Residents and students have a special place in AFP, and I'm not just referring to the department called “Resident and Student Voice.” Let me explain. “Resident and Student Voice,” or RSV, is a department of essays on clinical or other topics that is scheduled to appear four times each year in AFP. RSV is not only written entirely by family practice students and residents, but it is also coordinated and edited by a panel of students and residents who serve on the AFP editorial board.
In case you're not familiar with RSV, turn to page 383, where you'll find a piece called “Deep Waters,” which was written by Scott C. Conley, M.D., during his residency. Dr. Conley provides some observations about a physician's encounter with a woman in her late 30s with severe rheumatoid arthritis, whose patient style was a bit challenging. Dr. Conley provides insights into patient-physician relationships and healing that you won't want to miss.
Dr. Conley's contribution adds to the growing body of literature in AFP provided through the efforts of students and residents. AFP published the first RSV section in July 1997. The editor who founded the section was Amy Crawford-Faucher, M.D., who was then a first-year family practice resident. One of the essays featured in the first RSV section was written by Sumi Makkar, M.D., who was also a first-year family practice resident at that time. Dr. Makkar succeeded Dr. Crawford-Faucher as the editor of RSV in 1998 and last summer handed the baton to Jennifer Reidy, M.D., after taking on the role of editorial fellow for the journal.
Dr. Reidy, who is a resident at Lawrence (Mass.) Family Practice Residency, works alongside Soni Nageswaran of the University of Michigan Medical School, Ypsilanti, Mich., as the resident and student representatives of AFP's editorial advisory board (EAB). Part of their role as EAB representatives is to serve as editors for the RSV section. Dr. Reidy and Ms. Nageswaran have also assembled a panel of assistant editors to help them solicit and review submissions: Christina Gillespie, M.D., Washington, D.C., Laurie MacDonald, Washington, D.C., James Toombs, M.D., Springfield, Mo., and Mark Su, M.D., Brookline, Mass.
This energetic group of editors has been busy brainstorming to find ways of enhancing the RSV section and encouraging students and residents to share their invaluable experiences and insights with their peers and mentors. At last summer's annual meeting of the AFP editorial board in Kansas City, Dr. Reidy and Ms. Nageswaran presented their ideas: among many good ones was one really great idea—a writing contest for family practice and resident students who submit entries for RSV.
We hope you will watch for the upcoming contest announcement and, in the meantime, if you are a family practice student or a resident with something on your mind, don't hesitate to start writing it down. Or, if you prefer, contact your student or resident representative for guidance (Dr. Reidy:firstname.lastname@example.org; Ms. Nageswaran:email@example.com). In addition to essays on clinical topics, the RSV editors are looking for book review submissions and reviews of online resources, and other topics of interest to family physicians, in training or otherwise.