2019 Conley Ethics Essay Contest Rules

  1. Official Contest Rules.
    These are the official Contest rules for the 2019 Conley Ethics Essay Contest (“Contest”). By submitting an entry to the Contest, each entrant (“Entrant”) irrevocably agrees to be bound by these Contest Rules. Each Contest Entrant also irrevocably agrees to be bound by the interpretations to these Rules and decisions of the Judges and the Administrator (American Medical Association Journal of Ethics). Decisions of the Administrator are final.

    The Administrator may change these terms and conditions at any time. If the Administrator does change the terms and conditions, the Administrator will post an amended version of these terms on the Contest website. Your continued use of the Contest website or participation in the Contest after any changes are made to the terms will be deemed to constitute your acceptance of those changes. If you object to any changes to the terms, your only remedy is to discontinue your use of the Contest website and discontinue participation in the Contest.

  2. Contest Entry Period.
    The Contest will begin on April 8, 2019 and will end on 5 PM Central Time, United States, on September 27, 2019 as marked by email time-stamp when received by the Administrator.
    Note: All materials must be received by the Administrator by the time specified. Authors who have waited until 4:55 PM, for example, to submit materials have occasionally been disappointed, due to transmission delays. Please plan accordingly.
  3. Prizes.
    From all Entrants, one winner will be selected.  The Winner will receive a check for FIVE THOUSAND AND NO/100 DOLLARS ($5,000.00) and the opportunity to have the winning essay published in the AMA Journal of Ethics (see section 9 below).

    In the event the originally-identified winner is disqualified, fails to claim the prize or the Administrator deems itself unable to award the Prize, the judges may select another entrant as the winner. In the event of a tie, the Administrator may elect to split the prize.

    Neither the Judges nor the Administrator have any further obligation to any Entrant or Winner after the award of the Prize mentioned above. Each Entrant assumes all liabilities associated with entering this Contest and the receipt of any Prize. An Entrant may decline advancement in the Contest and decline any Prize prior to its award. Withdrawal from the Contest or declining a Prize at any time will nullify an Entrant’s designation as a Winner of this Contest.

  4. How to Enter.
    Essay entries must be emailed to Mr. Kelly Shaw at [email protected] within the time frames specified in the Contest Entry Period (specified in section 2 above). Each Entrant must complete the Contest Submission Requirements (specified in section 7 below).  Contest entry is only available by email. Submissions in person, by mail or other means will not be accepted.
  5. Contest Background.
    Funded John Conley Foundation for Ethics and Philosophy in Medicine, the Conley Ethics Essay Contest (“Contest”) has been administered by the American Medical Association (“AMA”) Journal of Ethics since 2004. Each spring, the AMA Journal of Ethics poses a question in ethics and professionalism as the topic for the Contest.
  6. Eligibility Requirements.
    Only currently-enrolled US medical students (MD and DO), resident physicians or fellows (18 years of age or older) are eligible to submit entries. Resident physicians must be a resident in an ACGME-accredited or AOA-accredited residency program. Medical students must be enrolled in an LCME-accredited or COCA-accredited medical school.
    Only entries by individuals are valid. Team entries or entries which reflect the work of more than one individual will be disqualified.
    Entries must not have been previously published in print or electronic format and must not have been submitted to any other contest or publication.
  7. Submission Requirements.

    1. Form of Entry. Essays must be submitted in a Microsoft Word document file attached to an e-mail to Mr. Kelly Shaw (as described in section 4 above).  The title of the Microsoft Word document file name must be the Entrant’s last name only.
      Any accompanying materials submitted with an Entrant’s entry (for example, videos, photos, etc.) will only be reviewed at the judges’ discretion.
    2. Word length and font size. Essays must not exceed 1,500 words, excluding references. Essays must be written by a single author and typed in Times New Roman 12 with 1.5 spacing.
    3. Cover page. Each Entry also must include Entrant’s contact information. The first page of the single Word document file must be the cover page, which must include the author’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, medical school (and year in medical school) or specialty training program (and year in training program), as well as the word count of the essay (excluding cover page and references), which must be tabulated as follows: In Word, on the Review tab in the Proofing group, click the Word Count icon or use Ctrl+Shift+G. This information must be included on the cover page only; essays including the author’s name on other pages of the essay will not be reviewed. If an Entrant’s contact information changes after submission, it is the Entrant’s responsibility to provide updated contact information to the Administrator. Administrator disclaims any responsibility to update Entrant contact information.
    4. Multiple entries are not allowed. If an Entrant submits more than one entry (whether under the same or different names), the Administrator at its discretion may disqualify one or all of the Entrant’s submissions.
    5. Once an Entrant submits an Entry, the Entrant is prohibited from making substantive changes or alterations to the Entry. No substitutions or materially new versions of an Entry will be accepted under any circumstances once an Entry is submitted.
    6. The Contest is open only to individuals who are 18 years old or older as of their time of entry and who have not been convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude.
    7. Utilization of content, technology, materials or other intellectual property not created or owned by Entrant or submitted without authorized license is grounds for disqualification and legal action.
    8. Evidence that an Entrant is misrepresenting or inducing others to misrepresent support or engagement with Entrant’s project is grounds for disqualification.
    9. ALL INFORMATION SUBMITTED MUST BE NON-CONFIDENTIAL.
    10. Employees of Administrator or its subsidiaries or affiliates (and the immediate family members of said employees) are not eligible to participate in the Contest. Family members and extended family members of Contest Judges are not eligible to participate in the Contest.
  8. Entry Assignment.

