The nearly 200,000 readers of American Family Physician represent a variety of people with an array of interests. One of our goals in selecting content for AFP is to mirror that—by publishing diverse material that will be of interest to many of you. We hope that each of you will find several ideas and recommendations in each issue that will help you improve your practice.
The clinical review articles in this issue cover an interesting mixture of topics—evaluating fever of unknown source in young children (page 1805), treating menorrhagia (page 1813), considering additional treatment options for patients with diabetes (page 1831), and managing schizophrenia (page 1821). Also, patient information handouts accompany the articles on menorrhagia and schizophrenia.
The regular AFP departments also cover a range of topics: a vaccine to prevent shingles (STEPS, page 1843), reducing cardiovascular risk in children (Practice Guidelines, page 1873), and predicting postoperative pulmonary complications (Point-of-Care Guides, page 1837). And don't forget to test your knowledge with the popular Photo Quiz (page 1841). We have received positive comments on the new feature called Close-Ups: A Patient's Perspective; be sure to check that out in this issue (page 1801) and let us know what you think.
Why do we strive for such a broad range of topics? Reflecting on the demographics of the American Academy of Family Physicians membership and the AFP readership can answer that.
Recent Survey Reveals Variety
The Academy recently conducted its 30th annual survey on member practice patterns and journal reading habits. The survey results show that the average physician respondent has been in the profession for 17 years and is an office-based physician.1
The diversity becomes more evident when you look at the figure included here. I was especially impressed with the graphic showing years in practice. This tells me that we need to strive to make AFP interesting and useful to readers of many ages and many levels of professional experience. The survey also demonstrated the breadth of care delivered by family physicians. Respondents were asked to select categories of conditions that they were likely to treat in patients during a typical two-day period. More than 90 percent listed hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol problem, emotional problem, and respiratory infection. More than half said they see patients with the following conditions during a two-day period: headache, arthritis, obesity, allergies, asthma, sports-related injury, menopause, cardiac problems, heartburn, cough/cold, dermatologic problems, and sick children.
The information gathered in this survey illustrates the variety of medical interests among AFP readers and the numerous conditions that you see in your patients every day. We hope the content of AFP reflects your needs and allows all of you to gather important “take home points” in each issue. Please let us know how we're doing. You can send an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org any time to make a comment or suggestion about how to improveAFP.