Federal Practitioner expects its authors to abide by its stated policies for conflict of interest, human and animal rights, and informed consent. These policies can be found in the Editorial Policies section.


Federal Practitioner  welcomes submission of manuscripts on subjects pertinent to physicians, clinical pharmacists, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, and medical center administrators currently working within the VA, the DoD, IHS, and the PHS. Authored features include clinical review articles, original research, case reports, evidence-based treatment protocols, program profiles, and pilot programs. The journal also publishes bylined editorials, columns, and reseaarch in context articles for special issues. Manuscript submissions will be considered for publication only if the author has certified that the work is original, has not been published previously, and is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. All manuscripts are subject to peer review. 

Federal Practitioner uses Editorial Manager, a web-based manuscript submission and review system. All manuscripts must be submitted through this system; e-mail or standard mail submissions will not be accepted.  The Editorial Manager website can be found at http://www.editorialmanager.com/fedprac












Federal Practitioner uses a straightforward style that balances scholarly discourse with a reader friendly, conversational tone. Contractions are not acceptable, and the narrative should be in the third person. Avoid excessive jargon and define all acronyms. Because the majority of Federal Practitioner readers are primary care providers, avoid terminology that is unique to a particular medical specialty. Be concise and use the active voice when possible. 

The Federal Practitioner style is based on that established by the American Medical Association, with some modifications. When preparing your manuscript, therefore, it may be helpful to consult the 10th edition of the AMA Manual of Style (2007). If you have additional questions, e-mail fedprac@frontlinemedcom.com.


The manuscript should contain no author names anywhere in the document, including headers. Authors should be listed on a separate cover page. The manuscript document should begin with the title, followed by the introduction, body of the manuscript, acknowledgments (if applicable), references, figure legends (if applicable), and tables (if applicable). Tables and figures should be submitted as separate, 300 dpi high-resolution files (.jpg, .gif, etc). 

Although abstracts are not published within the journal, the inclusion of an abstract with a submission assists in the review process and is required for certain manuscript types. Keywords and manuscript classifications are similarly required. It is not necessary that these components be included in the manuscript file, however, as you will be prompted to enter them separately as part of the Editorial Manager manuscript submission process. Before submission, review your manuscript for grammar, readability, and accuracy. 


Manuscripts submitted for consideration as feature articles should be in a Word document of 4,000 words or less, excluding references. We will not accept a .pdf format. Also if the manuscript’s layout runs longer than 6 printed pages, some tables, figures, and appendixes may appear only on the website, but citations as to their appearance will be included in the print version.

The submission should begin with a strong introduction that catches the reader’s attention, identifies the need for the article, and explains how the article adds to the literature on the topic. The preferred format for the introduction is 3 to 4 paragraphs that follow a “lead, need, sell” structure: 

Lead: First paragraph is designed to catch the reader’s attention. It may include relevant statistics that illustrate the importance of the information that will be presented in the article, an illustrative case (either hypothetical or actual), or some other eye-catching technique appropriate to the article’s style and content.

Need: Second (and possibly third) paragraphs should clarify the specific focus of the article, identifying some problem or area of importance that will be addressed in the article.

Sell: Third or fourth paragraphs should explain how this article will address the problem or area of importance identified and how it will add to current health care literature on this topic.

Present background concepts early in the manuscript, followed by more complex ideas. Use subheads to differentiate major points of emphasis. For research articles, follow a standard organizational structure (introduction, background information, methods, results, discussion, conclusion).

Research in Context submissions are articles intended for publication in special issues in which authors of recent scholarship discuss its implications for federal health care providers and the veteran and active-duty patient populations. Please contact Editor Reid Paul at rpaul@frontlinemedcom.com to discuss submission topics.

Pilot Program submissions present  background, methods, and results of clinical programs that are limited by their small sample size. However, these studies may stimulate further research using a larger sample size.