    Entrants are asked to submit an essay based on the following case:

    Case

    How should responsibility for negotiation success be apportioned between unionized clinicians and organizations for which they work?

    Dr Y has relocated to a new city to begin her internship. Resident physicians in Dr Y’s training program recently voted to be represented by a labor union.1, 2 Membership is optional, but a common employment contract has been negotiated with the purpose of protecting the interests of all resident physicians, including those not paying membership dues. As Dr Y begins her postgraduate training, the union is negotiating, for the first time since the program’s establishment, terms of the organization’s contracts with its resident physicians.

    Dr. Y has so far not made a decision about joining the union. Some senior resident physician peers have encouraged her to join the union,3 emphasizing the need for professional solidarity and for everyone to contribute to prioritization of their common interests. Dr Y and others are hesitant to join the union, in part, because they wonder what, exactly, collective action might require of individual physicians and how it could affect their patients and careers. Short of outright strike, union representatives have suggested that actions could include resident physicians’ refusing to do particular tasks, such as entering critical billing-relevant information into patients’ health records. Dr Y considers that this could be justifiable, as long as patients still get needed care.4 Overall, however, she wonders whether she should join the union.5

    References

    1. Scheiber N. Doctors unionize to resist the medical machine. New York Times. January 9, 2016. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/business/doctors-unionize-to-resist-the-medical-machine.html. Accessed April 3, 2019.
    2. Whatley JR Jr, Kallas EM. Unionization of physicians. Conn Med. 2013;77(5):281-285.
    3. Collier VU, Hojat M, Rattner SL, et al. Correlates of young physicians’ support for unionization to maintain professional influence. Acad Med. 2001;76(10):1039-1044.
    4. Kravitz RL, Linn L, Tennant N, Adkins E, Zawacki B. To strike or not to strike? House-staff attitudes and behaviors during a hospital work action. West J Med. 1990;153(5):515-519.
    5. Toynbee M, Al-Diwani AA, Clacey J, Broome MR. Should junior doctors strike? J Med Ethics. 2016;42(3):167-170.

     

    Essay Prompt

    How should responsibility for negotiation success be apportioned between unionized clinicians and organizations for which they work? Which criteria should be used to assess ethical and empirical justification for collective action by clinicians and trainees? Dr Y’s considerations are similar to those of new resident physicians at programs with existing unions, such as one at the University of Michigan (UM House Officers Association 2019). As a non-member who probably benefits overall from the union’s bargaining authority, which factors should Dr Y consider in her decision about whether to join?

    Essays will be judged on clarity of writing, responsiveness to questions posed in the essay prompt, and applicability to decisions presented in the case. The Ethics Essay Contest Review Criteria are attached as Exhibit A and made a part of these Contest Rules.

  9. Notice to Winner.
    The Entrant of the winning essay will be contacted approximately six (6) weeks after submission deadline.  In order to have the winning essay published, the Entrant must be willing, if deemed necessary by the Administrator, to allow the essay to be edited by the AMA Journal of Ethics editorial staff. If the Entrant declines to allow the essay to be edited, the essay at the Administrator’s discretion, may not be published.
  10. Intellectual Property Rights.
    All Contest entries become the property of the Contest Administrator.  All Contest entries will be treated in accordance with the Administrator’s Privacy Policy which can be found at this link:  https://www.ama-assn.org/general-information/general-information/privacy-policy.
  11. General Information.
    Participation is subject to all federal, state and local laws and regulations.  Void where prohibited or restricted by law.  Entrant is responsible for checking applicable laws and regulations in Entrant’s jurisdiction before participating in the Contest to make sure that Entrant’s participation is legal.  Entry into the Contest does not constitute entry into any other Contest or promotion, including, without limitation, other similar programs or promotions offered by Administrator.  If Entrant is employed, Entrant is responsible for abiding by Entrant’s employer's policies regarding participation in the Contest.  Administrator disclaims any and all liability or responsibility for disputes arising between Entrant and Entrant’s employer related to the Contest.

