Memo from the Editor: Generations

April 25, 2003

Generations

 

Memo From The Editor

Generations

Marianne Dekker Mattera

The photo below arrived in the mail a few weeks ago.

 

With it was the following brief note from general surgeon Edward Reveiz of Webster City, IA:

"Enclosed is a photo of my baby daughter, Analisa, and me in 1971 with a copy of Medical Economics. Today, both my daughter, Dr. Analisa Reveiz Haberman, and I still enjoy your journal. I have been a physician for 40 years; she has been one for six."

It gave me great pleasure to read Dr. Reveiz's note. Aside from the fact that it's always nice to see a picture of a smiling baby, it's very gratifying to know that you're putting out a publication that serves as a valuable resource for generations of readers.

We work hard at providing relevant, practical information that will serve doctors at whatever point they may be in their medical careers—whether they're related, like Dr. Reveiz and Dr. Haberman, or not. Some subjects we cover over and over. In the March 15, 1971 issue that Dr Reveiz is holding in the picture, for instance, we looked at stock portfolios, the "malpractice plague," taxes, and practice management. The issue you hold in your hands has pieces on all those topics—albeit with a different slant. Other subjects are important for one era, but not another. The '71 piece on limousine liberals' medical care planning was right for that time but wouldn't find an audience today; this issue's piece on smallpox vaccination won't be appropriate in the Medical Economics of 2031, but it's important now.

How do we keep on top of the needs of generations of doctors? Your letters help, of course. We also read scores of journals and attend major medical society meetings to see what's hot and to get feedback from readers during sessions and on the exhibit floor. We hold focus groups and do surveys.

And we have our own family networks. Senior Editor Berkeley Rice grew up in a medical household; his father was a doctor. Senior Editor Leslie Kane's brother is a doctor, so are three of her cousins. Outside Copy Editor Helen McKenna also has a cousin who's a doctor, and Senior Editor Wayne Guglielmo's uncle is a doctor. News Editor Barbara Weiss lives generational medicine—her husband's a doctor, her daughter's a doctor, and both sons-in-law are doctors.

In short, we use the ties we've forged over the generations. And we'll keep working at it. Maybe one day, we'll get a picture of Dr. Reveiz's grandchild, the doctor, who reads Medical Economics.

 

Marianne Mattera. Memo from the Editor: Generations. Medical Economics Apr. 25, 2003;80:9.