For the past nine years, “Diary from a Week in Practice” has been written by contributors from a private practice in Kissimmee, Fla., and coordinated by Walter L. Larimore, M.D., along with John R. Hartman, M.D. The feature, which highlights day-to-day family practice, debuted in the January 1992 issue and has been part of the regular reading diet for thousands of AFP readers. In January 1998, we celebrated the 100th Diary entry with Drs. Larimore and Hartman, and now we are getting close to publishing the 150th Diary entry. However, with the recent decision of Dr. Larimore to leave his Kissimmee practice and join Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, the landscape of “Diary” will be shifting slightly.
While Dr. Larimore has yet to write a parting column and while remaining members of the Kissimmee practice will continue to provide contributions to “Diary,” Dr. Larimore's departure means that there will be fewer Diary writers to fill up an increasing number of Diary pages—since the column, like AFP, has increased in frequency over the past decade. So we put our heads together and came up with a plan to continue bringing readers stories from the Kissimmee practice while opening the door to other family practices that might want to contribute to the semimonthly column.
To complement contributions from the Kissimmee practice, AFP is seeking representative diarists from a variety of family practice settings, such as urban, rural, academic, military, managed care and public health. If your practice can offer a unique perspective to “Diary” and you would like to participate as one of a select group who will contribute to Diary on a regular basis, read on.
AFP's editor Jay Siwek, M.D., will be reviewing sample entries submitted by various practices with an eye toward selecting a group of diarists from different family practice settings. Dr. Siwek is looking for stories that provide a real-life flavor to day-to-day practice, reflecting a broad range of experience in family practice. Perhaps you would like to share a diagnostic puzzle you or your partners solved with a “Eureka!” solution; perhaps you have tried-and-true clinical treatment tips to offer; or perhaps you would like to share some of those memorable personal experiences you've had with patients and their families. It may be that you would like to share the joys and challenges of everyday family practice with your colleagues in family medicine.
If your family practice would like to try diary writing, you can obtain instructions on how to submit a sample diary entry by contacting Jay Siwek, M.D., Department of Family Medicine, 212 Kober-Cogan Hall, George-town University Medical Center, 3800 Reservoir Rd., NW, Washington, DC 20007 (telephone: 202-687-1631; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Guidelines can also be obtained at the following Web address:www.aafp.org/afp/diaryguide.