    By entering the Contest Entrant waives all rights to seek injunctive or equitable relief, or to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or attorneys’ fees.

    Administrator reserves the right, in its sole discretion to cancel or suspend this Contest, or randomly award the prizes from among all eligible Entries received prior to action taken by Administrator or award no prizes should fraud, virus, bugs or other causes beyond the control of Administrator corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the game.  Administrator is not responsible for computer system, phone line, hardware, software or program malfunctions, or other errors, failures or delays in computer transmissions or network connections that are human or technical in nature.
    Should multiple users of the same e-mail account enter the Contest and a dispute thereafter arises regarding the identity of Entrant, the authorized subscriber of said e-mail account at the time of entry will be considered the Entrant.  “Authorized account subscriber” is defined as the natural person who is assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, on-line service provider or other organization which is responsible for assignment e-mail address or the domain associated with the submitted e-mail address.  Please see Administrator’s website's privacy policy for details of our policy regarding the personal information collected in connection with this contest.  Any potential winner may be requested to provide Administrator with proof that such winner is the authorized account holder of the email address associated with winning entry.

    All Entrants must have a valid email address.  Administrator reserves the right at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual (and all of his or her Contest Entries) who tampers with the entry process.  Automated entries are prohibited, and any use of such automated devices will cause disqualification.

  12. No Confidential Information/No Confidential Relationship.
    Administrator does not wish to receive or hold any submitted materials “in confidence”.  Entrant agrees that, with respect to Entrant’s Entry, no confidential relationship or obligation of secrecy is established between Entrant and Administrator.
  13. Internet.
    Administrator is not responsible for incorrect or inaccurate entry information whether caused by Internet users or by any of the equipment or programing associated with or utilized in the Contest or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of the entries in the Contest.  The Contest is intended only for play in the United States and shall only be construed and evaluated according to United States law. Entrant should not enter this Contest if Entrant is not a resident of the United States. Void where prohibited.  
  14. Releases/Disclaimer
    As a condition of entering, Entrant(s) agree: (a) to release the Judges, the Administrator, its affiliates, retailers, sales representatives, distributors, and its officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents from any and all liability, loss or damage incurred with respect to the awarding, receipt, possession, and/or use or misuse of any prize, (b) Entrants waive all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, consequential, or any other damages; (c) all causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, or any prize awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (d) any and all claims, judgments, and award shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, excluding attorneys’ fees and court costs; (e) all issues and question concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Contest Rules, Entrant’s rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of Administrator in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of State of Illinois, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules; and (f) Entrants consent to the jurisdiction and venue of the federal, state and local courts located in Cook County Illinois.

    The Administrator, its directors, employees or agents are not responsible for errors, problems or malfunctions relating to or in connection with the Contest, including without limitation, errors, problems or malfunctions which may occur in connection with the administration of the Contest, the announcement of the prizes, the processing of entries or in any Contest -related materials; or for transactions that are lost, misdirected, or fail to enter into the processing system for any reason; or are processed, reported, or transmitted late or incorrectly; or are lost for any reason, including computer, telephonic, paper-transfer, or human error, or electronic, computer, or telephonic malfunction, damage, error, omission, interruption, defect, delay in operation or transmission, or any combination thereof. Any and all warranties and/or guarantees on a prize (if any) are subject to the respective manufacturers’ terms therefor, and the winner(s) agrees to look solely to such manufacturer(s) for any such warranty and/or guarantee.

