AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

The AMA Journal of Ethics is an open-access, MEDLINE-indexed online journal of expert-solicited and peer-reviewed content that receives over one million visits annually (and growing). Our editorial mission is to help medical students and physicians make sound ethical decisions in service to patients and society. Founded in 1999, the AMA Journal of Ethics explores the ethical issues and challenges that students, residents, and other physicians are likely to confront in their training and daily practice. This journal is a valuable teaching resource for medical educators at all levels. Therefore, each monthly issue contains original articles and commentary on a given theme-e.g., access to care; quality-of-life considerations in clinical decision making, public roles of physicians, ethical issues in a given medical specialty, new medical technologies, conflict of values in the clinic, and so on.

Issue Editors

The AMA Journal of Ethics is student- and resident-driven. Each September, a call goes out for US medical students and resident physicians who seek to broaden and deepen their education by taking the time to examine one of medicine's ever-increasing ethical challenges. Twelve issue editors are selected in November from among the applicants. Issue editors receive a $2,000 honorarium and meet with editorial staff in Chicago to discuss topics for the upcoming year. Each editor identifies a theme and month of publication for his or her issue and then solicits articles and case commentary from experienced physicians and other experts in the field who can help readers think productively about that topic.


The AMA Journal of Ethics also accepts unsolicited manuscripts for peer review and consideration through our through our online manuscript submission and review system. Submit a manuscript for consideration.

Editorial Independence

Published by the American Medical Association, the AMA Journal of Ethics maintains editorial independence as defined by the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME). This means that the journal's editor in chief has full authority over its content. The journal's editorial board members are recognized leaders in medical education, law and medicine, philosophy and ethics, and ethics policy making at the national level.

Ethics Essay Contest

The AMA Journal of Ethics is home to the John Conley Ethics Essay Contest for medical students. The winning author receives a $5,000 prize, and the winning essay is published in an appropriately themed journal issue. Announcement of the annual Conley Contest topic and instructions for entering appear in the March or April issue.