BMA book prize

Professor Sir John Temple (President of the BMA), Professor Rob Anderson, Dr Margaret Somerville, Dr Iain Kennedy (Chair of the BMA’s Public Health Committee).

Public health academics win medical book prize

An academic at the University of Exeter Medical School is among a trio of authors to win a prestigious book prize.

Rob Anderson, Associate Professor of Health Economics and Evaluation, was one of the authors to win first prize in the Public Health category of the 2017 BMA Medical Book Awards on Monday night, for their undergraduate medical textbook, Public Health and Epidemiology at a Glance (2nd edition). 

Professor Anderson co-authored the book along with Dr Margaret Somerville and Dr K Kumaran.

Professor Anderson said he was “totally surprised” for their book to have won amid such a high calibre of shortlisted books. “Many of the examples we used in the book drew directly from the research-inspired teaching and real connections to public health policy-making and the NHS in the South West that have always exemplified the training of new doctors in Exeter.”

The prize was announced at a ceremony at BMA House in London, buzzing with book authors, editors, online media producers and medical publishers, and presented by the current president of the British Medical Association, Professor Sir John Temple.  The annual awards exist to recognise outstanding contributions to medical literature. The selection process involves more than 400 expert volunteer reviewers and members of key BMA committees.  This year, 600 books were nominated by publishers or authors across the 20 categories of the awards.

Dr Margaret Somerville, who led the team of authors, is a former senior lecturer at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, which preceded the University of Exeter Medical School. She said the book was designed to be relevant to medical students in a changing healthcare environment. She said: “We felt it was vital to be up to date with what doctors needed to know for the future, which meant we included areas not necessarily seen as public health - such as the growing importance of evidence-based medicine and health economics, where the Medical School has national and international expertise.”

In the award ceremony programme, BMA reviewer of the book Dr Joanne Morling wrote: “This is a basic text but a very good one.  Ideal for undergraduates or a revision aid. It has clear, bright, colourful diagrams with accessible text. Its strengths lie in its visual appeal and well-judged snapshots of information.”

The book is available from Wiley-Blackwell in paperback and electronic ebook format.  It has also been translated and published in Korean.

Public Health and Epidemiology at a Glance (2nd edition).  Margaret Somerville, K Kumaran, Rob Anderson. Wiley-Blackwell 2016 ISBN: 9781118999325

Date: 14 September 2017

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