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Vinod Ravindran

Author Affiliations: 

Editor-In-Chief, Editorial office, JRCPE

Correspondence to: 

Vinod Ravindran, Editorial office, JRCPE, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 11 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JQ

Journal Issue: 
Volume 50: Issue 3: 2020
Cite paper as: 
J R Coll Physicians Edinb 2020; 50: 219



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The world has changed dramatically due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its wider multidimensional ramifications since I wrote a similar piece earlier this year. In these difficult times, the editorial team has worked hard to keep the Journal’s focus intact despite the hugely increased workload in their respective clinical environments as well as the ever-increasing number of submissions. As we continue to wait for the long overdue electronic manuscript management system and Ahead of Print (AOP) facility in order to offer a deservedly better experience to our authors, reviewers and editors on a par with other reputable journals, I remain grateful for their support and contributions to the Journal’s growth.

One of the major offerings in this issue of the Journal is the winner of the 2020 Andrew Douglas Award; an original article by Jain and colleagues on sarcoidosis (see page 226). I am pleased to share that we had a very good response to the call for papers for this prestigious award which recognises the contribution to respiratory medicine of the late Dr Andrew Douglas (a College Fellow from 1965 to 2013). With Professor Sir John Crofton, Dr Douglas co-authored the textbook Respiratory Diseases in 1969. Under this duo, this very popular textbook ran for three editions until 1981 when it entered its fourth edition under Dr Anthony Seaton. In 1986 Dr Douglas was awarded the College’s Cullen Prize (a ‘prize for the greatest benefit done to practical medicine’) and was President of the Scottish Thoracic Society (1980–1982). In 2001 in honour of his outstanding contribution to the specialty, Dr Douglas was awarded the British Thoracic Society’s Medal. It is heartening that Dr Douglas’ generous legacy to the College has enabled this prestigious annual JRCPE award. The award comprises a medal and £500 for each of two original articles: one on tuberculosis in general and the other on sarcoid or other granulomatous conditions affecting the lungs.
The announcement for next year’s award can be found on page 232 of this issue.

In this issue of the Journal there are several other interesting articles in its three sections (including one on tuberculosis, and two more on sarcoidosis). Readers may find two COVID-19 related surveys conducted by medical students from India of interest. While Vishwesh Agarwal in his web-based survey (page 345) has explored the prevalent fears and inadequate understanding of COVID-19 among medical undergraduates, Ananth Vijay reports (page 350) on awareness and attitude regarding the COVID-19 outbreak among newly qualified medical students about to start their internship. Together they underscore the need for focussed education and training of medical students with provision of necessary personal protection equipment for them to be an effective workforce against the pandemic.

In addition, two COVID-19 related perspectives in this issue are not only thought provoking, but also implore us to introspect. The first one by Gupta and Goel (page 274) is their reflections on science and morality during this pandemic, appraising the key ethical principles of the practice of medicine as they seem to apply in the present context. In his piece Khan (page 343) presents his viewpoint on aequanimitas as relevant to this pandemic which may find resonance among the wider medical fraternity. As readers may be well aware, in his valedictory address at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania at Philadelphia in 1889 entitled ‘Aequanimitas’, Sir William Osler advocated two qualities of ‘imperturbability’ and ‘equanimity’ and since then it has been highly regarded advice to clinicians globally.

Lastly, I urge our Fellows and Members to submit high quality original articles and to take an active part in promoting the Journal.

I welcome feedback or suggestions regarding any aspect of JRCPE by email to, or to the editorial team at