Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Call to the Medical Journals

Times, they are achangin’. Many of us- medical professionals or not- are getting our medical news through Associated Press or Reuters rather than our conventional medical journals. The popular journals like New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of American Medical Association have long issued press releases (a few days prior to availability of hard copy) about the research articles that they thought will be of interest to the general public. This leads to articles published in newspapers, magazines and Internet sites.

Times, they are achangin’. The blogosphere is responsible for some of these changes. There are several physicians and other medical professionals- including yours truly- who write their opinions on the new medical research. Several of us like to peruse these articles and write about their strengths and weaknesses. We will like to offer our opinions on recent research to our readers at the same time that it is written about in the press.

Most of the time, I get the news about the research from the press. Sometimes I can get my hands on the full article through the journal’s website. Sometimes I wait for the hard copy to get to my mailbox. Many times, it is too late- it is old news.

I think it is important that everybody get the details of the articles released to the press at the same time. This can be done in several ways. One of the ways is for the popular journals like the Journal of American Medical Association and New England Journal of Medicine to offer sign-up for the ‘press release’ through their websites. (Most of the journals already offer sign-up for table of contents.) That way, the subscribers to the press release alerts can get the full text article at the same time that the press does. It will help several writers give their viewpoint to their readers in a timely fashion.
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