Commentary

The times they are a-changin’ —Bob Dylan, 1964

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The beginning of a new year is always associated with changes, accompanied by new challenges and opportunities. This year is no different and, in fact, begins with some significant changes. First, I am incredibly honored, and humbled, to be named your new editor-in-chief. By way of background and introduction, I am residency-trained and board-certified in emergency medicine (EM). I founded the first academic department of EM in Virginia in 1992, and continue to serve in the role of chair. From 1990 to 2010, I served as the program director of our 3-year EM residency program, which I still consider the best job in EM. Most importantly, I continue to see and care for patients in the ED primarily, in addition to supervising and teaching EM residents and fellows in the delivery of care in the clinical arena. I know first-hand the needs of practicing emergency physicians (EPs).

I feel very fortunate to have been associated with Emergency Medicine (EM) since 1988, the year the journal published my very first manuscript. I served on the editorial board from 1999 to 2006, and for the past 11 years, have served as the associate editor-in-chief. I hold a very special regard and respect for this journal, and its role in our specialty. My goal is to continue to publish high-quality content and ensure we consistently provide timely and clinically useful information to the practicing EP. We will invite the very best in our specialty to share their knowledge and clinical tips. We will of course continue some of your favorite sections, like “Emergency Ultrasound,” “Diagnosis at a Glance,” and “Case Studies in Toxicology.” We will also encourage our readers to submit interesting and informative case reports, review articles, and interesting images. While I plan to write a few editorials each year, I will invite thought leaders in EM to write on their area(s) of expertise.

Come writers and critics who prophesize with your pen.

Another major change has to do with the journal itself. This will be the last paper copy of EM (so think about keeping this one for posterity, or eBay). Starting with the February issue, all future issues will be digital and online-only. This decision was not an easy one, and has been in the making for some time. Thanks to the growth in our Web site traffic, it is clear that many of you have already become “digital-first” readers. This fact, combined with the added financial challenge of publishing a large-circulation journal within an environment of declining print advertising, convinced us that this is the right time to make the leap to the digital-only format. While some of you (including myself), will miss physically holding and reading a hard copy of EM, you may simply continue to access the journal as you have for years, on your desktop, laptop, or iPad, and never further away than your cell phone. This change has the advantage of providing opportunities to deliver valuable clinical content in new ways, through increased use of audio and video, as well as text. To ensure that you receive your copy, please e-mail our Editor, Kellie DeSantis (kdesantis@frontlinemedcom.com) to make sure we have your correct and preferred e-mail address. While our goal is to push each issue out to you via e-mail, you will always be able to access the most recent articles by going to our Web site, www.emed-journal.com.

And don’t criticize

What you can’t understand.

Finally, 2018 promises to be a very interesting year, with the unknown implications of tax reform, the repeal of the individual mandate for health insurance, the opioid crisis, and the curious mergers within the health insurance industry (ie, CVS and Aetna). It is too soon for anyone to say how these changes will affect EM on the national stage. What will not change however, is that EPs will continue to provide outstanding care to any and every patient who presents to the ED. Emergency physicians will ensure that all patients receive the care they need (but not necessarily the care they want) and will do so without regard to gender, religion, national origin, race, age, sexual preference, or insurance status.

I wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy 2018.

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