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Am Fam Physician. 1998;58(2):310

It's time once more to bid farewell to AFP's editorial fellow: Rosaire Verna, M.D., just completed the 1997–98 John C. Rose medical editing fellowship under the guidance of our editor, Jay Siwek, M.D., at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. As much as we are sorry to part with Dr. Verna, we are pleased to announce the arrival of our new editorial fellow, Clarissa C. Kripke, M.D.

Dr. Kripke, a graduate of Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, recently completed a residency in family medicine at Fairfax Family Practice/Medical College of Virginia. Since both her parents and one grandfather were physicians, Dr. Kripke's interest in medicine is hardly surprising, but why was family medicine her choice? Her dedication to this speciality, she says, stems from “its emphasis on family, community and comprehensive care,” and “the unique role family physicians play in shaping health care delivery.”

As an undergraduate student at Harvard University, Dr. Kripke became involved in peer counseling and directing a service organization to introduce students to inner city social service agencies. After graduation, she helped educators develop AIDS awareness programs for the Massachusetts public schools. While she attended medical school, she taught health education classes at homeless shelters.

Dr. Kripke's interest in public health policy grew as a result of these experiences. The AFP editorial fellowship appealed to her as a way of strengthening her ability to influence public health policy by enhancing her writing and publishing skills. “The ability to communicate effectively with legislators, physicians and patients is a key skill for family physicians who want to help shape the direction of medical education and health care financing in this country,” she says.

Another goal for Dr. Kripke is learning how to better evaluate evidence and the quality of medical information. Of special interest to her is the process of selecting valid articles with patient-oriented outcomes for “Tips from Other Journals.” She believes the role of the medical editors is to evaluate the quality of studies and “predigest” them, offering readers summaries placed in the context of previous research.

Most of all, Dr. Kripke would like to stimulate more debate among family physicians about how to foster primary care leadership and promote more discussion about the direction of health policy in this country.

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Copyright © 1998 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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