Advances in Geriatrics submissions are reports from VA Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers (GRECCs) across the nation on the latest investigations and innovative projects concerning the health of elderly veterans. Please contact Kenneth Shay, MD, at kenneth.shay@va.gov, the coordinator of this feature, to discuss submission requirements.


Federal Practitioner case reports follow 1 of 2 formats: 

Case in Point is a standard case report and discussion. It generally runs between 2,000 and 3,500 words. It begins with a short introduction that raises the important issues that will be illustrated in the case, followed by a detailed case presentation that usually includes a description of the patient’s initial presentation and examination, relevant history, diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. Images (such as X-rays, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scans, histologic slides, or patient photographs) are often used to underscore key points. The discussion that follows the case expands on issues of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention as appropriate, citing recent, relevant medical literature.

What’s Your Diagnosis? highlights challenging or unusual diagnoses. It generally runs between 600 and 1,500 words. It starts by discussing the patient’s initial presentation and examination, relevant history, and results of any tests required to make the diagnosis. It then poses the question, “What’s Your Diagnosis?” This is followed by a section in which the authors detail the actual diagnosis, treatment, and outcome. A short discussion follows, which explains the key issues involved in making this diagnosis and provides tips for clinicians confronted with similar cases.


Federal Practitioner considers submissions of the following clinician-authored columns:

Program Profile columns  present the background, methods, and results of clinical programs. 

Practitioner Forum columns are general opinion pieces in which clinicians discuss key issues in federal practice.

Notes From the Field columns describe the authors’ experiences practicing medicine outside the traditional clinic setting. They are written in a narrative style and often contain photographs.

All columns generally run between 1,200 and 1,800 words, with no more than 10 references. Like features and case reports, columns are subject to peer review.



Tables and figures should be submitted separately as high-resolution files with a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. Do not embed table and figures into a word document or submit them as a .pdf. Tables and figures (photographs, line drawings, and graphs) should be cited parenthetically in the manuscript text, using Arabic numerals. Each should be cited only once. Provide descriptive titles, legends, or captions for each table and figure as appropriate. Figures captions may be included within the manuscript document, following the reference list. 

If any elements have been adapted or reproduced from a copyrighted source, the authors must acknowledge this fact upon submission and within the manuscript (in the appropriate table footnotes or figure captions). Authors are responsible for obtaining and providing Federal Practitioner with written documentation of permission for usage (in print and online) prior to publication. Include a signed statement of informed consent to publish (in print and online) any photographs or other images from which individuals may be identified.


Use references to document and acknowledge source information. Reference all statistics and data presented from published studies. Use sound academic judgment about referencing other material. Controversial statements are always stronger when referenced. Whenever possible, cite original and latest published studies. References to websites are acceptable but not preferred as the websites often are taken down. 

Source documents should be listed at the end of the manuscript in accordance with AMA style for references. They should be numbered to correspond with the order in which they are cited in the text. If a reference is cited more than once in the text, it should appear in the reference list only once, numbered in accordance with its first citation. Please do not use your word processing program’s footnote or endnote functions for references. These functions are incompatible with our software.

References should include the following information: names of all authors, complete title of article cited or book chapter, name of journal or book, the year of publication, volume and issue numbers, and inclusive page numbers of the article or chapter cited. For sources that were accessed through the Internet, include the name of the website in the reference, the authors if any, the complete URL of the page containing the source, the access date, and dates of original publication and last update (when available). Some examples follow:


1. McDonald EG, Milligan J, Frenette C, Lee TC. Continuous proton pump inhibitor therapy and the associated risk of recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(5):784-791.

2. Meziab O, Kirby KA, Williams B, Yaffe K, Byers AL, Barnes DE. Prisoner of war status, posttraumatic stress disorder, and dementia in older veterans. Alzheimers Dement. 2014;10(3)(suppl):S236-S241.


3. Rosenquist RW, Vrooman MD. Chronic pain management. In: Butterworth JF, Mackey DC, Wasnick JD, eds. Morgan & Mikhail’s Clinical Anesthesiology. 5th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2013:chap 47.

