American Journal of Medicine, internal medicine, medicine, health, healthy lifestyles, cancer, heart disease, drugs

A Decade of Work and Progress


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2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the current editor, editorial board, and our management administration.

We have been extraordinarily gratified by the many healthcare workers, physicians, nurses, and specialized technical personnel who have contacted us with mostly positive comments during our tenure with The American Journal of Medicine. Yes, there have been some irate letters when one or another “sacred cow” has been gored. However, these negative messages have been few and far between. The most common accolade involves thanks for publishing material that is relevant to the day-in and day-out practice of internal medicine and its subspecialties. We have thoroughly enjoyed working initially with the staff and members of the American Professors of Medicine (Chiefs of Medicine in the United States and Canada) and more recently with similar leaders of the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine, to which the American Professors of Medicine now belongs alongside a number of other closely affiliated organizations, for example, the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine.

The American Journal of Medicine of today is quite different from the Journal I (JSA) read as medical student and a resident in the late 1960s and early 1970s. At that time, the Journal focused primarily on publishing research studies with a modicum of case reports, reviews, and clinical pathologic conferences. Before we took over the Journal in late 2004, many of the research articles were quite sophisticated and, in my opinion, would have been more appropriate for a subspecialty journal. With this in mind, initially, I (JSA) had a number of in-depth conversations with my contacts at Elsevier, Pamela Poppalardo and Glen Campbell. These 2 superb and knowledgeable publishers helped the Journal’s editorial board and staff formulate a new, more successful direction. Working closely with Elsevier, a number of popular venues started during our tenure, include the Diagnostic Dilemma, a variety of images of the month, and a new emphasis on publishing useful quality assessment and improvement articles. Our impact factor has risen modestly over the years, but, more important, our Professions Education Research Quarterly (PERQ) readership analysis has increased dramatically (Table 1). Nearly 50% of internists in the United States report that they read a substantial portion of The American Journal of Medicine each month. For me, this is a terribly important statistic. Just like a newspaper, a medical journal seeks to communicate information. If there are no readers perusing the published material, then we have failed in our mission to communicate. Both the independently run PERQ analysis and my own impression from hundreds of personal, written, and electronic communications from readers confirm that we have succeeded in reaching our audience (Table 2).

To read this article in its entirety and to view additional images please visit our website.

–Joseph S. Alpert, MD, Pamela Powers Hannley, MPH, Imo Baird, MFA

This article originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

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