Elsevier Announces Winners of Harriet Lane Essay Contest

Winning submissions best capture advancements in pediatric care since “The Lane” first published in 1953

Philadelphia, PA, October 27, 2015

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, has announced the winners of The Harriet Lane Essay Contest. The competition was based on 500-word essay submissions that explained what advancements have taken place in pediatric care since The Harriet Lane Handbook was first published in 1953.

The Harriet Lane Handbook is the first medical reference book written “by residents, for residents” and reviewed by expert faculty at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. The winners were announced at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Conference & Exhibition last week in Washington, DC.

“The essays are an important reminder of the value of the handbook as a trusted resource in the daily care of patients by residents on the front lines improving the health of children,” said Dr. Julia McMillan, who has advised the editors of the Harriet Lane Handbook since 1991. Dr. McMillan thanked all those who submitted essays.

Contest winners were selected in three categories: Medical Student, Resident and Fellows, and will each receive a $1,000 grand prize. They include:

  • Medical Student category – Amy Huang, Brooklyn, NY
  • Resident category – Anand Sandesara, Shaker Heights, OH
  • Fellows category – A tie: Michael Cabana, San Francisco, CA, and Colin Phoon, New York, NY. Drs. Cabana and Phoon are former Harriet Lane Handbook residents.

“The advances in pediatric care described by the winning submissions illustrate how The Harriet Lane Handbook has so accurately reflected the evolution of pediatric medicine,” said Linda Belfus, Senior Vice President for Content, Elsevier Clinical Solutions. “The submissions also reinforce the reason why The Harriet Lane Handbook continues to serve as the gold standard in point-of-care clinical information for any health care professional treating pediatric patients.”

Ms. Huang cited the development and increased administration of childhood immunizations as a major advancement in pediatric care. She also credits health information technology, which has made it easier for pediatricians to keep track of and share information such as immunizations, special visit notes and medications, with patients.

Dr. Sandesara noted advances in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric illnesses such as cystic fibrosis and stated that “diagnoses which were death sentences are now managed well into adulthood.”

Explaining that pediatricians are now treating new types of patients due to the success of therapies not present in 1950, Dr. Cabana stated that pediatric patients are surviving cancer diagnoses, and hospitals are caring for extremely premature infants. At the same time, Cabana notes the “dearth of routinely successful management options for obese children” in recent editions of The Harriet Lane Handbook,” adding that “hopefully, future editions of the Lane will chronicle a greater array of effective, evidence-based methods to treat pediatric obesity.”

Dr. Phoon refers to The Harriet Lane Handbook as the first “point-of-care tool for the care of children.” In comparing the early editions to the most recent edition, he states that recent editions have reflected the growing complexity of pediatric care, and cited additions to the book that reflect this, such as: diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms; a nearly 400-page drug formulary that includes information such as routes of administration, dosing guidelines, metabolism and cautions on use and safety in pregnancy; and pediatric emergency medicine and critical care. He said that the 20th edition includes chapters on biostatistics and evidence-based medicine, which “reflects their increasingly important roles in pediatric care,” while the Palliative Care chapter “augurs the work still ahead.”

To read the winning essays and other information on The Harriet Lane Essay Contest winners, visit the awards site.


About Elsevier
Elsevier is a global information analytics business that helps scientists and clinicians to find new answers, reshape human knowledge, and tackle the most urgent human crises. For 140 years, we have partnered with the research world to curate and verify scientific knowledge. Today, we’re committed to bringing that rigor to a new generation of platforms. Elsevier provides digital solutions and tools in the areas of strategic research management, R&D performance, clinical decision support, and professional education; including ScienceDirect, Scopus, SciVal, ClinicalKey and Sherpath. Elsevier publishes over 2,500 digitized journals, including The Lancet and Cell, 39,000 e-book titles and many iconic reference works, including Gray's Anatomy. Elsevier is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. www.elsevier.com

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