Physician, Med Student Journalists: Enter TMA Journalism Contest
By Tammy Wishard


Do you moonlight as a medical reporter? Maybe you write a blog, or a column for your local newspaper or magazine. Or perhaps you host a health-focused segment on a local TV or radio station. 

If so, enter your work in the TMA Anson Jones, MD, Awards contest.

“Writing for the public can be intimidating as a physician, and I hope more physicians will be inspired to lend our experienced, rational, and humane voices to the public discourse,” said 2018 physician winner Rachel Pearson, MD, who is currently completing her residency in Seattle. 

Her winning article, which appeared in Texas Monthly, was inspired by her mentor Bruce Russell, MD, of Port Aransas. “His unwavering commitment to my hometown of Port Aransas — through Hurricane Harvey and beyond — inspired my article and also inspires me to serve the people of Texas,” she said.

Dr. Pearson is no stranger to the Anson Jones awards, having won previously as a medical student. 

“Winning the Anson Jones Award as a medical student meant a lot to me. It affirmed the Texas Medical Association believed in the importance of physician free speech and in my own particular voice as a medical trainee,” said Dr. Pearson, who plans to return to Texas when she completes her residency in June. “I am honored to accept this award now as a pediatrician.” 

The Physician Excellence in Reporting category is designed for physicians and medical-student reporters who regularly contribute to general-interest media aimed at a Texas public audience. (Eleven other award categories honor professional journalists in print, television, radio, and online media in the annual competition hosted by TMA since the 1950s.)

Baylor College of Medicine student Weijie Violet Lin received an honorable mention in the physician-reporting category this year with a blog about her experiences during Hurricane Harvey. Ms. Lin said she’s been fortunate as a medical student to be able to collect stories from patients, families, care providers, and mentors and mentees, similar to those shared in her winning blog. 

During Hurricane Harvey, she served at a temporary shelter. Ms. Lin said she worked in the kitchen most of the time, which was “more educational than I could have anticipated.” 

In addition to collecting stories, she said she learned how to listen and serve.

“When I returned to clinical rotations, I noticed a difference in my interactions with patients,” said Ms. Lin. “Since then, I have voraciously collected patient narratives, because they help me remember — the pathophysiology, the disease management; but, more importantly, the patients themselves and how to care for them.”

Enter your work today in the TMA journalism competition. Any news story published or broadcast in 2018 in Texas is eligible. TMA will accept entries until noon on Jan. 10, 2019. You also can nominate a colleague who is an outstanding medical journalist — or a local professional journalist (non-physician). 

Visit the Anson Jones webpage for complete contest details. If you have questions, call Tammy Wishard, TMA outreach coordinator, at (800) 880-1300, ext. 1470, or (512) 370-1470, or email ansonjones[at]texmed[dot]org.

Last Updated On

December 03, 2018

Related Content

Anson Jones, MD, Awards

Tammy Wishard

Outreach Coordinator, Division of Communication

(512) 370-1470
Tammy Wishard

Tammy Wishard is TMA’s outreach coordinator. She manages TMA's award-winning Hard Hats for Little Heads and Be Wise — Immunize programs, and the Anson Jones, MD, Awards for excellence in health reporting. She has a 20-plus-year history with TMA, where she started as a writer/editor. Tammy, an Iowa native, is a graduate of Abilene Christian University.

More stories by Tammy Wishard