Tag Archives: CMAJ

Kacper Niburski is a medical student in the Class of 2021 at McGill University. He is also the CMAJ student humanities blog editor. Follow his writing instagram: @_kenkan.



plastic plants in the dentist clinic
that you haven’t visited since you were a child
wearing a yellow smile and proud stain of mustard on your shirt
that has followed every laundromat you’ve ever been to ...continue reading

Kacper Niburski is a medical student in the Class of 2021 at McGill University. He is also the CMAJ student humanities blog editor. Follow his writing instagram: @_kenkan.




there used to be tall trees here
that stood alone
that could be seen from space
that were cut into these scrambled stuck papers
where my pencil accidentally touches a thought you had
fifteen years ago
during that first stroking stitch that was meant
to keep the rest together

...continue reading

Kacper Niburski is a medical student in the Class of 2021 at McGill University. He is also the CMAJ student humanities blog editor. Follow his writing instagram: @_kenkan.



ventricular septal defect

you would not understand

what it means to fall in love

with the blue

to come to pour it

to read it in the cracks of light under heavy spines

to see it in green marseille waters ...continue reading

In a first "Med Life with Dr. Horton" podcast, Dr. Jillian Horton discusses CaRMS, the Canadian Resident Matching Service. In this episode, she is joined by Dr. Moneeza Walji.

They answer these questions:

  • What are some strategies for choosing and ranking programs?
  • Should I have a back-up program in my ranking?
  • What should I do about conflicting interviews?
  • What are interviewers looking for in a candidate?
  • What should I do when I can't think of an answer to an interview question?
  • Should I change my strategy when being interviewed by a resident versus a program director?
  • How does the panel score the interview?
  • Should I disclose a mental health diagnosis or personal struggles?
  • Should I talk about my partner, kids, or family?
  • How do I handle the stress related to CaRMS?
  • And more.

...continue reading

Domhnall MacAuleyDomhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK

Simon Griffin (Cambridge) was the headliner at the Association of University Departments of General Practice in Ireland (AUDGPI) Conference. Through his keynote address and workshop, he gave a scholarly and comprehensive insight into his team’s work both on promoting physical activity and exploring the evidence on routine health checks. It was clear that to examine a major research question means a long-term commitment, building multiple layers into a study, and testing different hypotheses as the work progresses. Success is incremental rather than through any single dramatic breakthrough. He described the different components of each programme of work and their sequential publication in peer reviewed journals. His views on the difficulty of promoting physical activity and the limitations of routine health checks carry considerable weight, formed on such a robust body of quality evidence. ...continue reading

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Gordon Giddings. Editorial Fellow, CMAJ.Gordon Giddings, is the outgoing CMAJ Editorial Fellow (2013-14)


It’s likely that you will hear many different responses from colleagues when you announce to them, after having been in practice for several years, that you are undertaking a medical editorial fellowship with CMAJ. Some of the responses that I received when I announced this to my palliative care colleagues were

“You’re gonna be a paper doctor!”

“Oh my goodness! I hope everything is okay.”

“Interesting. How much does it pay?”

Colleagues were not the only ones uncertain about this career step. When I explained to the CMPA rep what I would be doing for the year, they could not figure out what category of coverage to put me in, repeating “I’ve never heard of this. So you’re not going to be seeing patients there then?”

In fact I did continue to see patients on a semi-regular basis, but my full time job as an editorial fellow was based at the offices of the CMA in Ottawa. I commenced my fellowship just over one year ago. It was somewhat ironic, given that my least favorite aspect of residency was journal club. However in the years since that time, I came to develop a great respect for the medical literature, and to rely on it, not only in my clinical and academic roles but also in administrative ones. I also hoped to find a way to combine medicine and literature in my career, whatever that might lead to.

It was not surprising that my CMPA representative had not heard of the editorial fellowship. There were not even 10 fellows that had completed the CMAJ fellowship in its history, and only 3 or 4 other journals had a similar program (in fact, as the world of medical editing is relatively small, I would go on to become good friends with the current editorial fellows from the New England Journal and the British Medical Journal). It was certainly somewhat intimidating initially, given the combined international editorial, academic and clinical experience of the CMAJ editorial team. As well, many of the previous CMAJ fellows have gone on to very distinguished international careers that span editing, research and clinical medicine. Would I measure up? Would I be good enough?

One element that made my introduction to CMAJ a bit more relaxed was the fact that my fellowship supervisor, an experienced editor trained at the BMJ, had only arrived a few weeks before I had, and was similarly getting familiar with her new surroundings; however, we both quickly found our bearings. Within the first couple of months of the fellowship I was already a regular voting contributor at weekly research manuscript meetings, and had undertaken additional study in epidemiology at the University of Ottawa, with plans to attend several conferences throughout the year.

After the initial stint in the Research section for CMAJ and CMAJ Open, I rotated through the Practice, News, Humanities, Commentaries and Analyses sections before having a final ‘consolidative’ month where ‘anything was fair game’. In addition to this, I had the opportunity to contribute 2 editorials to the journal, which gave me some of my first experiences with physician advocacy in an international forum.

Though a visiting elective experience with the BMJ in February had to be cancelled (due to the arrival of my son), I feel as though I have received a world class education in the skills of critical appraisal and scientific writing. I am also very proud to have my CMAJ supervisors and colleagues as mentors and friends. I will be continuing with CMAJ in the role of Associate Editor, and I expect I will spend the next couple of years attempting to strike the right balance between editing and practice. I have a couple of exciting projects on the horizon in both editing and clinical medicine, and I realize that having undertaken this fellowship has given me additional confidence in both of these roles (in this era of evidence based medicine), as well as a desire to continue learning.

Next week, CMAJ welcomes its new editorial fellow, who will bring her own unique set of experiences and perspectives to the role, and I’ll take this opportunity to officially welcome her. I would also like to acknowledge CMAJ for being one of the few journals in the world to offer the experience of gaining the editorial skillset for both physicians just starting out and those already in mid-career phase. I encourage all physicians to continue to enhance their critical appraisal skills, not necessarily through editorial fellowships, but through courses, journal clubs (yes, I said it), opportunities to peer review, or through individual reading. Perhaps a good way to start would be by going to cmaj.ca and checking out the newest research article or commentary - or maybe acting as a contributor yourself.

As any editor worth his salt, I am conscious of my word limit. Regards and thanks to all for making this a year I will not soon forget.