December marks my 20th anniversary of employment at the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and most of my time here has been spent with American Family Physician. Such an anniversary milestone leaves one marveling at the passage of time and naturally asking: Why have I been here for so long? I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately, and I want to share some of my reasons. Probably one of the most heartening aspects of my work is that it’s easy to see how AFP fits in with the AAFP’s mission to improve the health of people in America, while reaching out to other nations. AFP provides useful, easy-to-read clinical reviews and updates that are freely available to anyone who has access to the Internet.
Who could feel bad about their work with such a laudable mission? But it’s not enough to have a mission; one must have the means to achieve it. That’s where AFP has had a distinct advantage, through inspirational leadership that has turned dream into reality. The original founders of the journal, including long-time publisher Mac Cahal, envisioned a different kind of medical journal, one that physicians could enjoy reading and could apply in their daily lives and practices. Added to that vision were the contributions of publishers succeeding Mr. Cahal, and the contributions of medical editors who have helped keep the journal on track, meeting the needs of busy family physicians. I consider myself fortunate to have collaborated on this mission with two of AFP’s esteemed editors, John C. Rose, M.D., and Jay Siwek, M.D., and their talented teams of medical editors.
Within the AAFP publications division, I’ve had the good fortune of working with professionals who have given generously of their time and talents to applying high-quality standards in the creation of AFP. To those editors who have strived to uphold the quality of AFP, I offer my sincere gratitude and thanks. In particular, I would like to thank the senior editing staff of AFP, including editors Linnea Korinek, Verna Rose, and Barrett Schroeder. Last month, I had the pleasure of recognizing Verna Rose, senior editor, on her 20th anniversary at the AAFP. Linnea Korinek, AFP’s other senior editor, has dedicated her efforts for the past 19 years. Barrett Schroeder, working in various capacities for AFP, has also worked toward this mission over the past 20 years. Although she recently left her position as senior consulting editor, she still carries the AFP torch through her freelance efforts. Working together, these three editors have represented an incredible force of energy and determination that have helped carry AFP through the many challenges facing a successful, rapidly growing publication entering the age of electronic publishing while also responding to the complex issues facing family physicians in today’s health care industry. For these three editors, as well as the editor who served as our original mentor—previous managing editor Mary Knickerbocker Parrish—I own great admiration.
This is not to slight the efforts of the many other professional editors I’ve worked with on AFP, or the efforts of the production staff who painstakingly assemble jigsaw pieces of text, illustrations, photos, figures, and assorted mismatches into beautiful, cohesive journal pages, or the authors, peer reviewers, and artists who help supply AFP with outstanding content, or the circulation, marketing and advertising sales departments who support us in countless ways, or the many dedicated vendors, such as Brown Printing of Waseca, Minn., who make publication of AFP possible. All of these contributors, and you, dear readers, have filled the past 20 years with cherished memories.