Am Fam Physician. 1999;60(9):2473
On this day in mid-November, as we finish the last issue of AFP that will enter the mail stream before our calendars register zero zero, we're beginning to sense the reality of the ending millennium. Now that Y2K is a little over a month away, many of us wonder just what will happen after the clock strikes midnight. The turning of the calendar holds excitement and mystery, and although the anticipated Y2K glitches have produced many headaches, it's nonetheless a long-awaited event. While the approaching millennium undoubtedly holds many unknowns, one thing is certain: Y2K will be another stellar year for AFP.
In the midst of the Y2K hubbub, and not to be forgotten, AFP will reach a significant milestone of its own next year—its 50th birthday. It's an anniversary that family physicians can join in celebrating with pride, an anniversary that marks the growth and strength of family practice as a specialty.
One needs only to look back at the past decade to see how far AFP has come in less than a blink of an eye, in millennial terms. Originally a journal published once a month, AFP actually began outgrowing the physical limitations of its bindery equipment in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Although we tried putting AFP on a reduction diet, experimenting with various quick weight-loss plans, AFP simply rebounded with ever-increasing thickness. Finally realizing AFP could not be held back, and pitying our readers with overdeveloped biceps from toting those AFP “doorstops,” we expanded the journal to 16 times per year in 1993 and to 20 times per year in 1998, which considerably reduced the size of each issue.
It seems fitting, then, that in Y2K, and in the 50th year of its publication, AFP will reach yet another milestone: the journal will finish producing one complete clone of itself. With the addition of four more issues next year, AFP will have doubled from 12 to 24 issues a year, officially becoming a semimonthly journal.
What will this mean to readers? It means four additional chances to get top-notch clinical review articles and convenient summaries of relevant medical literature, four more opportunities to earn CME credit hours, and four fewer occasions to blame the post office for “failing” to deliver second issues in June, July, August and December, months when only one issue was published.
So, adding to all of your other Y2K plans, we invite you to celebrate with us AFP's big numbers: 24 issues in the year of its 50th anniversary, Y2K.