Memo From the Editor: Many thanks!

March 19, 2001

Many thanks!--JHF's farewell Ed Memo, which introduces MGM as editor.

 

Memo From The Editor

Many thanks!

By Jeff Forster, Editor

In an article we'll publish soon, Denise Visco, a young Pennsylvanian, writes movingly about a simple discovery: that practicing medicine is all about being an advocate for patients: "When he left the office, I saw gratitude in his eyes. It was then that I knew I had given him what he needed. It was then that I thanked God for the privilege of being a doctor."

The privilege of being a doctor.

I've heard those words from many of you, in voices much quieter but more convincing than those that speak of gloom and doom and hasty exits from medicine. I have no doubt that the essential nobility of this profession is safe in your hands, and has never been more so.

All I have to do is think about Christine Pluta, a family practice resident in Philadelphia, or Michael Tolle, a young FP in Dallas. Both wrote eloquently about their medical mission work, and both were winners in our Doctors' Writing Contest for 2000. Theirs is the face of medicine tomorrow, and the light of their spirit will show the way out of the deepest, darkest abyss.

It is also a privilege to be the editor of Medical Economics, a privilege enjoyed by just seven people in 77-plus years. It's an honor to work on your behalf, and to be associated with a publication with a proud record of service to a serving profession. And it's a privilege to work with the finest staff of professionals one could ever hope to encounter.

For the past three and a half years, I have had the opportunity to savor those privileges. It was my good fortune to be here for our 75th anniversary issue in 1998, and an absolute delight to see our staff, led by Senior Editor Anne Finger and Senior Art Director Roger Dowd, fashion a memento that will stand as one of this publication's finest efforts.

It was a special honor to have R. Cragin Lewis, who sat in the editor's chair for 18 incredible years, from 1957 through 1974, join us to lend a hand with the anniversary issue. His was a luminous presence. Sadly, I must share with you the news that Craig—whose personality and editorial acumen did so much to forge this magazine's identity—passed away last month after a brief illness, at the age of 81. His legacy is a beacon for all who've followed.

And now, that privilege passes once more. I'm moving to a new position in our parent company, to oversee editorial strategy and development for Medical Economics, Patient Care, and the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. My successor is a good friend and longtime colleague, Marianne Dekker Mattera.

That Marianne is the first woman to serve as editor of this magazine is, in a way, deliciously irrelevant. What's significant about her appointment is the fact that she's recognized by her peers as the pre-eminent editor in the business and professional press, and one of the most decorated. She has won 14 Neal awards—the Pulitzer Prize of our industry—and 10 Neal Certificates of Merit. She is also the winner of American Business Media's prestigious Crain Award, given for steadfast devotion to editorial excellence over the course of a career. She's the only person in medical publishing to have won that award in its more than 30-year history.

And to think—as Marianne herself has put it—that she started out working in our magazine's library 28 years ago. The arc of her career has been elevated by equal measures of competence, diligence, and passion. That pathway includes more than a decade as a writer and editor for this magazine, as well as 17 years with RN, our nursing journal—the past 10 as its editor. Just as she became a nationally known advocate for nurses, Marianne will do an impressive job of looking out for doctors' best interests.

So a new editor comes, and this one goes. But the thread that stitches the fabric of Medical Economics together is the quality and dedication of the staff. Just as doctors must figure out what patients need, so we devote ourselves to giving you what you need. I could tell you a story about the accomplishments of each of my colleagues; they are all extraordinarily resourceful and creative. Their commitment is epitomized by two people, in particular: Jim Hendricks, executive editor, and Jo Ann Dempsey, editorial administrator. They've been a vital part of this editorial operation for 30 and 39 years, respectively. I can't begin to thank them enough for their friendship, guidance, and support, and for getting me as close to being organized as I'll ever be.

It has been my goal to build a strong and enduring sense of community, among our readers and our staff. A heartfelt thank you to all for helping make that happen; it is a work forever in progress. Thanks for the precious opportunity to serve you, and serve with you.

Hey, I'm just moving down the hall. I'll stay in touch, and, please, you do the same. Just call 201-358-7340, or type jeff.forster@medec.com.

 

Jeff Forster. Memo From the Editor: Many thanks!. Medical Economics 2001;6:6.

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