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Am Fam Physician. 2002;65(1):11

Joining AFP's list of selections drawn from systematic evidence reviews is a new series sexcerpted from the BMJ Publishing Group'sClinical Evidence. On page 99 is the first in a series of chapters excerpted from BMJ's collection of systematic reviews of evidence supporting key treatment recommendations on important clinical topics. Jay Siwek, M.D., editor of AFP, and Stuart Barton, M.D., editor-in-chief of Clinical Evidence, announce the collaborative effort in an editorial on page 27 of this issue. You won't want to miss this introduction, which provides background on the BMJ Clinical Evidence series and explains how the new AFP feature ties in with other recently introduced components aimed at strengthening our approach to evidence-based continuing medical education (CME).

The BMJ Clinical Evidence series will appear regularly in AFP and will cover one topic each time, selected on the basis of relevancy to family practice. Full text for each topic selected for the series will appear on AFP's Web site Because of the importance of incorporating evidence-based recommendations into practice,AFP is reinforcing concepts from the BMJ series by covering these topics in the “Clinical Quiz” (see page 25).

Another series recently introduced in AFP is “Cochrane for Clinicians: Putting Evidence into Practice,” which consists of case studies and critiques based on the Cochrane Collaboration. Two other new series are executive summaries of reports from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the related case studies and quizzes called “Putting Prevention into Practice: An Evidence-Based Approach,” drawn from evidence collected by systematic reviews conducted under the auspices of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. These series are also now part of AFP's CME offering.

More exciting developments in AFP's CME are under way as this year begins. Last summer we announced that AFP was going to start asking authors to identify, when possible, the strength of evidence supporting key recommendations for all clinical reviews. We are presenting the first strength-of-evidence labeling in the article on page 75 of this issue, entitled “Influenza in the Nursing Home,” by Brian J. Kingston, M.D., and Charles V. Wright, Jr., M.D., M.M.M. Our editors have worked together with the authors of the article to provide ratings of evidence according to AFP's new system, which is explained on page 72.

For more details on AFP's evidence rating system, please consult the “Information for Authors” online There you will have an opportunity to preview updated author guidelines and a special article on writing evidence-based clinical reviews, by Dr. Siwek and colleagues Margaret L. Gourlay, M.D., David C. Slawson, M.D., and Allen F. Shaughnessy, Phar. However, if you find yourself short of time during the post-holiday crunch, you can wait for the article and updated author guidelines to arrive in the January 15 issue.

We have one more announcement to kick off the new year: AFP has with this issue added a special new forum to enhance opportunities for academic exchange from readers. “Letters to the Editor,” traditionally a print medium, has been expanded to include extra letters online (available through the online table of contents; see page 31 for list of online letters).

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