Virtual Mentor

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Virtual Mentor's permission-for-use policy?

Virtual Mentor, (VM)editors strongly believe that access to the best available thinking and professional consensus on matters of ethical import in medicine and the care of patients should be unrestricted. Towards that end, the AMA allows anyone to link to, quote from, reprint, and copy VM articles, so long as the original authors, source, and AMA disclaimer are cited. The disclaimer must read as follows: "The viewpoints expressed in Virtual Mentor are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA." Written permission for use is not required from the AMA.

How can I respond to an article I read in Virtual Mentor?

Letters discussing a recent Virtual Mentor article may be sent to Letters received within 6 weeks of the article's publication that do not exceed 800 words of text will be considered for publication. The text of letters should include the names, academic degrees, and primary institutional affiliations of the author(s) and the e-mail address for the corresponding author. Letters must not duplicate other material published or submitted for publication by the correspondent. Letters will be published at the discretion of the editors and are subject to abridgement and editing for style and content.

Does Virtual Mentor accept unsolicited manuscripts?

Yes. Virtual Mentor considers unsolicited manuscripts submitted through our online manuscript submission and review system. To submit an article for consideration, click here.

What types of articles does Virtual Mentor?consider for publication?

VM's editorial preference is for commentaries and articles that offer practical advice and information for medical students, resident physicians, and those who teach them. We keep the number of rare, infrequently encountered topics to a minimum, unless one such topic, e.g., the “octomom,” captures medical news headlines. We will consider both so-called “evergreen” topics and those exploring current events or debates in the medical ethics world. Most VM articles are in the 1,500- to 1,800-word range, but we know some arguments take longer to develop, and some stories, longer to tell.

Are Virtual Mentor articles peer-reviewed?

Virtual Mentorbegan accepting unsolicited articles for peer review in late 2014. We expect the number of peer-reviewed articles the journal publishes to grow over time. To submit an unsolicited article for possible peer review through VM’s online manuscript submission and review system, click here.

Can I become a Virtual Mentor guest editor?

Twelve US medical students or resident physicians are selected annually by a competitive process. Each student or resident selected receives a $2,000 honorarium and serves as editor for one issue of Virtual Mentor in the coming year. Click here for more information.

Does Virtual Mentor express only views and opinions that accord with AMA positions?

No. Virtual Mentor operates under the provisions of the World Association of Medical Editors (WAME), according to which the journal's editor-in-chief has full authority over the editorial content of the journal. Each VM article contains this disclaimer: "The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.” That said, as a journal intended primarily for medical students, residents, other physicians, and medical educators, Virtual Mentor often often has recourse in its analysis of professional concerns and challenges to the Code of Medical Ethics, widely considered the most comprehensive ethics guide for physicians.

Can I receive an e-mail notice when each issue goes live?

Yes. Click on the "e-mail alert" button and follow the instructions that will add your name to the list of those who receive the monthly Virtual Mentor table of content.

There is a problem with your site. What should I do?

Notify us at Please include the details of the problem, e.g., the URL of the broken link. We will see that the message gets to the web technicians.