AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Call for Theme Issue Editors

The AMA Journal of Ethics (JOE) is an open-access, MEDLINE-indexed online journal 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.


We invite medical students, residents, and fellows (MDs or DOs) in United States-based programs to apply to serve as theme issue editors for monthly issues to be published from September 2017 through August 2018.


Each theme issue editor (TIE) must do the following:

  1. Identify an ethics theme that will be the focus of a monthly issue of AMA JOE. Please explain in your application why this theme is interesting, important, complex, neglected, or otherwise worthy of fuller scholarly exploration.
  2. Secure and identify in your application a faculty mentor who agrees to help you accomplish the following:
  3. a) Develop three cases that raise questions of ethical importance to be addressed by invited experts in analytical commentaries.
    b) Write and revise proposals for questions to be addressed by authors you invite to write manuscripts for other content areas, such as Medical Education, Policy Forum, and Medicine and Society. (Descriptions of more AMA JOE manuscript types can be found in the instructions for authors [URL link to that webpage].) Typically, each theme issue will contain eight manuscripts authored by invited experts, artwork in the Images of Healing and Learning section, and two unsolicited, peer-reviewed manuscripts accepted in response to a call for papers.
    c) Identify, invite, and secure experts or artists to contribute written or visual assets to the theme issue.
    In your application, please explain why you and your faculty mentor (who does not need to be a physician, but should have professional experience and expertise in ethics) are qualified to explore the theme you propose and able to complete the assignments above.

  4. Create multimedia content and use social media to publicize your theme issue. Each TIE is required to interview a relevant expert in a brief (7-10 minute) podcast and post theme issue promotional content on social media (e.g., Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube). In your application, please explain how you, with help from your faculty mentor, plan to do these tasks innovatively and efficiently.
  5. Work closely with AMA JOE editorial staff to generate ideas and gather content, according to production schedule deadlines, from invited contributors.
  6. Proofread all manuscripts as directed by AMA JOE editorial staff according to production schedule deadlines.
  7. Attend a working conference of all TIEs for the 2017-2018 production calendar in Chicago at AMA Headquarters on a Friday and Saturday in the first quarter of 2017.

How to Apply?

Send a single PDF attachment (whose filename is your last name only) in an email to Mr. Kelly Shaw by no later than 5 p.m. CST on November 11, 2016. The first page should be your one-page CV. Do not include any identifying information on the proposal pages. The application must include:

  1. A proposal (1,000-word maximum) articulating your responses to 1-3 above. (For example, about half of your proposal should be devoted to 1, explaining why your proposed theme is interesting, important, complex, neglected, or otherwise worthy of fuller scholarly exploration. The remaining half of your proposal should address 2a-c and 3.)
  2. A one-page curriculum vitae summary that includes your contact information.


Preference will be given to proposals on innovative, interesting, important issues of ethical complexity in health care and health policy, which consider the nature and scope of the roles of medicine and the importance of preparing current and future physicians to address these issues. For the 2017-2018 publication cycle, we are particularly interested in exploring the ethics of personalized medicine, roles of medicine in responding to climate change, physician-chaplain collaborations in patient care, roles of physicians in patientsí experiences of dying, and the roles of medicine in addressing gun violence.

Upon successful completion of all duties, each TIE receives a $2,000 stipend.