Happy 90th Birthday, Academic Medicine! Part I

Birthday cake with colorful candles

To celebrate the journal’s 90th birthday this year, members of the editorial office and editorial board selected influential, interesting, and fun articles from the archive to share with you. Below is Part I of our dive into the archive. Check out Part II here. For more about the journal’s history, check out this timeline of milestones from the last 90 years.

We hope you enjoy these highlights from our archive. In the comments section below or on Twitter using #HappyBDayAcMed, please share you own favorite articles with us.


jan1989coverAnne Farmakidis, Director of Publishing
Editorial, Change and Continuity
To me, this editorial details a critical change in scope for the journal.  While continuing to support and publish medical education research, the journal increased its reach in the community by welcoming articles on the important issues and challenges (from policy to health care delivery) that affect medical education. The success of Academic Medicine today can be traced to this decision nearly 30 years ago.

Jennifer Campi, Senior Staff Editor
Early Medical Education in Vermont
Did you know that trousers made of buckskin can come in handy for sharpening surgical instruments while operating? Or that if a pack of wolves attacks you while you are on your way home from a late call, you may be able to escape by throwing your saddlebags at them? This article, an address to the Vermont Medical Society in 1941 marking the state’s sesquicentennial and published in the journal in 1942, includes stories of physicians who did just that. It also details the development of independent and university-affiliated medical schools in Vermont in the 1800s, describing their founders, their curricula, and their tuition. These colorful tales make me glad I grew up in Vermont in the late 1900s rather than a century or two earlier!

Lauren Maggio, Editorial Board Member
The Checklist
This Teaching and Learning Moments essay tells the story of a mom, 20 hours after giving birth, and her experience with a rounding medical student diligently checking off her required tasks. The mom, who is also a clinician educator, reflects on her experience and the impact of when small, humanizing things are forgotten like asking her newborn’s name. This piece has stuck with me since I first read it back in 2007. As a non-MD in medical education, I am often impressed by clinician educators’ coaching our future providers to move beyond the checklist and as a patient I am truly grateful.

photo2Heather Grimm, Staff Editor
Septris: A Novel, Mobile, Online, Simulation Game That Improves Sepsis Recognition and Management
I’m still relatively new to the journal, which is to say that I don’t have quite the institutional knowledge that the other staff editors do. So my pick is an Innovation Report from my early days with Academic Medicine. The report is about Septris (sepsis + Tetris), a simulation game that teaches early signs and evidence-based management of sepsis. Until I edited this article, I’d been so focused on getting the day-to-day ins and outs of the job down that the breadth of the topics the journal covered hadn’t quite sunk in yet. Then, I got to work with one of the authors of this report on an accompanying blog post. And I just remember thinking, “Wow! How cool is it that there’s a paper on this? And how cool is it that this is my job?”

rcrm-coverColin West, Statistical Editor
Review Criteria for Research Manuscripts, Second Edition
I chose this publication because it is a wonderful illustration of the service Academic Medicine offers the scholarly community, with so many dedicated individuals contributing their time and expertise to sections on approaches and best practices for reviewing the literature. This work also highlights criteria for outstanding research, so it is of value to both reviewers and researchers. Finally, it is an update of a prior edition, with new sections, demonstrating Academic Medicine’s commitment to evolve with the field.

12-13-fullcoverDavid Sklar, Editor-in-Chief
December 2013 Special Issue, Training the Future Health Care Workforce
It is very difficult to pick one article or issue. There are so many outstanding articles. I think that I would probably identify our December 2013 issue, though, which was linked to a conference which we co-hosted with the journal Health Affairs. Many of our authors spoke at the conference giving their articles even greater influence than they might otherwise have had. The topic of workforce was particularly timely because there was some debate about how many physicians we might need in the future, what their training should be, and what the effect of new models of care might contribute to the estimates. The articles in this issue answered some of these questions and provided a structure for addressing those that could not be answered. While workforce continues to be a topic of importance and of controversy, the December 2013 issue helped provide guidance and support for policies that were proposed and in some cases adopted, such as the annual workforce projections currently sponsored by the AAMC and on-going evaluation of the effects of delivery system changes on workforce projections that have enriched our conversations about future health professions workforce needs.

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One Comment

  1. Happy 90th Birthday, Academic Medicine! Part II | AM Rounds
    November 21, 2016 at 4:20 PM

    […] from the archive to share with you. Below is Part II of our dive into the archive. Check out Part I here. For more about the journal’s history, check out this timeline of milestones from the last 90 […]

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