Editor’s welcome: healthcare leaders of tomorrow

v6_i1_a1It  is  with  great  pleasure  that  I  welcome you to Volume 6, Issue 1 of the Australian Medical Student Journal (AMSJ); the  national  peer-reviewed  journal  for medical students. The AMSJ serves two purposes: firstly, to provide a stepping-stone for medical students wishing to advance their skills  in  academic  writing  and  publication; and secondly, to inform Australian medical students of important news relating to medical education and changes in medical care. This issue of the AMSJ showcases an array   of   research,   reviews,   and   opinions that address a wide range of contemporary subjects. In particular, there is a trend for articles on translational research and national healthcare matters.

Australia’s healthcare system is evolving rapidly to accommodate an ageing demographic, growing epidemics of chronic disease, and the introduction of new and often expensive medical technology. We are concurrently faced with major challenges including declining economic growth and considerable budget cuts in an attempt control national debt. The coming decades will be particularly challenging for our healthcare system, but also for us as future doctors. We will have to make difficult decisions to limit healthcare spending whilst ensuring that Australia maintains a leading world-class healthcare system. More than ever, doctors will be required to be leaders in the national healthcare arena, and it will be up to you and your colleagues to direct our ever-changing healthcare system.

In light of this, I am pleased to introduce this issue with a guest article by Professor Brian Owler,  President of  the  Australian  Medical Association. Professor Owler discusses the potential threat of university fee deregulation to Australia’s future medical profession. The AMA and others will be launching a social media and public campaign in February to discourage senators from passing a reformed bill.

This issue of the AMSJ has a record number of original research articles, reflecting some of the best research conducted by medical students across Australia. Not only have the authors written excellent papers, they have spent months, even years conducting these extensive projects. Mr Edward Teo reports a large study comparing specialty choices and rural intentions of students graduating from a private medical program compared to those from other Australian medical schools. Ms Skye MacLeod reports on the adequacy of anticoagulation according to the CHADS2 score in patients with atrial fibrillation. Another two studies address the impact of language and literacy respectively on hospital care.

The reviews and feature articles in this issue cover a diverse array of topics. In particular, there  are  several articles  addressing   the role of novel oral anticoagulants in the management of atrial fibrillation and venous thromboembolism. This is a large area of interest and transition and we are pleased to inform medical students of the latest evidence and guidelines in this field. It is interesting to observe a growing trend in the publication of systematic reviews in our journal. Systematic literature appraisal  and assessment of  bias are highly  useful  skills,  which  are not  only vital for advancing research, but also facilitate the delivery of evidence-based medical care. We encourage students to learn about these methods and consider writing a systematic review during their medical education.

The AMSJ is staffed by a large team of volunteer medical students from almost every medical school in the country. This issue we received a record number of submissions, with all staff increasing their workload to review and manage each manuscript. I would like to commend the editorial team that have worked tirelessly over the last year. I also acknowledge  the  new  proof-editing  team that have been swift at proof-reading all manuscripts and assisting in the development of the new AMSJ style guide. The printed copies of the AMSJ and the AMSJ website would not be possible without help from the print-layout team, IT officers, and sponsorship officers, together led by Miss Biyi Chen. Our Director  Mr  Christopher  Foerster  has  given his heart and soul to ensure that the AMSJ is of the highest possible standard. Finally, I thank our readers, authors, peer-reviewers, and sponsors who continue to support our journal.

On behalf of the staff of the AMSJ, I hope you enjoy this issue.

Thank you to AMSJ Peer Reviewers:

  • Emeritus Prof Francis Billson
  • Prof Richard Murray
  • Prof Ajay Rane
  • Prof Andrew Bonney
  • Prof Andrew Somogyi
  • Prof Andy Jones
  • Prof Anne Tonkin
  • Prof Jan Radford
  • Prof Jon Emery
  • Prof Louise Baur
  • Prof Lyn Gilbert
  • Prof Mark Harris
  • Prof Michael Chapman
  • Prof Nicholas Zwar
  • Prof Paul Thomas
  • Prof Rakesh Kumar
  • Prof Sarah Larkins
  • Prof Tomas Corcoran
  • A/Prof Anthony Harris
  • A/Prof David Baines
  • A/Prof Janette Vardy
  • A/Prof Roslyn Poulos
  • A/Prof Sabe Sabesan
  • A/Prof William Sewell
  • A/Prof Peter Gonski
  • A/Prof Debbie Wilson
  • Dr Adam Parr
  • Dr Andrew Chang
  • Dr Andrew Henderson
  • Dr Anna Johnston
  • Dr Cristan Herbert
  • Dr Dan Hernandez
  • Dr Danforn Lim
  • Dr Danielle Ni Chroinin
  • Dr Darren Gold
  • Dr Despina Kotsanas
  • Dr Freda Passam
  • Dr Greg Jenkins
  • Dr Haryana Dhillon
  • Dr John Reilly
  • Dr Justin Burke
  • Dr Justin Skowno
  • Dr Kathryn Weston
  • Dr Lynnette Wray
  • Dr Mark Donaldson
  • Dr Mark Reeves
  • Dr Matthew Fasnacht
  • Dr Mike Beamish
  • Dr Nolan McDonnell
  • Dr Nollaig Bourke
  • Dr Nuala Helsby
  • Dr Peter Baade
  • Dr Pooria Sarrami Foroushani
  • Dr Rachel Thompson
  • Dr Ross Grant
  • Dr Sal Salvatore
  • Dr Shir-Jing Ho
  • Dr Sid Selva-Nayagam
  • Dr Stephen Rogerson
  • Dr Sue Hookey
  • Dr Sue Lawrence
  • Dr Sue Thomas
  • Dr Susan Smith
  • Dr Venkat Vangaveti
  • Ms Dianna Messum
  • Ms Margaret Evans