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Am Fam Physician. 2007;76(8):1092

The AFP medical and professional editors and staff held their annual meeting in early September at the Academy headquarters in Leawood, Kan. The agenda for this meeting is always packed with discussion and action items aimed at reviewing AFP's preceding year and planning for the future. We discuss everything from content to layout, to increasing the efficiency of our procedures, to ideas for launching new departments, to ways to improve the Web site. This year was no exception as we made plans for some important improvements in AFP.

This year we invited several Academy staff members from outside the Publications division to join us. Mindi McKenna, director of the Continuing Medical Education (CME) division, and Elaine Gangel, Home Study managing editor, met with us to discuss how AFP and the CME division might collaborate to better meet members' and readers' CME needs. Herb Young, MD, Scientific Activities division director, presented an overview of the Academy's process for developing clinical policies. AFP will enhance its process for tracking new clinical policies and incorporating them in review articles.

Greg Belshe, interface design manager, Research and Information Services division, joined us for a discussion about future enhancements to the AFP Web site. Our goal is to make AFP content easy to find and ultimately keep it up to date. We noted that AFP has a very high “Google Impact Factor,” meaning that many AFP articles are on the first page of Google searches for medical conditions and diseases. This, in part, explains the thousands of monthly visitors to our site, including health care professionals and the general public. We look forward to making the Web site even more user friendly in the future; and, as always, your suggestions are welcome (send an e-mail:

Leigh McKinney, director of the Online and Custom Publishing division, updated the group on activities in her division. We discussed how AFP can benefit from using patient education material on the Web site. The AFP medical editing fellow will review material on that Web site during the article review process for possible inclusion of links in print and online.

The professional and medical editors met in small groups to discuss specific AFP departments for which they are responsible. They came up with many ideas for improving procedures, increasing efficiency, and including new information. In addition to all that, we saw a demonstration of Editorial Manager, the new Web-based AFP manuscript submission system. We expect this to launch late this year; watch for more details coming soon.

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