4. Kelly L, Caplan G. Comprehensive geriatric assessment. In: Caplan G, ed. Geriatric Medicine: An Introduction. Melbourne, Australia: IP Communications; 2014:42-54.

Web Citations

5. Oliva EM. Opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND): preventing and responding to an opioid overdose. Department of Veterans Affairs website. www.hsrd.research.va.gov/for_researchers/cyber_seminars/archives/video_a.... Published September 2, 2014. Accessed January 7, 2015.

6. Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). IDSA practice guidelines: antimicrobial agent use. IDSA website. 201. www.idsociety.org/Antimicrobial_Agents. Updated May 7, 2015. Accessed January 7, 2016.

Government Documents

7. VA Office of Inspector General. Veterans Health Administration Interim Report: Review of Patient Wait Times, Scheduling Practices, and Alleged Patient Deaths at the Phoenix Health Care System. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website. www.va.gov/oig/pubs/VAOIG-14-02603-178.pdf. Published May 28, 2014. Accessed January 7, 2015.


To submit a manuscript, go to the Federal Practitioner Editorial Manager website (http://www.editorialmanager.com/fedprac). If you have not already done so, you must register for the site. (Note: If you have been registered for the site as a reviewer, you do not need to register again as an author. All reviewers have the ability to log in as an author should they choose to do so.) After you have registered, you may log in as an author and begin the submission process. 

The submission process consists of several steps, which vary depending on the type of manuscript you are submitting. All submissions require you to enter a title, enter key words, select classifications (subject areas discussed in the manuscript), whichhelp match submission with a peer reviewer's classifications, and answer several questions about the submission. Attach the following submission components: 

1. cover page;

2. manuscript (with no author information); and

3. disclosure and copyright forms and corresponding author’s release form.

The cover page should include the title of the manuscript, a byline listing all individuals and degrees who have served in authorship roles for the manuscript, and brief biographical information on the authors (professional and academic titles and affiliations). For criteria defining authorship roles, consult the 10th edition of the AMA Manual of Style (2007) or the ICMJE’s Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals: Writing and Editing for Biomedical Publication. In the byline, include each author's full name, highest relevant degrees and certifications, and military rank (when applicable). Do not include U.S. fellowships. It is also helpful to identify, on the cover page, which author will be serving as the corresponding author. 

Authors must use the standard Federal Practitioner authors’ form, available for download on the Federal Practitioner Editorial Manager website (on the Attach Files page that appears during manuscript submission). 

You must also download the Federal Practitioner 

, and here once your article has been accepted for publication. 

Certain types of manuscript submissions also require that an abstract be entered as part of the submission process. This should be typed (or copied and pasted) into the text box provided. 

Once you have submitted a manuscript through the Editorial Manager system, you may check on its status at any time by logging in as an author. 


All manuscripts submitted to Federal Practitioner for consideration as feature articles, case reports, or columns are reviewed by at least 3 members of our peer-review committee. Peer reviews are conducted in a double-blind fashion, and the reviewers are asked to comment on the manuscript’s importance, accuracy, relevance, clarity, timeliness, balance, and reference citation. To properly match a peer reviewer with your submission content, enter classifications in the classification dropdown box. Final decisions on all submitted manuscripts are made by the journal’s editor-in-chief (or, in the event of a potential conflict of interest, a designated surrogate from the journal’s Editorial Advisory Association). 

Manuscripts that are accepted for publication in Federal Practitioner undergo editing for length, clarity, and journal style. Some material may be reworded or reordered to improve readability and eliminate redundancy, but we make every effort to retain the authors’ voice and meaning. Edited manuscripts are returned to the corresponding author for approval prior to publication. 

If you have any questions about the preparation or submission of your manuscript, wish to propose a specific topic, or have any other feedback, e-mail us at fedprac@frontlinemedcom.com.