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Am Fam Physician. 2005;71(4):635

AFP has received a distinctive award recognizing its top performance in the medical journal industry. We received this bit of good news at the end of last year: Medical Marketing & Media (MM&M) named AFP the winner in its award category “Medium of the Year,” which includes professional journals, consumer publications, and consumer- and physician-oriented Web sites. According to an article published in the January 2005 issue of MM&M, by editor Mark Tosh, many factors placed AFP in the winning category, but the most important factor in determining the award was the continuing upward trend in readership scores. AFP also was considered the most stable publication in a year marked by staff turnover among publishers.

According to publisher Joetta Melton, consistency and stability were the two pillars supporting the success of AFP in 2004, just as these traits have been the foundation for the journal for quite some time. AFP has had a long upward trend of success, but undoubtedly 2004 was an especially strong year for the journal. Independent readership surveys ranked AFP as number one in terms of high readers (readers who spend significant time with the journal) and showed that AFP distanced itself from other medical journals competing for the precious time of family physician readers. Consistency in how the journal approaches readers is a factor in the readership scores, says Melton.

Indeed, AFP has had the good fortune of a strong and stable editorial team headed by long-time editor Jay Siwek, M.D., Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. Dr. Siwek has been part of the AFP team since 1981, when he transferred from the AAFP’s Home-Study Self-Assessment program to AFP. He works with a team of about a dozen medical editors across the country and as many professional staff editors at the AAFP headquarters, located in Leawood, Kan. AFP’s medical editors are all family physicians who see patients and stay in close touch with the needs of family physicians.

AFP also is recognized as a strong leader in terms of its revenues and continuous gain in market share. AFP’s revenues are important in keeping the publication healthy, funding services such as free online access, and being fiscally responsible to the organization. The AFP sales staff, located in New Jersey and headed by Dan Gowan, director of advertising sales, is an unbeatable team who deserves an equal share of recognition for the journal’s success. Without the steady revenue stream ensured through the sales team’s efforts, AFP would not be able to offer the strong editorial content and free CME that readers associate with the journal.

Behind all of this is the support and loyalty AFP receives from its readers who take the time to let us know their needs, either through responding to surveys or taking the initiative to fill out reader feedback cards, send e-mails, or pick up the telephone. Please keep your comments coming.

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Copyright © 2005 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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