Stanford University School of Medicine
Print and Digital Publishing: External Audience - Bronze
Stanford Medicine is a magazine published by Stanford Medicine’s Office of Communications to build awareness among a broad constituency — including the Stanford Medicine community, the general public, donors, and health and medicine opinion leaders — of the innovative research, clinical care, and education initiatives being advanced at Stanford Medicine.
Each issue features a package of stories on a single theme told from the perspectives of Stanford physicians, researchers, students, and patients. We choose themes according to institutional priorities as well as newsworthiness. Racial inequity in medicine was one theme — chosen because our community was grappling with the issue in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the COVID-19 pandemic. Our other theme, the brain and nervous system, was an opportunity to amaze, educate, and offer hope through discoveries in this field — one of our institution’s strategic priorities. The magazine also provides a roundup of news at the medical center and in-depth stories highlighting topics beyond the theme.
Stanford Medicine, circulation 30,000, is published in print and online, with the online edition including additional articles and audio and video features. During the last calendar year, two 44-page issues were published.
What was the most impactful part of your entry?
One highly impactful aspect of this entry was the message sent by our theme package on racial inequity in medicine that this issue matters to Stanford Medicine’s leadership. This was brought home when a newly hired Latino faculty member contacted us to say how inspired and heartened he was by the issue and to ask how he could work with us to amplify that message.
Leaders of the institution’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives told us they had received very positive feedback about the magazine, and we heard from many appreciative readers. Conversely, the package provoked a few angry notes — rare for us — from readers taking issue with the focus on social justice in a medical publication. We weren’t happy to receive negative comments, but we were glad to see this edition prompted engagement.
What is one thing you learned from your entry/experience?
We learned that review of our stories and illustrations by people with DEI expertise can help in unexpected ways — for example, their alert that an illustration draft showed a stereotypical depiction of a Black man pushed us to highlight more diverse people.