Getting Published — a “Junior’s” Perspective

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The newly published, Dr. Dawn Thompson

A regular contributor to this blog is Dawn Thompson, who most recently wrote a very well-received post on gender and our profession of sports medicine.  She is a Sports Medicine physician in training and one of our Junior Associate Editors.

I had several CJSM tasks for the day, including preparation for an upcoming podcast with Dr. Lyle Micheli and doing some CJSM peer review, and so I was delighted to find Dawn was ready and able to volunteer her time to share with us this post, penned shortly after her success of having her first manuscript accepted for publication.  Congratulations Dawn:  keep the publications (and the blog posts) coming!

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Dawn Thomposon

Yes! I can finally say I have a genuine original article published in my name! More than 2 years in the making and I have to say it has been a fairly frustrating experience! However, thanks to good colleagues and perseverance we have got there.

Back in April 2016, CJSM wrote a blog post following the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine conference on getting published and peer review. This blog provides some excellent further resources, however for those new to the world of research and getting published, here are my top 10 hints and tips to try to make it slightly less of a frustrating experience!

  1. Choose something you are passionate about – you will be devoting a significant amount of time to this topic!
  2. Choose a good supervisor to guide you and a colleague/peer to work with – things are better shared!
  3. It doesn’t have to be something huge or groundbreaking but if fairly novel or of importance it is worth pursuing
  4. Select your journal wisely. Be realistic and target your papers strength to that of the journal you choose. It’s probably worth considering whether or not you want to aim for open access which will likely encounter a fee.
  5. Follow the submission instructions of the journal – sounds simple but all journals have slightly different instructions and may reject your paper if these are not followed.
  6. Check, re-check and triple check your manuscript before submission!
  7. Be prepared to rework large parts of your paper if needed in response to reviewers comments.
  8. If not accepted initially, try to work out why and make appropriate amendments. It may be that the reviewers give comments which you can act upon or it may be that your paper wasn’t right for the selected journal.
  9. If despite best attempts your paper doesn’t get published consider writing it up as a presentation for a conference or as a letter to the editor. It will still look great on your CV and get you points in job applications!
  10. Develop broad shoulders! Don’t take it personally if you do not get accepted right away – journals have set criteria for accepting papers and it might just be yours doesn’t fit these or their current direction. You will get there eventually and likely the finished product will be better for it!

 

Happy researching!

Sports medicine: a career for all genders?

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Dawn Thompson, covering Brighton Marathon

I am pleased to step aside from writing for the blog today and turn over the stage to Dawn Thompson, CJSM Junior Associate Editor and a member of the ECOSEP Junior Doctors Committee.

Dawn and I have a shared background in sports medicine, but she brings a unique perspective to today’s post:  she is a woman, she is young, and she is still in training.  I am none of these things!

If sports is a mirror of society, then it should come as no surprise that in our own professional world we may see phenomena such as gender bias.   And for those of us who benefit from male privilege (me), Dawn’s post is a great reminder of the differential burden our female colleagues may face when trying to perform the same job duties as a man.

Here in the USA, 2016 is a particularly poignant moment in time: the Democratic party’s presumptive candidate for president is Hillary Clinton.  Will that political ‘glass ceiling’ be shattered?  What of our sports medicine colleagues who are women?  Do they face their own glass ceilings?

I cede the dais to Dawn:

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DT: It’s 1.30am on a Tuesday morning and I am wide awake. Ideas, thoughts, concepts are racing through my mind at a rate I could only dream of during normal hours. I don’t normally suffer with insomnia but I have just completed a particularly gruelling acute medical block whereby in 4 months I have worked 8 full weekends and a total of 32 nights. So as you can see my body clock is totally up the spout. There have been times when I have wondered why I chose this profession and how compatible it is with any sort of family or social life and times when I have marveled at what I feel can be the best ‘job’ in the world.

During these 4 months, Junior Doctors like myself across Britain have taken part in 6 days of industrial action in response to the proposed imposition of a contract they felt to be unsafe and unfair to patients, themselves and the NHS. One of the many complaints with regards to the new contract was the impact it could potentially have on women taking time out for maternity or to work less than full-time to raise a family. Indeed the governments own equality analysis summarised –

“While there are features of the new contract that impact disproportionately on women, of which some we expect to be advantageous and others disadvantageous, we do not consider that this would amount to indirect discrimination as the impacts can be comfortably justified” 

I have never particularly considered myself a feminist but I do expect a fair contract and I don’t expect to be treated any differently to my male counterparts based on gender rather than clinical acumen.

