Commentary

Too Good to Last?


 

When I first started in my training, I could not wait until the next issue of Emergency Medicine arrived in my mailbox (not yet inbox!). Emergency Medicine provided a service to our community and specialty at a time when no other publication was willing or able to do so. For no cost, no membership requirements, and no strings attached, we all received a monthly treasure trove of contemporary and practical information. The articles within were written by credible authors, in an approachable style, with professional illustrations that focused on key clinical issues that we saw in our everyday clinical practices.

As my career matured, I was asked to write and subsequently oversee a recurring feature on practical aspects of managing poisoning. Unclear if this was going to be well read, I agreed with trepidation. I quickly learned just how widely appreciated this journal was. People around the country wrote to let me know their thoughts on our thoughts (which meant they were reading it at least!). And people around the country offered to submit interesting toxicology cases for publication. For many of these authors, and many of my med tox trainees, this journal represented the first time they saw their name in print.

Clearly, to me at least, despite all the available blogs, podcasts, reddit and subreddit streams, and continuing medical education programs out there, people still loved getting this small but effective educational tool sent to them. And it is certainly sad to me, and likely many, that this wonderful benefactor of high-quality EM knowledge is losing its hard-fought battle against the modern reality of medical publishing.

I rest assured that there are other credible sources of education that we all can access. I know that our authors and readers will miss the journal dearly. But to paraphrase an unknown author: We should not be sad that it’s over, but glad that it happened.

Lewis S. Nelson, MD
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

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