Editor-in-Chief

Ria Pal Ria Pal (10 Posts)

Former Editor-in-Chief (2017-2018) and Former Medical Student Editor (2016)

University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry


Ria is a Class of 2018 medical student. She graduated from the University of Rochester with a BS in neuroscience. Her interests include human behavior, social justice work, art, public health, and mnemonics.




in-Training’s 1000 Articles: There and Back Again

The humble beginnings of in-Training often obscure the grand aspirations of the magazine. Since the first article on July 2, 2012, we have published 1000 articles from 450 different authors, curated by our team of over 40 editors, representing 152 different medical schools throughout the world. This is quite the accomplishment for a magazine that was born out of a simple conversation.

Introduction to in-Training Mental Health Week 2016: A Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

My medical school, Indiana University, is one of the largest in the country with over 300 students in each graduating class. Sadly, each year it seems we lose one of our classmates to suicide. The surprising part? These numbers might be lower than the national average. In the United States, approximately 300 to 400 physicians commit suicide each year. A 2009 study in Academic Medicine reported that 12 percent of medical students had major depression and nearly six percent experienced suicide ideation. To visualize these numbers, in my class alone, statistically, 18 students have experienced suicide ideation and approximately 36 have major depression.

Out With the Old, In With the New: Happy New Year from the Editors-in-Chief Emeriti

Happy New Year! We hope you all had an enjoyable holiday with friends and family as we say goodbye to the dusty, long hours of 2015 and welcome the shiny, new year of 2016. As we begin our fourth year of existence, we would like to take a moment to express our deepest gratitude to all of you — our loyal readers and writers who provide lifeblood to the corpus that is in-Training.

A Medical Student’s Thank You

At the fundamental core of what the upcoming holiday is intended to represent, beyond the shopping and the impossibly large set of dinner plates in front of us, is the idea of gratitude. In the often busy lives of medical students, it is too easy to let this holiday merely be a break from the endless studying, a time to catch up on all the lectures you have let slip through the cracks, a time to spend home with your family and long-ignored friends or a time to catch up on that ever-elusive sleep.

From the Editors-in-Chief: Open Conversations for in-Training Mental Health Week

Back in April of this year, we came across an article published in JAMA Psychiatry that called to attention the poor state of mental health for many physicians-in-training. We were excited by the publication of this seminal piece, an opportunity for medical educators, students and institutions to have an earnest conversation about the ugly stain of burnout and suicide that tarnishes the healing profession.

AMEE 2014: in-Training Goes to Milan!

From shorts to shayla hijabs, from saris to suits, the gathering of minds at the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) conference in Milan, Italy last week was diverse not only in dress, but in pioneering approaches to the education of future physicians. When we started our long 22-hour journey from Upstate New York to sunny Milan, we wondered aloud what this conference would really be like. With medical educators from all over the …

Two Years as the Voice of Medical Student Community

Anyone who has watched a newborn mature into a toddler — or has memorized the early developmental milestones in First Aid — can attest that immense transformation occurs in the first two years of life. Children are decidedly unaware of these formative years, oblivious to their own metamorphosis and only recognizing their transitional changes through photos, stories and their family’s fond memories. In a surprisingly similar fashion, medical students may also transition from their time as MS1s to MS3s to …

We are Yours-in-Training: The 200th Article from the Editors-in-Chief

A year and a half ago, we sat in a fancy restaurant in downtown Atlanta, grabbing a late dinner and jabbering excitedly about the sights and sounds of our first national conference. in-Training was barely a few hours old, little more than a few notes hastily scribbled on napkins. We joked that one day we would host our own conference, with medical students all over the country flying in to discuss shared experiences in medical education and …

Ajay Major, MD, MBA Ajay Major, MD, MBA (12 Posts)

Founder and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

University of Colorado School of Medicine

My name is Ajay Major, a Class of 2016 graduate of Albany Medical College and an internal medicine resident at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

My journey into medical journalism and publishing began in April 2012 when I founded in-Training, the online magazine for medical students, and served as editor-in-chief for four years. I also founded in-House, the online magazine for residents and fellows, and The Palate, an online magazine for medical students at the intersection of nutrition and public health.

To support these publications, I founded Pager Publications, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit literary corporation that curates and supports peer-edited publications for the medical education community. In May 2016, Pager Publications, Inc. published its first print book: in-Training: Stories from Tomorrow's Physicians, a print compendium of over 100 articles written and edited by medical students on humanism, our real-life patients, and the challenges of being a physician-in-training

I am also a lover of all things science fiction and fantasy (Star Trek: Voyager is my favorite -- apologies to all you Picard fans), and I play classical piano and clarinet.