feel like you have to have an interest in medicine to understand, well personally thats how I feel. In all fairness other candidates may go for raising awareness as it's simple but they may go for the ethnical approach as they feel that others will go simple. I think it comes down to how you word it more than anything else, you can talk about the most interesting thing ever but if you word it poorly and don't make it inviting then it's not going to do well. Make yours stand out and use the thesaurus and look at other researches that others have done, but make sure it's interesting because thats what will make you win, not necessarily the originality
    Your last bit is completely true- I guess in that sense the topic doesn't really matter. A big topic like my original suggestions could even seem convoluted to the point that it's as if I'm trying to compensate for something else in my writing.
    I'm going to start writing a couple of ideas, both with ethics and interests in medicine, and see which sound best, thinking about where each of them will go.
    Thanks a lot for your help ! ~
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    (Original post by niamh787)
    Your last bit is completely true- I guess in that sense the topic doesn't really matter. A big topic like my original suggestions could even seem convoluted to the point that it's as if I'm trying to compensate for something else in my writing.
    I'm going to start writing a couple of ideas, both with ethics and interests in medicine, and see which sound best, thinking about where each of them will go.
    Thanks a lot for your help ! ~
    You're very welcome and hope you do well! Let others have a read as well because better to get a 2nd or 3rd or even 20th opinion ahah
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    You could do one about not taking research at face value, eg. If a trial says aspirin is the new wonder drug for psoriasis yet the trial was done on 15 people who had mild psoriasis and went on holiday in the sun regularly lol.

    Actually the one I would do is the conflict of correct medical advice and media, focusing on the daily mail and their declarations of medicial advice which is usually wrong and/or manipulation of recent research. Enforce the advise of going to the information from the source, not the summary from a non-medical journalist.

    As an example, I was doing a presentation on sepsis in primary care and decided to google “symptoms of sepsis” to see what advice what people got when they googled. Well, it was funny and certainly made my colleagues laugh - But is a real example of what poor advice media gives!
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    (Original post by ahorey)
    You could do one about not taking research at face value, eg. If a trial says aspirin is the new wonder drug for psoriasis yet the trial was done on 15 people who had mild psoriasis and went on holiday in the sun regularly lol.

    Actually the one I would do is the conflict of correct medical advice and media, focusing on the daily mail and their declarations of medicial advice which is usually wrong and/or manipulation of recent research. Enforce the advise of going to the information from the source, not the summary from a non-medical journalist.

    As an example, I was doing a presentation on sepsis in primary care and decided to google “symptoms of sepsis” to see what advice what people got when they googled. Well, it was funny and certainly made my colleagues laugh - But is a real example of what poor advice media gives!
    Ahh, there are so many good ideas. I will look into this; thank you !
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    If i were doing it i would probably pick the dire lack of research that happens in the NHS despite it being the perfect, joined up setting to do massive trials. There are so many super common questions that doctors come across every single day up and down the UK, but absolutely no one has done a trial to find out what the best plan is. This is mainly due to inadequate information systems and the huge weight of bureaucracy. Information systems is a vital, if perhaps dry. topic.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    If i were doing it i would probably pick the dire lack of research that happens in the NHS despite it being the perfect, joined up setting to do massive trials. There are so many super common questions that doctors come across every single day up and down the UK, but absolutely no one has done a trial to find out what the best plan is. This is mainly due to inadequate information systems and the huge weight of bureaucracy. Information systems is a vital, if perhaps dry. topic.
    Bit much for a school medical journal, and a editorial campaign at that lol
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    You could pick up a current topic from radio 4's Inside Health programme - the old broadcasts are archived as podcasts.
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    (Original post by ahorey)
    Bit much for a school medical journal, and a editorial campaign at that lol
    You'd do a comparison with how other countries do it or something. An interest piece about how it can be so different country to country. I'm pretty sure we are one of the last Western countries to still use paper notes in medicine, for instance.

    But yes I think we are all expecting too much effort to be put into this!
 
 
 
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