WPA Travel Award Winners Announced for WCP23
Updated: Sep 26
In February this year, two of the World Psychiatric Association’s (WPA) Components offered Medical Students and Psychiatric Trainees the opportunity to win a fellowship (Travel Award) to attend the 23rd WPA World Congress of Psychiatry (WCP23) in Vienna, Austria later this year (28th September - 1st October).
The WPA Collaborating Centre Group offered the fellowship to all psychiatric trainees who were invited to submit an essay of between 3000-5000 words (including references) on the topic of “ Essay on: Climate Change, Urbanization, Air Pollution, Natural Disasters: Global challenges for mental health, resilience, and recovery ”; with lucky winner being awarded a travel grant to help them attend the WCP23.
While the WPA Working Group (WG) on Medical Students invited all medical students to submit an essay of up to 750 words (including references) on the topic of “ The Interface of Physical and Mental Health ”; with the successful winner also being awarded a travel grant to attend the WCP23.
After receiving hundreds of applications, we are happy to share details of the judging and selection process as well as announce the winners of both awards.
The WPA Collaborating Centre Group Award for Psychiatric Trainees
Over 22 submissions were received from 13 countries and the quality of entries were outstanding. The judging panel, consisting of Professors Andrea Fiorillo, Linda Lam, and Kamaldeep Bhui along with winners from last year who now joined the judging panel, Drs Scarlett Manchado, Sibel Elmas, Anita Chattopadhyay. We judged on the basis of originality, clarity/accessibility, synthesis of complex information, good academic practice (referencing), clear conclusions based on evidence and good research integrity. The standard was very high and t he essays were of excellent quality. As such, the judges decided to award two first prize winners, with the travel grant of USD $2,000 being split equally between the winners. The two successful candidates are:
Dr Lauren Chiu (Australia) , and
Dr Nadia Adchara (Thailand)
Prof. Kam Bhui commented: “It was a great pleasure to review and assess so many good entries from around the world. The judging panel were impressed with the standards and qualify of the submission, which is encouraging reflection of the talent amongst future psychiatrists.”
WPA Working Group on Medical Students Award for Medical Students
640 entries were submitted from 41 different countries, 234 medical schools and 6 continents in response to the invitation to submit an essay on the topic of “The Interface of Physical and Mental Health”.
Again, the quality of essays was outstanding and the judging panel had a difficult job deciding between the various entries. The two-stage review process was vigorous with 23 judges participating in the first phase and 5 judges assessing the 10 finalist in the final stage. Judges were blinded from the details of the participants in this stage.
After a close competition, the winner of this travel fellowship was awarded to:
Jessica Batra (New Delhi, India)
Salma Absosabie (Germany) (winner of German-speaking essay)
Commenting on this travel award, Prof. Muhammad Waqar Azeem said “The judging panel was extremely impressed by the high quality of submissions. The essay competition this year generated huge interest globally among medical students, which was great to witness".
Prof. Afzal Javed, President WPA, Prof. Kam Bhui and Prof. Muhammad Waqar Azeem would like to congratulate the deserving winners of both awards and look forward to welcoming them in Vienna.
Author: Prof. Afzal Javed, Prof. Kam Bhui and Prof. Muhammad Waqar Azeem
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Medical Student Essay Award
Created to honor outstanding academic promise
Tips for Nominations
Submission by student to annual essay contest
Award Benefits for 2023 Award
- Complimentary registration for 2023 AAP Annual Meeting
- Up to $1,000 reimbursement for 2023 Annual Meeting-related travel and meal expenses
- Essay presented as e-poster at 2023 Annual Meeting
2023 1st Place: Brian R. Smith, Stanford University 2nd Place: Isabel Draper, Baylor College of Medicine 3rd Place: Serra Sozen, University of Vermont College of Medicine
2022 1st Place: William Thomas (Tommy) Baumel, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine 2nd Place: Eun Jin (Gloria) Yu, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA 3rd Place: Brittany Perry, University of South Florida College of Medicine
2021 1st Place: Sahana Nazeer, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine 2nd Place: Chloe Malava, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College 3rd Place: Mollie Marr, Oregon Health Sciences University 4th Place: Edward Tie, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
2020 1st Place: Jeff Jin, McGovern Medical School 2nd Place: Nicole Hadler, University of Michigan Medical School 3rd Place: David Jevotovsky, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
2019 Alan Elbaum, University of California - San Francisco
Your award includes complimentary registration for the AAP Annual Meeting, and up to $1,000 reimbursement for meeting-related travel and meal expenses.
The theme is: The Art of Communication in Psychiatry: Connecting with the Patient.
SUBMISSIONS FOR THE 2024 MEDICAL STUDENT ESSAY CONTEST WILL OPEN JANUARY 2, 2024.
Submission Requirements The contest is open to any student who is both currently enrolled in an accredited medical school (US, Canada, or anywhere in the world) and will be enrolled at the time of the Annual Meeting September 11 - 14, 2024. The work must be an original unpublished essay of 1,000 words or less . Due to an overwhelming response, ONLY ONE SUBMISSION PER STUDENT WILL BE ACCEPTED.
The top essay may be considered for publication in the Academic Psychiatry Journal in "The Learners' Voice" section. Essay winner does not guarantee publication in the Academic Psychiatry Journal . Please review the publication criteria when writing your essay here . Refer to MANUSCRIPT TYPE & GUIDELINES #8 The Learners' Voice.
Essays should be submitted electronically by clicking the link below. Please include a cover page with the following information:
- Student’s Name
- Name of Medical School where enrolled, year in school
- Mailing Address, Phone Number, Email Address
Judges will be blinded to the participant and affiliated medical school. Judging will be based on originality, uniqueness, flow of thought, and appropriateness to the theme.
