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Student essay competition

Learn About ME medical student essay competition

The Learn About ME project, funded by the Scottish Government to inform professional practice, is delighted to launch a new competition for medical students at any level, studying anywhere in Scotland.

The aim of this competition is to promote discussion and understanding of diagnosing and treating ME/CFS.

Win a cash prize!

We are offering a first prize of £250 and the potential opportunity to publish in The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

First, second and third prize essays will be published by Learn about ME project partners Action for M.E., the ME Association, #MEAction Scotland and the 25% ME Group online and/or in their charity publications to reach a wide audience of health and social care professionals.

Essay title: What is your most important learning point about ME/CFS?

We are calling for entries that offer insight into what doctors should consider when dealing with a patient who may have ME/CFS, with reference to its impact on their quality of life and level of functioning, and emerging biomedical evidence on post-viral illnesses.

It might help to consider:

  • What is the gap between what you knew before you took the module and after you took it?
  • What will help you understand patients with ME/CFS?
  • What do you understand to be the similarities and differences between ME/CFS and other conditions?

All entrants are asked to access and complete Learna’s free CPD training module on ME/CFS before starting work on the essay. You may also find it useful to listen to Learn about ME’s complementary podcast series which covers topics including Long COVID and the 2021 NICE guideline on ME/CFS.

Please send any competition entries by email with a completed cover sheet. The competition will close at noon on Wednesday 14 February 2024 and judging will be completed before the end of March 2024.

Entries will be judged by our panel:

  • Dr Nina Muirhead, creator of Learna’s free CPD training module on ME/CFS
  • Dr Graeme P Currie, Consultant Respiratory Physician, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and Editor-in Chief of Journal of Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
  • Dr Shaun Peter Qureshi, Lecturer in Medical Education, University of Dundee, and Churchill Fellow
  • a University of Edinburgh researcher studying genetic risk factors for ME/CFS
  • individuals with lived experience of ME/CFS

Terms & conditions

  • This competition is open to medical students studying at any level anywhere in Scotland.
  • Essays should be no longer than 500 words. The word count does not include the reference list.
  • References should be formatted in Harvard style. There is no limit for the number of references used.
  • The name of the author should not be included in the essay.
  • The essay should be entirely your own original work and should not have been previously published.
  • The competition will close at noon on Wednesday 14 February 2024 and judging will be completed by the end of March 2024.
  • The three highest-scoring essays will be shortlisted for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize respectively.
  • The entrant awarded the 1st prize will be awarded a cash prize of £250.
  • The 1st prize-winning essay will be published in The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, subject to the editor’s approval.