Intended for healthcare professionals

Student Careers

Writing an editorial with an expert coauthor

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 01 October 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:0410371
  1. Karen Hebert, fourth year medical student1
  1. 1Bristol University

Fancy writing an editorial for the Student BMJ? Editorials are your opportunity to discuss controversial or topical subjects in depth. Karen Hebert tells you how

Editorials are the showpiece of a magazine—like other journalistic pieces, they need to be hard hitting and accurate. The topic must be original, topical, and exciting—the more controversial the topic the better.

Before you write anything

Check that the idea is worth pursuing before beginning any writing. The Student BMJ is an international magazine for medical students. Consider whether your idea would be of interest to all these different readers and whether it is the sort of thing that you would expect to find in the Student BMJ. Check whether the idea has been covered before. The website ( has a search engine and topic collection that allows you to check this. This might sound like a lot of hassle but prevents you from putting effort into an article that may never reach publication.

Ask the editor

At this stage, get in touch with either the student editor or one of the student advisers (see Contact us). They can advise you on whether they think that the idea is worth pursuing and may also be able to give …

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