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Am Fam Physician. 1998;58(3):622

Who are the movers and shakers of AFP? While many folks are involved in shaping the content of AFP, the ones who stand in the foreground are AFP's medical editors. Working at various locations throughout the country, AFP's medical editors solicit and edit articles, write various departments, oversee department content and provide their perspectives on day-to-day editorial matters. Each summer, AFP holds a family reunion of sorts that brings approximately a dozen medical editors together with editorial and publishing staff at the AAFP headquarters in Kansas City. Editors and staff gather for an intensive review of editorial policies, processes, content and format, with the goal of keeping AFP the most loved medical journal among family physicians.

Here's a sampling of just a few of the areas of focus at the recent editors' meeting:

  • Soliciting timely articles and ensuring that the peer review and revision processes result in high-quality clinical reviews.

  • Writing practical clinical quiz questions, crafting useful abstracts and selecting the most valuable learning points to highlight in articles.

  • Developing accurate and easy-to-read patient information handouts.

  • Choosing the best journals to cover in “Tips from Other Journals,” finding the most appropriate articles to summarize, writing strong editorial comments and examining possibilities for enhancing the format.

  • Analyzing editorial processes and policies involved in individual departments to ensure freshness and quality of content and format.

  • Brainstorming to generate ideas for creating new departments.

During this year's meeting, AFP's medical editors also had the opportunity to get firsthand feedback from readers during a focus group session. Medical editors and staff editors listened while readers provided in-depth answers to questions about their likes, dislikes and expectations regarding the journal. Although AFP's medical editors have once more returned home, they carry with them the spirit and wisdom of their colleagues, and the enthusiasm and insights of their readers.

If you'd like to be a mover and shaker of AFP, you are welcome to share your comments with me by telephone (800-274-2237, ext. 3108), fax (816-333-0303), e-mail ( or letter (8880 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64114).

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Copyright © 1998 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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