For the second time in the past decade, the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, is contributing to AFP's “Practical Therapeutics” series. Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., and Barbara S. Apgar, M.D., M.S., served as guest editors for a series that started in July 1992. We were impressed with that series and quite taken with Dr. Apgar, and less than a year after the start of the series, we had the honor of welcoming Dr. Apgar to our board of editors. Dr. Apgar still serves as associate editor of AFP as well as clinical professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan.
Although Dr. Apgar now carries the torch alone as guest editor of the “Practical Therapeutics” series starting in this issue, her previous co-editor, Dr. Schwenk, now professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan, provided great support and encouragement to Dr. Apgar and the participating faculty members.
If you turn to page 1839, you'll see that the series starts with the article “Using Progestins in Clinical Practice,” by Drs. Barbara Apgar and Grant Greenberg. Here, Dr. Apgar and her co-author offer a taste of the kind of articles to come. Written from the perspective of family physicians caring for women in practice, the article offers practical information on the use of progestins in a variety of clinical situations. Dr. Apgar has long held an interest in women's health issues and serves as AFP's resident expert on topics in women's health. She was the editor who developed a special section on women's health issues that appeared in March 1996.
Similarly, articles in the upcoming “Practical Therapeutics” series will reflect the special interests of the contributors. Areas of focus range from women's health to medicine, dermatology and orthopedics, with topics such as seizure disorders in the elderly, use of beta blockers, peritonsillar abscesses, panic disorders, macrosomia and others.
According to Dr. Apgar, coordinating this series has been a labor of love, since it gave her an opportunity to mentor some junior faculty members who, despite their demanding roles as teachers and clinicians, were striving to make meaningful first-time contributions to the medical literature. Her hope is that once an author sees the fruits of his or her labor published in an esteemed journal like AFP, the desire to write will keep on growing. Dr. Apgar says it was one of AFP's professional editors, Barrett Schroeder, who provided her with inspiration during the publication of her first article in the journal, and it is this kind of inspiration that she would like to pass on, in turn. First-time writers, she says, should hook up with a mentor, make painstaking efforts to write a first draft and persevere when things get tough.
The University of Michigan Medical School this year celebrates its sesquicentennial anniversary. Along with that milestone has come the recognition that family medicine is now an integral part of the university. Currently housing 58 faculty members and 30 residents in training, the family medicine department is actively focusing on its missions of research, teaching and clinical work. With teaching fellowships in sports medicine and geriatrics, and faculty comprising researchers, medical directors, curriculum coordinators, fellowship directors and clinicians—not to mention our own Dr. Apgar—the department is well equipped to achieve its mission and continue as an integral part of the university in the future.
Congratulations and thanks to the University of Michigan, the Department of Family Medicine, Dr. Apgar and the many faculty members who have contributed to this series.