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Writing in the time of COVID-19 pandemic

Johannes F. Dayrit, MD, FPDS

Over the past few months, the lives we knew fundamentally changed. Normal social life and work have come to a stop . The pandemic effect on the economy is devastating and the effect on the income of physicians has been worse. Academic activities have also been greatly affected. Conferences until the end of the year have been rescheduled and teaching-learning activities have only been carried out through video conferencing tools. Since most educational institutions are closed, research activities have been severely affected. Researchers find it difficult to collect data and conduct clinical trials properly.

Because updates on the pandemic is televised and continuously shared on social media, we see worn out faces of nurses, doctors and other frontliners on a daily basis. Quarantine and other social isolation measures have had a profound impact on psychological and mental well-being of many individuals, including dermatologists. Most of these factors are expected to impede the process of writing.

Despite all these ongoing challenges, some of our PDS colleagues have managed to conduct and finish their researches, write manuscripts and get them published. In the midst of fear, anxiety, and uncertainties, these PDS dermatologists have transformed this crisis into opportunities. Congratulations to Drs Keza Evangelista, Chesca Sy-Alvarado, Kate Cembrano, Emy Onishi, and Janice Ng who were able to publish their researches in this time of pandemic. To date, a total of 12 indexed articles have been published since the start of quarantine and these are all considered significant contributions to the international scientific community.

I would also like to commend the works of our colleagues who have contributed to the midyear issue of the JPDS. I have to give a special mention to Dr Krissy Jamora and team on their online survey and practical recommendations for safe procedural dermatology practice and Dr Elaine Melody Co and consultants from St Lukes Medical Center on their case report and review of skin manifestations of COVID-19.

And last but not the least, I would like to thank the editorial staff of the JPDS Drs Migs, Kat, Julius, Joland, Francis, all associate editors and peer reviewers who have contributed immensely to this midyear issue. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. 

For younger colleagues, apart from the personal pleasure of sharing about your scientific discoveries, one of the first and most obvious advantages of publishing research work are the additional lines they provide on your CV. This should be an important concern for residents who wish to apply in competitive post-graduate fellowship programs or work in academic institutions.

Another important reason for publishing scientific work is the need to create an academic reputation and build a name in your field of interest (e.g. dermatopathology, tropical medicine, cosmetic dermatology). The sharing of published academic work typically happens in local and international conferences. This is also an excellent opportunity for networking and support because we get to know the other researchers in our field of interest and may ultimately lead to research collaboration and further publications.

In this midyear issue of JPDS, I would like to commend all contributors who have unselfishly shared products of their research and hardwork. These contributions to the scientific community, particularly in dermatology is much appreciated.


Johannes F. Dayrit, MD, FPDS
Journal of the Philippine Dermatological Society

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Writing in the time of COVID-19 pandemic