    All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

  15. Required Affidavit and Designation of Alternate Winner.
    The winner of the Contest will be required to sign and return to Administrator an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release Form before receiving their prize. Refusal or failure to sign and return the Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release Form within 14 days from first attempted notification will result in forfeiture of the prize. Except where prohibited by law, acceptance of the prize constitutes winner’s consent to use his/her name, likeness, and biographical data for Administrator’s promotional purposes without additional compensation.
    At the time of the judging, extra alternate winners may be selected. Such alternate winners may receive a prize according to the circumstances described in section 3 (above) and this section. If any correspondence of the Contest or any prize is returned as undeliverable, the corresponding prize will be forfeited and will be awarded to an alternate winner. Should a winner make any false statement(s) in any document referenced above, the winner will be required to promptly return to Administrator his/her prize. Any unclaimed prizes will be awarded as Administrator deems appropriate. In the event there is a dispute of an Entrant’s identity, the prize will be awarded as Administrator deems appropriate.
  16. Publicity Rights/Limited Privacy.
    By participating in the Contest, in addition to any other grants granted herein or which may be granted in another agreement with Administrator, Entrant hereby irrevocably (a) grants to Administrator the right to use Entrant’s name, likeness, image and biographical information in any and all media for any purpose including, without limitation, advertising and promotional purposes relating to the Contest; and (b) releases Administrator from any liability with respect thereto.  Entrant acknowledges Entrant’s privacy rights will be limited in the Contest.
  17. Legal Warning.
    ANY ATTEMPT BY AN INDIVIDUAL, WHETHER OR NOT A RESPONDENT, TO DELIBERATELY INTERFERE WITH THE OPERATION OF THE GIVEAWAY, IS A VIOLATION OF THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS. THE SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND DILIGENTLY PURSUE ALL REMEDIES AGAINST ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, ENTRAT FURTHER AGREES THAT THE ADMINISTRATOR, THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, ITS AFFILIATES, AND THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, SHAREHOLDERS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES, AGENTS, SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS, SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, LOSSES, COSTS OR EXPENSES, OF ANY KIND, ARISING FROM OR RELATED TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE REASONABLE CONTROL OF ADMINISTRATOR AND/OR ITS AFFILIATES, ADVERTISING AND PROMOTION AGENCIES, SUPPLIERS, OR THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, SHAREHOLDERS, EMPLOYEES, REPRESENTATIVES, AND AGENTS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ACTS OF GOD, ACTS OF GOVERNMENT, ACTS OF TERROR, ACTS OF WAR, CIVIL UNREST, LABOR SHORTAGES AND/OR STRIKES, EVEN IF ANY ONE OR MORE OF THE PARTIES WERE AWARE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF ANY SUCH EVENTS OCCURRING.
  18. Entrant’s Representations and Warranties.
    By participating in the Contest and submitting an Entry, Entrant represents and warrants that all information Entrant submits is true, accurate and complete to the best of Entrant’s knowledge, that Entrant has the right and authority to submit the Entry on Entrant’s own behalf or on behalf of the entity that Entrant specifies with the Entry, Entrant has secured all necessary consents and provided all necessary attributions with respect to artists, musicians or others whose intellectual property or creative content is included in Entrant’s Entry, and that Entrant’s Entry:

    1. is Entrant’s own original work, or is used by permission with full and proper credit given within Entrant’s Entry;
    2. does not contain confidential information or trade secrets (Entrant’s or anyone else’s);
    3. does not violate or infringe upon the patent rights, industrial design rights, copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity;
    4. does not contain malicious code, such as viruses, timebombs, cancelbots, worms, Trojan horses or other potentially harmful programs or other material or information;
    5. does not and will not violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance, rule or regulation; and
    6. does not trigger any reporting or royalty obligation to any third party.
  19. Indemnification.
    By participating in the Contest, Entrant agrees to release, indemnify and hold harmless Administrator and its affiliates, subsidiaries, as applicable, or their agents, representatives, officers, directors, shareholders, and employees (collectively, “Administrator Entities”) from and against any injuries, losses, damages, claims, actions and any liability of any kind resulting from or arising out of Entrant’s participation in or association with the Contest. Administrator is not responsible for any miscommunications or technical failures related to computer, telephone, cable, and unavailable network or server connections, related technical failures, or other failures related to hardware, software or virus, or incomplete, late or misdirected entries. Any compromise to the fair and proper conduct of this Contest may result in the disqualification of an Entry, termination of the Contest, or other remedial action, at the sole discretion of Administrator.

Exhibit A

2019 John Conley Ethics Essay Contest Review Criteria

Essays will be reviewed using this 4-point scale

    4    Excellent, exceptional
    3    Good, competently executed
    2    Satisfactory, meets minimum standards of acceptability
    1    Poor, significantly flawed

Judges will review the case, read the essay, and then assign one overall rating to the essay as a whole, according to the following equally important criteria:

Content

Formulation of ethical problems, interpretation and analysis of ethically relevant concepts, accuracy in characterizing the views and arguments under consideration, appropriate references used to support empirical claims

Organization

Clarity with which ideas are ordered and expressed, specificity of English language use (vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, syntax, grammar)

Reasoning

Demonstration of working knowledge of ethics (theories, concepts, views, and arguments), productive use of ethics content knowledge to evaluate what’s at stake clinically and ethically in the case (below), offers reasons to motivate and synthesize an argument

Responsiveness

Thoughtful, insightful engagement with questions in the essay prompt