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Am Fam Physician. 2002;66(3):359

AFP is welcoming its ninth medical editing fellow to the editorial offices in Washington, D.C. Charles Carter, M.D., started his fellowship in July, taking over for Margaret Gourlay, M.D., who just finished the year-long fellowship. The fellowship, named after AFP's earlier long-time editor John C. Rose, M.D., offers a unique combination of editorial, teaching, and clinical responsibilities alongside current editor Jay Siwek, M.D., at Georgetown University. Family physicians completing the fellowship emerge with skills tailored to the editorial setting, and the fact that most of them still work for AFP in various editing capacities testifies to the success of the program.

Dr. Carter is a graduate of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He joins the fellowship after having just completed a residency in family medicine at the University of South Carolina/Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital, Columbia, S.C. While there, he served as chief resident and was honored to receive the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Resident Teacher Award and the Resident of the Year Award at residency graduation.

Dr. Carter's ambition to become a family physician reflects a lifelong interest—“All my life I wanted to become a physician,” he said. His childhood memories of his personal pediatrician while he lived in the rural community of Cullowhee, N.C., were good ones. He decided on family medicine as his specialty because it conformed to his idea of what physicians are all about—the philosophy of treating the whole patient, emphasizing effective use of communication to enhance what can be done technologically. Family physicians are courageous, Dr. Carter says, because of the diversity of the challenges in medicine and the never-ending learning process. Subspecialists can become experts in a narrow area, but family physicians are the great learners who synthesize the big picture and look out for the best interests of the patient.

Dr. Carter's interest in writing springs out of a family tradition in the field of communications. His mother worked as a university writing center director, and his father was an editor for his professional society. Both of his parents were English majors. Dr. Carter says he looks forward to working in the editorial setting at AFP because the journal is the cornerstone of the family practice experience—it is important in helping physicians along in their lifelong quest for quality and continual learning. He is eager to learn more about evidence-based medicine (EBM) and quality of care during the fellowship. Dr. Carter already has a good start in developing editorial content for AFP, having contributed an item for “Photo Quiz.”

The faculty development side of the fellowship especially appeals to Dr. Carter, who sees teaching as an important part of his future career. He'll also get a chance to work with an underserved urban patient population in the clinic setting. At the same time, his wife, Becky, will be working as a pediatric nurse at Georgetown University Medical Center. Our best wishes and thanks go to this newlywed couple as they pursue their dreams in medicine.

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