Inside AFP

Medical Editors Are a Strong Foundation



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Am Fam Physician. 2006 May 1;73(9):1493.

Every issue of AFP is carefully shaped by the medical editing team, a group of family physicians dedicated to ensuring the journal's accuracy, practicality, and currency. Under the direction of Editor Jay Siwek, M.D., these talented individuals work to bring readers the best information possible. This first of a three-part profile looks at the deputy and assistant deputy editors and the two current John C. Rose Medical Editing Fellows. Other members of the team will be highlighted in the next two issues of AFP.

Mark H. Ebell

Deputy Editor for Evidence-Based Medicine Mark H. Ebell, M.D., M.S., is an associate professor at Michigan State University and is in private practice at Athens (Ga.) Primary Care. He obtained his medical degree and completed his residency at the University of Michigan, where he also earned a master's degree in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis.

Since 2002 Dr. Ebell has directed AFP's evidence-based features, such as Clinical Inquiries, POEMs, Cochrane for Clinicians, and Practice Guidelines. He also reviews and edits manuscripts and writes Point-of-Care Guides. “I value the fact that our work has such an important impact on the practice of America's primary care physicians,” he said. Dr. Ebell and his wife are much involved in their community, and both serve as officers of Lukas' Fund ( http://www.lukasfund.org), established in memory of the couple's only child to support the needs of families and infants in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Caroline Wellbery

Assistant Deputy Editor Caroline Wellbery, M.D., Ph.D., began at AFP as the 1994–1995 medical editing fellow. During the next 12 years, she has been involved in all aspects of manuscript and editorial review and editing. Dr. Wellbery received her medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco, and completed her residency at the Community Hospital in Santa Rosa, Calif. She is assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Already the guiding force of Curbside Consultation, Dr. Wellbery has been working over the past year to develop a new department that will focus on patient perspectives of care by family physicians. That new feature will debut in AFP later this year.

Dr. Wellbery describes her colleagues at AFP as “a kind of family, all working as a team to put out a good product.” The journal's mission of lifelong learning benefits editors as well as readers, she says. “Working on AFP … keeps us editors up to date,” she says. “It's a continuous reminder to be detail-oriented and thorough, and to be sensitive to the needs of the readers and the authors.”

Lara Johnson

Lara Johnson, M.D., is one of two family physicians currently serving AFP as a 2005–2006 medical editing fellow on the Georgetown University campus in Washington, D.C. Dr. Johnson obtained her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Tex., and completed her residency at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Tex.

Since July of last year, Dr. Johnson has managed article proposals, editorials, and illustrations and has edited new manuscripts. Of her time as a medical editing fellow, she says, “I feel privileged to work with so many intelligent professionals on one of the top medical journals in this country.”

Laurie MacDonald Crain

Laurie MacDonald Crain, M.D., is the other AFP 2005–2006 medical editing fellow. A graduate of the Georgetown University School of Medicine, she completed her residency at the Georgetown University-Providence Hospital family medicine residency in Washington, D.C.

At AFP she has solicited, reviewed, and edited editorials; reviewed the Point-of-Care Guides and Curbside Consultation departments; and evaluated new manuscripts. Dr. Crain said she is surprised by the number of reviewers and editors involved with each manuscript or department before publication. Although it is not easy to juggle clinical practice, family responsibilities, and her work as an editor, Dr. Crain says the journal's range of subject matter is also a benefit to her patients. “Working at AFP helps me remain up to date on the latest treatments,” she said. “I feel it makes me a better physician.”



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