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Am Fam Physician. 2001;64(1):17

Each year AFP offers a medical editing fellowship, and this year we're excited to announce that the John C. Rose fellow is Margaret L. Gourlay, M.D., who brings a unique blend of skills in medicine and editing to the position. Dr. Gourlay's nontraditional career path led her through veterinary school, veterinary practice and work as a journal editor before she chose to enter medical school and family practice training.

The daughter of a veterinarian, Dr. Gourlay originally believed she might follow in her father's footsteps. As an undergraduate, she majored in microbiology and minored in English because of her love for the written language. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, and later earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine at Iowa State University. Her school experience included work as a research assistant, and she enjoyed her role helping academic researchers and writing research documentation.

During veterinary school, Dr. Gourlay helped bring INTERVET, the nationally distributed journal of the Student American Veterinary Medical Association, to Iowa State University for the first time. During her term as editor from 1988 to 1989, Dr. Gourlay worked closely with the editorial staff of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. As she and her team produced six issues of INTERVET, she learned the ropes of editing and the strategies involved in soliciting good articles.

During four years of veterinary practice, Dr. Gourlay yearned to continue her studies in medicine, and she finally enrolled at Rush Medical College, Chicago. She decided to enter family practice, she says, because “family physicians are the renaissance people of medicine who need to know about everything.” She recently completed a residency in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine.

When Dr. Gourlay learned of the AAFP fellowship that combines editorial duties for AFP with teaching and clinical responsibilities at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C., she recognized an opportunity that seemed tailor-made for her, and she eagerly responded. She was delighted to receive a call from Dr. Siwek over the winter holiday break after he finished reading the essay she submitted. The position offers her the ideal blend of medicine, editing and teaching, while including clinical opportunities in obstetrics as well.

Dr. Gourlay looks forward to learning from the medical editing staff at the Washington, D.C. office, and from Dr. Siwek in particular. She is anxiously awaiting her chance to solicit articles and help tailor them to meet the needs of busy practitioners. She has a special interest in osteoporosis and other women's health topics, but her main goal is to help develop clean, well-organized articles that will provide information family physicians can immediately put to use.

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