In 2010, CONSULTANT marks its 50th year of service to primary care clinicians. On our golden anniversary, it seems appropriate to reflect on the challenges, rewards, and frustrations of current medical practice. You are familiar with all the changes—both for better and for worse—that have occurred in primary care medicine in recent years. And as we stand on the brink of a major overhaul of the health care system in this country, we know the practice of medicine will continue to change. But our editorial mission will remain the same: to offer you authoritative, practical clinical advice that you can put to use in your practice today.
In the coming year, we will be bringing you new clinical features, developed in concert with our Editorial Board members and based on your feedback from surveys and questionnaires:
• On page 30 of this issue, you’ll find the first installment of Doctors’ Stories: “My Most Memorable Patient,” in which your colleagues share the personal clinical experiences (amusing, tragic, enlightening) they’ve never been able to forget. This month, Dr Faith Fitzgerald, professor of medicine at the University of California, Davis, and a member of the CONSULTANT Editorial Board, leads off with a story of an elderly couple who demonstrate the surprising resilience of the human spirit.
• Next month, look for Global Focus in the pages of your February issue. An increasing number of primary care clinicians are traveling to the developing world to volunteer their services. Some stay for only a week or two, while others spend months or even years in their host countries. Here we give them the opportunity to share their experiences with you—the hardships and the joys of providing medical outreach in underserved corners of the globe. The first stop is Uganda, where Dr Scott Kellerman and his family work among the Batwa pygmies to combat malaria and HIV infection.
• Future issues will bring you Areas of Controversy in Primary Care. This feature focuses on areas of medicine that remain unresolved, problematic, and even confusing—where, in the absence of clear-cut guidelines, experts debate what constitutes optimal care. The first topic to be addressed: whether screening mammography should be continued in elderly women. Among the other topics that will be covered are prostate cancer screening and genetic testing for cancer.
We hope you’ll find these new features worthwhile reading. We also invite you to visit www.ConsultantLive.com regularly for new online-exclusive features, including a blog and a series of podcasts about the implications of health care reform for your practice.
In this, our 50th year, we look forward to identifying new and better ways to deliver the clinical information you need to provide optimal care for your patients. However, we can’t do this without your input. Contact us at [email protected] to let us know what topics you would like to see covered in CONSULTANT—and how we can better serve you.
— Julie Bowen