Feature BMJ Group Awards

Health Communicator of the Year: Health communicators have the extra factor

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d1824 (Published 25 March 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d1824
  1. Trevor Jackson, magazine editor
  1. 1BMJ, London WC1H 9JR, UK
  1. tjackson{at}bmj.com

What makes a successful health communicator in the digital age? Where once a poster or a pamphlet would have sufficed, today’s would be health communicators need an X factor Simon Cowell would be proud of. It is not enough to want to change the way people think about important issues; you also have to be able to use imaginative and effective methods of communication to do so. That means standing out from the crowd and being noticed, in addition to demonstrating balance, accuracy, and an evidence base.

All three of the shortlisted entries for this year’s BMJ Group health communicator of the year award have that something extra. Selected from a total of 15 strong entries, the shortlist includes one doctor, one broadcaster, and one film maker.

Ann McPherson

Ann McPherson is a general practitioner who in 2001 cofounded DIPEx (database of individual patient experiences), a web based resource in which patients describe their experiences of health and illness. Ten years on, and renamed HealthTalkOnline, the site has sections on 60 illnesses or health related issues. Each month it …

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