Thank you for your interest.
The submission portal for the 2024 Medical Student Essay will open in January 2024.
For additional inquiries, contact James R. Haliburton, MD, at [email protected] .
WPA 3 Minutes Presentation Competitions
Submission for the WPA 3 Minutes Competitions is now closed
The WPA 3 Minutes Presentations Competitions are planned to be live interactive sessions with a series of short presentations aiming to improve presentation skills of early career psychiatrists (ECP).
The format of the competitions aim to encourage early career psychiatrists to effectively explain their topic in 3 minutes in a clear and succinct way, improving their vocal pitch accuracy and trying to capture the audience’s attention.
Session 01 – Saturday, 30 September 2023, 16:30-17:30 Session 02 – Sunday, 1 October 2023, 09:15-10:15
Each presentation should only have 1 slide and last 3 minutes. The presentation will be followed by up to 2 minutes of Q&A from the audience.
The 2 winners from each session will each receive waived registration to the WCP 2024 Congress.
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- v.22(3); 2023 Oct
WPA Working Group on Medical Students: new accomplishments and online resources
Howard y. liu.
1 WPA Working Group on Medical Students
2 University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha NE, USA
Muhammad Waqar Azeem
3 Sidra Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, Doha Qatar
4 King Edward Medical University, Mayo Hospital, Lahore Pakistan
5 Sun Valley Behavioral Medical and Research Center, Imperial CA, USA
6 Royal Ottawa Mental Health Center, University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON, Canada
Pronob K. Dalal
7 King George's Medical University, Lucknow India
Sridevi Sira Mahalingappa
8 South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London UK
9 University of Western Australia, Fremantle Hospital, Fremantle WA, Australia
10 WPA President
11 Pakistan Psychiatric Research Centre, Fountain House, Lahore Pakistan
As the COVID‐19 pandemic persists and millions are impacted by war and economic unrest, it is critical that mental health services receive support 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 . Despite the pressing need, there remains a significant gap in access to services and an ongoing shortage of mental health workforce, especially in low‐ and middle‐income countries 5 . In the WPA Action Plan 2020‐2023, capacity building and promotion of psychiatry among medical students has been an important pillar 6 . To this aim, a WPA Working Group on Medical Students was created and launched in December 2020, with the support and attendance of the WPA President and medical educators from Qatar, the US, Canada, Pakistan, India, Australia, Mexico and the UK.
The remit of this Working Group includes four components: to identify opportunities for promoting psychiatry as a career among medical students; to identify organizations and individuals interested in participating and promoting WPA's Action Plan in nurturing psychiatry among medical students; to liaise with other WPA Working Groups regarding medical students; and to support medical students around the world 7 .
In order to address the growing needs for mental health workforce, educators must approach the stigma about becoming a mental health professional 8 . To this end, the Working Group produced a “Stigma” video featuring medical students from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Nepal, Portugal, Thailand, Turkey and South Africa, discussing the impact of stigma on pursuing a career in psychiatry. A central theme was the need to speak up to address myths about mental health and dismantle implicit or explicit bias against people with a mental health disorder. This video is available in English, French, Spanish and Russian on the WPA website, so that medical educators can share it with their trainees and medical students.
In addition to the video, the Working Group is continuing to develop free, open access online modules for psychiatric educators. E‐learning has emerged as an increasingly important tool for medical student education during the COVID‐19 pandemic, as it provides a flexible environment where students can learn at their own pace 9 , 10 . The topics covered by the modules are “Medical students wellbeing and selfcare”, “Stigma in psychiatry – barriers and solutions”, and “Introduction to psychiatry – what and why of psychiatry”. These modules were developed by international teams of psychiatry faculty and medical students and are available on the WPA Education Portal 11 .
The Working Group has organized several in‐person events to promote psychiatry among medical students, foster discussions about well‐being, and offer career mentorship. The Group visited the Siriraj Hospital faculty and medical students during the 2022 World Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, to share online resources and conduct a burnout exercise among the undergraduate medical students. Members of the Working Group also organized events for medical students at the Thematic and Regional WPA Conferences in Karachi, Pakistan, and Kolkata, India in 2023.
To complement the in‐person conferences, the Working Group is fostering global engagement of medical students around the world through essay competitions, art competitions, and video competitions centered on psychiatry themes. Regarding the essay competition, the Working Group received more than 150 entries from 39 different countries on the topic of “Breaking the silence: how is stigma a barrier to mental health”. The top 16 essays selected by an international panel of psychiatrists were published in a WPA e‐book. An art competition was organized during the WPA Thematic Congress in Lahore, Pakistan, in March 2022, featuring undergraduate and postgraduate medical students and allied health students interested in psychiatry. Finally, at the WPA Regional Congress in Kolkata, India, in April 2023, a brief video competition was organized on the theme “The importance of psychiatry in the medical field”. Twenty‐seven videos were submitted by undergraduate medical students from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The Working Group is also active in scholarship regarding undergraduate medical education and psychiatry. The activities are accessible on the dedicated section of the WPA website ( www.wpanet.org/wg‐on‐medicalstudents ).
Future directions include: a) to organize additional essay competitions to promote psychiatry as a career; b) to publish a survey about psychiatry curriculum in medical education across medical schools in different countries; c) to engage in virtual and in‐person activities to promote psychiatry among medical students and to address burnout among students; d) to liaison with regional and international organizations to promote psychiatry; e) to deliver presentations at WPA congresses and other national and international conferences; and f) to implement social media and video campaigns to promote psychiatry.