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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 to speculate on the future of our profession.

It was a pipe dream, we admitted, the fantasy of two overly-eager medical students who hadn’t even stepped into their first lecture hall and whose publication had barely passed its first Apgar score.

However, at the American Association for Medical Colleges (AAMC) Annual Meeting this past weekend in Philadelphia, our dream found its first roots. As we presented our poster on in-Training’s inception and expansion, we introduced one of our columnists, a Texan, to one of our contributing writers from the far state of Connecticut—the first time we had ever introduced one of our writers to another.

A small and seemingly trivial act, but for a virtual publication composed of medical students from all over the world, it was a testament to in-Training’s evolving role as the voice of the medical student community. Our writers—an entrepreneurial bunch of their own right, as we discovered—met other writers, talked about their mutual projects, and reflected on the rigors of medical education.

When we unveiled our new mission statement over the summer, we knew our third purpose, collaboration, would be the most difficult—and most vital—to achieve. Our first two missions, self-reflection and communication, are nothing new to in-Training. With 199 articles published by 97 medical students at 48 institutions across the United States, Canada, India, and even the Dutch Antilles, it is clear that medical students are eager to reflect and share their experiences with their peers.

But to have students use in-Training as a networking platform, as a means to mutually collaborate on projects, and as a way to identify with peers who share interests in humanism or policy or art: this is why we founded in-Training.

And so, on this 200th article published on in-Training, we would like to affirm our commitment to the medical student voice. Through new partnerships and collaboration with colleagues met through the AAMC, we are building relationships to strengthen our publication and the bonds between medical students worldwide.

Thank you to our writers who enrich us, our editors who guide us, and our readers—a whopping 4,000 of you a month—who support us. Your empowerment of the medical student community leads us to a better future for health care and for our patients.

Keep reading, keep writing, and spread the word to your friends and colleagues. And of course, let us know if you’re interested in contributing.

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

Founder and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

The University of Chicago

My name is Ajay Major, and I am currently a fellow in adult hematology and oncology at the University of Chicago. I am a Class of 2016 graduate of Albany Medical College and finished my residency in internal medicine at the University of Colorado in 2019.

My journey into narrative medicine and publishing began in April 2012 when I founded in-Training, the online peer-reviewed publication for medical students, and served as editor-in-chief for four years. I also founded in-House, the online peer-reviewed publication for residents and fellows, and currently serve as editor-in-chief since 2016.

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 2014. We currently provide administrative and financial support for six publications: in-Training, in-House, The Palate, North Wing Magazine, Mosaic in Medicine, and Intervene Upstream.

Since our inception, Pager Publications, Inc. has published four books, most recently Salve: Words For The Journey, a compilation of poetry, prose, and journaling prompts written by psychiatrist and author Monisha Vasa, MD.

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