What’s New for Federal Practitioner in 2017?


It has been a long time since a new year has brought as much uncertainty as 2017 promises to bring, making some federal employees excited and others apprehensive. Rumors abound of how the federal health care sector may change: Hiring freezes, manpower cuts, and privatization are all concerns of Federal Practitioner readers. As in the past, we will keep you up-to-date with in-depth interviews of leaders in federal health care, intelligent coverage of news stories impacting your practice, and clinical and research articles about new programs and initiatives.

Also this year, we are pleased to announce several new regular columns that we hope will inform and entertain you. The first is a column on mental health and traumatic brain injury in the DoD and the VA. We are privileged to have U.S. Army COL (Ret) Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, MD, MPH, edit this column. She is widely known and respected and brings her vast experience to the column as an active-duty psychiatrist coupled with her current position as a VA physician. Dr. Ritchie will author articles as well as edit those of her VA and DoD colleagues. Mental health touches almost every aspect of federal practice, and we all will learn our contributions and challenges in this rapidly moving specialty.

Whereas the mental health column looks toward the scientific future, the second column looks back to the humanistic past. We are thrilled that 2 physician-historians of military medicine, Robert Hierholzer, MD, a VA psychiatrist, and John Pierce, MD, a retired U.S. Army pediatrician share the writing and editing for this column, which will debut this spring.

Have you ever wondered who or how VA and military hospitals were named? These 2 historical writers have a wealth of interesting anecdotes and stories about VA and military medical centers. We hope you will enjoy reading the stories of military and veteran health care: the war heroes, devoted clinicians, and groundbreaking researchers who have left their mark on DoD and VA health care.

We also will be launching a new pilot study feature for clinicians and researchers who have a novel or valuable idea but have only a small number of participants or preliminary results. This will be a great way for new investigators, trainees, and young health care practitioners to present their work to the medical community.

These new editorial offerings are just a start—we also want to invite you, your colleagues, and learners to start your own new tradition of writing for Federal Practitioner. For those who have submitted articles in the past, please keep up the habit.We are eager to receive original research, review articles, and clinical cases from DoD, PHS, and VA mid-career and senior clinicians and researchers as well as articles describing innovative programs and modes of health care treatment and delivery. With a print circulation of more than 35,000 readers and very active online presence, consider Federal Practitioner for your next article!

This year my New Year’s resolution as editor-in-chief is to encourage readers to contact either Editor Reid Paul or me if you have an idea for an article you would like to write, a column you would like to see, or if you have an interest in serving as a peer reviewer or joining our Editorial Advisory Association. We want to hear from you about what you want and need from Federal Practitioner. You can contact the editorial team at

Author disclosures

The author reports no actual or potential conflicts of interest with regard to this article.


The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Federal Practitioner, Frontline Medical Communications Inc., the U.S. Government, or any of its agencies.

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