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Anaesthesia history prize

Thomas Boulton Anaesthesia History Prize 2024


The Association of Anaesthetists (the Association) and the History of Anaesthesia Society will offer a cash prize to a trainee or medical student member of the Association for an original essay of 4000-6000 words on a topic related to the history of anaesthesia, intensive care or pain management.

Closing date for submissions was 23:59 on Wednesday 24 January 2024.

Submission guidance:

  • Submitters must be the sole author of their essay.
  • Essays should have reference in Vancouver format.
  • Illustrations are allowed.
  • The paper should not previously have been published.
  • Resubmission of an essay previously submitted to the Thomas Boulton Anaesthesia History prize may only be allowed on one occasion.
  • All essays will be subject to a plagiarism check as part of the judging process. Any essay deemed to be outside the allowed range will be withdrawn from the process.
  • Submitted essays will be archived for research purposes.

The £500 prize and an engraved medal will be awarded at the discretion of the judging panel, and the winner may be invited to present the paper at the Association Trainee Conference. Selected submitters may be invited to present their work at the History of Anaesthesia Society annual conference. Certificates of merit may also be awarded to other entries of high standard.

The winning entry may be published on the Association website or in Anaesthesia News at the discretion of the Managing Editor.

Previous winning essays include:

  • 2017 - Come Fly With Me: The story of taking intensive care medicine and critical care above the clouds by Dr Sam Fosker
  • 2018 - Monitoring depth of anaesthesia a long-standing enterprise by Miss Laura Gounon
  • 2019 - Blood Transfusion for Haemorrhagic Shock. Have we come full circle? by Dr Laura Naumann
  • 2020 - Spinal Anaesthesia during the 19th and 20th Centuries -- Cocaine and Controversy by Mr Serkin Cakir
  • 2021 - The ABCs of Anaesthetic History -- Alcohol, Beer and Cocktails by Dr John Thompson
  • 2022 - The Story of how Victorian Britain Came to Accept General Anaesthesia by Dr Owen Duffey
  • 2023 - Coming out of a bad trip: The turbulent history of ketamine and its promising future by Dr Hanin Ramadan

Essays will be assessed by members of the Association of Anaesthetists Heritage, Research and Innovation Committee using the following scoring criteria:

Relevance to theme

  1. Not related; ignores topic
  2. Poetic licence needed
  3. Some relevance; misses point of topic
  4. Mostly relevant; doesn't fully address topic
  5. Entirely answers question; fully related to topic

Originality/author's ideas

  1. No new ideas; poor arguments
  2. Little novel; not publishable
  3. Some novel ideas; uses well-known arguments
  4. Good arguments; publishable
  5. Novel ideas; immediate reader impact

How well researched

  1. No evidence base presented
  2. Little research; inappropriate references
  3. Some evidence presented; mostly opinion/hearsay
  4. Mostly evidence based; appropriate use of references
  5. Fully referenced; understands quoted literature

How well written and laid out

  1. Confused presentation; no adherence to word limit
  2. Unclear arguments; poorly laid out; poor use of English
  3. Layout could be improved; untidy in parts
  4. Reasonable prose; within 10% of word limit
  5. Clear and concise; well presented; within word limit

If you have any additional queries, please contact the Association Governance team on 020 7631 1650 option 3 or at [email protected]