Medical book awards

The BMA medical book awards takes place annually to recognise outstanding contributions to medical literature.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Monday 1 March 2021
BMA library article illustration of a book
Applications to the awards are now open

See winners from 2019 medical book awards


How to enter


We have had to suspend the 2020 awards because of the current COVID-19 health crisis. Applications to the 2021 awards opened on Tuesday 5 January and will close on Friday 26 February at 11.55PM.

Apply now

Applications submitted in 2020 will be eligible. Applicants may also submit new applications for resources published in 2020.  

In line with our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, we will only be considering digital resources.

We will contact applicants so that they can update their applications.

Winners will be announced in September 2021.

If you have any questions about the awards, or wish to be informed when applications open, please contact Richard Jones on [email protected] for further information.

Conditions of entry
  1. The awards are open to all publishers of medical and health books except the BMA and BMJ Publishing Group.
  2. All titles must have been published between January 2019 and December 2020.
  3. Subsequent editions of titles which have won special awards or category first prizes may not be entered again. New editions of titles which have been commended or highly commended may be entered.
  4. All titles must be available in the United Kingdom.
  5. All titles must be in English.
  6. Titles must not contain a significant authorial or editorial contribution from a current member of BMA or BMJ staff.
  7. A separate entry form must be completed for each title, including details of its intended readership and educational aims.
  8. Entries may be entered into one category only. The organisers of the awards may reassign entries to more appropriate categories.
  9. Resources must be available digitally. Where access codes are being provided we require three for the purposes of reviewing the book.
  10. Additional certificates may be purchased from the BMA.
  11. Texts on nursing or dentistry will not be accepted. Serials are likewise not eligible for entry although annual updates will be considered.

Award categories

Category Topics included
Anaesthesia, critical care and emergency medicine Anaesthesia; critical care medicine; emergency medicine
Basic and clinical sciences and research Anatomy; biochemistry; genetics; microbiology; molecular biology; physiology; pharmacology; statistics; research practice
Good medical practice Ethics; history of medicine; medical education; communication; writing skills; dictionaries; directories etc; medico-politics; medico-legal medicine; non-clinical books aimed at the general public; management
Hospital medicine Cardiology; endocrinology; gastroenterology; haematology; dermatology; neurology; respiratory; rheumatology; nephrology; medical ophthalmology; radiology; palliative care; geriatrics; genito-urinary medicine
Obstetrics and gynaecology Obstetrics and gynaecology; reproduction medicine; fetal medicine
Oncology All aspects of oncology and haematological oncology
Paediatrics and child health Paediatrics and child health
Pathology Pathology and histopathology
Popular medicine Clinical books aimed at the general public
Primary care General practice; occupational health; community care; social medicine; general medicine; diagnosis; nutrition; rehabilitation; therapeutics
Psychiatry Psychiatry; forensic medicine; substance misuse; mental health; counselling; psychology
Public health Public health; communicable diseases; toxicology; health promotion; disease prevention; health services; epidemiology
Surgery and surgical specialties General surgery; trauma and orthopaedics; plastic surgery; specialist surgical books; surgical ophthalmology; cardiothoracic; urology; vascular
2021 special category: COVID-19 COVID-19; health inequalities; research (including vaccines and public research)

Apply to be a reviewer

BMA medical book awards (MBA) reviewers have a key role in advising on the quality and suitability of each application.

MBA reviewers must be current BMA members. If non-members are interested in this role, please get in touch with the awards team on [email protected]; please note that we will prioritise BMA members to act as reviewers.

Reviewers should have experience in one or more of these areas:

  • medical and academic publishing
  • education and training
  • specialist interest in one or more areas of clinical practice
  • medical research and knowledge of recent developments in clinical practice
  • entries are allocated to reviewers based on their areas of expertise, professional background, and topics of interest.

The MBA reviewer role is voluntary and unremunerated although reasonable expenses are covered, and reviewers are permitted to retain e-copies of any entries they review.

If you would like to become a reviewer or have any further queries, please email the awards team on [email protected] by Wednesday 31 March.