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WPA Medical Student Working Group Release eBook of Essays on Stigma and Mental Health

The WPA Working Group on Medical Students publish an eBook compiling some of the selected essays they received as part of their fellowship award to attend last year's WPA World Congress in Bangkok

Capacity building and to promote psychiatry among medical students is one of the major components of World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Triennium Action Plan 2020- 2023. In this regard, WPA offered Medical Students the opportunity to win a fellowship (Travel Award) to attend the 22nd WPA World Congress of Psychiatry (WCP22) in Bangkok, Thailand in August 2022.

The WPA Working Group (WG) on Medical Students invited all medical students to submit an essay of up to 1,500 words (including references) on the topic of “Breaking the Silence: How is STIGMA a barrier to mental health”, with two successful winners being awarded USD $1,000 to cover the registration, travel, and accommodation costs to attend the WCP22 in Bangkok.

Over 150 entries were submitted from 39 different countries responding to the invitation to submit an essay on the topic of “Breaking the silence: How is STIGMA a barrier to mental health”.

The quality of entrees was impressive and the judging panel assessed the essays on the basis of originality, clarity of argument, academic rigour, abiding to the rules, and quality of writing.

The panel, consisting of several WPA members including Professor Howard Liu, Professor Nazish Imran, Dr. Bernardo Ng, Dr Sadiq Naveed, Dr Deepika Shaligram, Dr Irum Aamer, Dr Saeed Ahmed, and Professor Muhammad Waqar Azeem, had a challenging but rewarding job to narrow the submissions down to the two winners, through two-step process. The $1,000 fellowships were awarded to:

Daniyaal Taheri (Seth GS Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India).

Jolly Thomas (University of Ibadan College of Medicine, Ibadan, Nigeria).

The judging panel was extremely impressed by the high quality of submissions. This essay competition generated interest globally among medical students which was very encouraging. This is the first time WPA has conducted this kind of essay competition among medical students. We are extremely thankful to all the judges and members of the WPA Working Group on Medical students for their contributions in making this inaugural medical student essay competition successful.

Following the success of the competition, the WPA Working Group on Medical Students have released an eBook containing a compilation of the competition essays, including the two winning submissions. You can read the eBook here.

Author: Professor Muhammad Waqar Azeem (Chair of the WPA Working Group on Medical Students)


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