Our Voting, Creation & Publishing Process

The OU College of Medicine Blood & Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine Journal is the longest running student-run humanities journal in the US. As an editorial body, we strive to create a publication that brings comfort and insight to its readers. In addition, an important goal of Blood and Thunder (B&T) is to serve as a tool through which current and future healthcare providers may develop empathy vicariously by receiving a glimpse into situations they have never experienced. Each year, a copy of Blood and Thunder is distributed to all OU medical students, residents, and faculty as well as medical schools with membership in the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).


Each year the B&T members vote in seven Senior Editors. Their positions consist of Editor in Chief, Administration Editor, Fundraising Editor, Web Editor, Distribution Editor, Design Editor and Co-Design Editor. These students (assisted by the OUHSC Staff Coordinator) organize the incoming submissions, create and edit the journal, create and edit the website content and coordinate the annual Release Reception where the journal is revealed for the first time. Photos of the reception can be found of the "Featured Work" tab.


Each year, submissions for acceptance into the upcoming issue of Blood & Thunder are received until the May 31st deadline. On average, we receive approximately 150 poems, 50 short stories & 20 visual art pieces. We utilize the OU COM web-based learning site, Desire to Learn (D2L) to vote on the submissions received. All submissions are entered into 3 true/false quizzes; one for each category (Poetry, Prose & Visual Art). The Senior Editors and Editorial Board members are given 1-2 weeks to vote on the submissions. Senior Editors review all submissions and Editorial Board members (separated into two groups) review exactly 1/2 of the number of submissions. While voting, members ask themselves two questions. Question #1 “Is this work related to the medical humanities?” Question #2 “Would I like to see this work published in B&T?” If they answer “yes” to both these questions, they click “true” (accept); if not, they click “false” (reject).


After voting is completed, submissions that receive at least a 60% acceptance rate move on to the journal design process. A rough draft of the journal is created by the Design Editors and is then edited by the members of the Design Board. B&T members volunteer to be on the Editorial and Design Boards. Often, one member will serve on both boards. We take pride in being a completely not-for-profit journal that offers people from all over the world with a passion for art and expression the opportunity to be published. Due to our not-for-profit status, we try to limit the amount of money that we spend so that our journal can continue for another 15 or more years! With this in mind, we limit the size of our publication to 200-230 pages. We are very lucky to have the ability to hire OU Printing Services to print our journal. They not only work well with us and work hard, but they also provide us the opportunity to print 1,200-1,400 copies of our journal for nearly half of the cost of their competitors here in Oklahoma City!


After the annual October Release Reception, our members hold a meeting called a "mailing party" where the journals are packaged, prepped and mailed to our authors/artists, donors and the medical schools with membership to the AAMC. This process results in the students preparing over 300 journals to be mailed.