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Saturday
Oct162010

Why Start A New Pulmonary/Critical Care Journal? 

Reference as: Robbins RA. Why start a new pulmonary/critical care journal? Southwest J Pulm Crit Care 2010:1:1-2. (Click here for PDF Version)

With apologies to Paul McCartney, “You'd think that people would have had enough of [pulmonary and critical care journals]. But I look around me and I see it isn't so” (1). With the inception of the Southwest Journal of Pulmonary and Critical Care (SWJPCC) we have several goals, not adequately filled by the present pulmonary and critical care publications.

First, the primary goal of the SWJPCC is pulmonary and critical care medicine fellow education. The American College of Graduate Medical Education has placed increasing requirements for clinical education in post-graduate medical education while simultaneously increasing the requirements for scholarly activity for fellows and faculty, yet restricting fellow work hours (2). It seems that these conflicting goals are unrealistic, unless clinical scholarly activity can be incorporated into a training program. In starting the SWJPCC, we hope to fulfill the scholarly needs of both fellows and faculty while emphasizing clinical medicine through the publication of such time honored activities as case presentations and reviews of the literature.

Second, peer-reviewed journals send articles out for review. While we will do the same, we have certain expectations of our reviewers. Unfortunately, reviewers are not always carefully chosen.  Sometimes inexperienced reviewers, feeling the need to establish themselves, indulge their own sense of self-importance by becoming “nagging nabobs of negativism” (3) demanding the answer to “the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything” (4) before a manuscript will see the light of publication. While emphasizing the highest medical journal standards, we realize that fellow and faculty time is limited and we hope to be reasonable regarding expectations of our authors.

Third, there has been a trend in some journals towards publishing articles emphasizing the “short-comings” of physicians while emphasizing the virtues of identifying these “faults”. For example, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article from a health regulatory organization (the Joint Commission), touting improved healthcare through administration of the pneumococcal vaccine to adults (5). This article implied that physicians who did not provide this vaccination to their adult patients were delinquent, and the Joint Commission’s efforts “corrected” this deficiency. However, previous publications have shown that pneumococcal vaccination in older adults results in a slight increase in the risk for hospitalization, but does not decrease mortality nor the risk for pneumonia (6), findings largely confirmed by a recent meta-analysis (7). Publication of articles substituting politics or opinions (especially when they are self-serving) for evidence-based care is not part of the mission of the SWJPCC.

Last, the SWPCC aspires to be a resource for practicing physician education, emphasizing case presentations, clinical articles, review articles, imaging, and journal clubs. We hope this journal will be useful for busy clinicians, assisting them in better serving the needs of their patients while also providing insight regarding practice matters of interest to the pulmonary and critical care medicine community.

With that, we begin.

Richard A. Robbins, M.D. on behalf of the Editors

References

  1. McCartney, Paul. “Silly Love Songs”. Wings at the Speed of Sound. Palorphone/EMI, 1976.
  2. http://www.acgme.org/acWebsite/nav/Pages/navPDcoord.asp
  3. Agnew, Spiro. San Diego, CA. 1970.
  4. Adams, Douglas. Life, the Universe and Everything. ISBN 0-330-26738-8.
  5. Jha AK, Li Z, Orav EJ, Epstein AM. Care in U.S. hospitals--the Hospital Quality Alliance program. N Engl J Med. 2005;353:265-74.
  6. Jackson LA, Neuzil KM, Yu O, Benson P, Barlow WE, Adams AL, Hanson CA, Mahoney LD, Shay DK, Thompson WW; Vaccine Safety Datalink. Effectiveness of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine in older adults. N Engl J Med. 2003;348:1747-55.
  7. Huss A, Scott P, Stuck AE, Trotter C, Egger M. Efficacy of pneumococcal vaccination in adults: a meta-analysis. CMAJ. 2009;180:48-58.

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