Data derived from the Health and Social Care Annual Workforce Publication 2014 showed that 57% of all doctors in training are female.  However things have not always been this way, in 1985 the year I was born, women made up only 16% of practicing doctors in the US. Some junior doctors are concerned that an unfair contract would send us backwards in terms of women in Medicine.  Already prior to this new proposed contract, pay inequalities exist in medicine.  A study published this week in the BMJ concluded that women doctors in the US earn less than their male counterparts even after adjusting for hours of work and specialty.

So what about the role of women in Sports Medicine? Read more of this post

Rugby World Cup 2015–A Retrospective

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Rugby World Cup–the ball was bigger this year 🙂 Pic from ‘FruitMonkey’, Wikimedia

How time flies!  It was not that long ago that the Rugby World Cup was starting off in England, and Japan was making history by beating the South African Springboks.  After 6 weeks and 271 tries, the final has taken place–the All Blacks are triumphant and the first side in history to hold three Rugby World Cup titles.

CJSM Editor Dawn Thompson has composed her thoughts about some of the events associated with this impressive tournament that began September 18 and ended today where it started, at Twickenham, the English home of the sport. 

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I have a confession to make…… I really don’t know very much about the game of Rugby! This is a particularly brave admission as I – a) am pursuing a career in sports and exercise medicine and b) live less than 5 miles down the road from Twickenham where the Rugby World Cup Final is about to take place. What I do know about Rugby however,  is that it involves 30 men tearing up and down the pitch with, to the unknowing eye seemingly few rules, inflicting quite horrendous injuries upon themselves before brushing themselves off and continuing on.

I’m sure of course there is much more to it than that and the above demonstrates that I clearly need to sit down and do what all medics do best which is study the topic! In the mean time though I can’t help but find watching the rugby interesting, not just from a sports point of view but from an injury perspective.

Rugby players are often selected based on height with players such as ex Welsh player  Shane Williams, at only 5ft7in often facing prejudice early in their career. 11 years ago in 2004 the average height of an All Black back-line player, was 6ft, today its stands at 6ft2in. Weight has also increased, the current wales center Jamie Roberts weights 17 stone compared to his counterpart in the 1970s who weighed in at 14 stone. Players are getting faster and stronger and this is probably in part due to the professionalism of the sport, understandably players train to be the best they can.

So far during the current tournament over 20 players have left early as a result of  injuries. World Rugby has stated that ‘”Injury rates at the elite level of the game have not increased since 2002.” They went on to say Read more of this post

Scientific Meetings

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Carl Askling (L) & Phatho Zondi (R)

As those of you who follow CJSM on this blog and on our other social media will know, I have of late been enjoying the South African Sports Medicine Association’s 16th biennial congress (SASMA2015).  I am on the plane heading back home, and my head is swimming with what are now memories of some wonderful lectures and social experiences I enjoyed during my time in Johannesburg.

My ‘real world’ of clinical sports medicine, teaching and research await.  My ‘real world’ is where I hope, in my own way, I am making direct contributions to sports medicine:  where I can truly ‘care’ for athlete/patients and ‘create’ content from which others may learn.

But how enjoyable it is to punctuate my professional life with the chance to ‘recreate’ with peers in this special world—to break bread (and drink wine), share ideas and concerns from some great minds.  I return from such meetings re-energized for my real world, with new approaches to common problems [the dancers under my care will be benefitting from the knowledge I gained on hamstring injuries from ECOSEP’s Carl Askling, for instance]. And I return having made new friendships, including that of SASMA’s new president, Dr. Phatho Zondi.

This is an appropriate moment then to have one of our editors weigh in on her own experiences with a conference she attended recently.  I give you  Dawn Thompson, a physician who will share some of what she learned in Barcelona this month.

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for cjsm blog HT

Camp Nou–home of FC Barcelona [and a recent ECOSEP conference]

It has been some time since my first blog on the use of ultrasound in musculoskeletal medicine and I have been mulling over what topics I not only have the authority to write on but also would be interesting to fellow readers and trainee doctors.

Last week I attended “Muscle and Tendon – Inspiring Clinical Excellence” conference in Barcelona organised by Muscletech and the European College Of Sports and Exercise Medicine (ECOSEP). Read more of this post

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