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Am Fam Physician. 2008;77(8):1060

The medical editors associated with American Family Physician play a crucial role in maintaining the high quality of this publication. They review manuscripts and coordinate various sections of the journal to ensure that AFP provides the most up-to-date and accurate information possible. We are pleased to announce that two more outstanding professionals have joined the AFP team. Colin P. Kopes-Kerr, MD, MPH, JD, and John E. Delzell, Jr., MD, MSPH, became our newest medical editors earlier this year. Editor Jay Siwek, MD, invited them to serve in the assistant editor role to continue AFP's focus on evidence-based medicine.

Dr. Kopes-Kerr is introduced here, and Dr. Delzell's background will be presented in the May 1 Inside AFP.

Kopes-Kerr Brings a Diverse Background, Passion for Prevention, and Enthusiasm for Publishing

Dr. Kopes-Kerr is the program director of the Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency in Santa Rosa, Calif. His publishing experience includes serving as the editor and publisher of FP Revolution, an electronic newsletter that addresses clinical issues of interest to family physicians and others, and as deputy medical editor for Ebsco Publishing, Ipswich, Mass., where he was responsible for primary care publications and an evidence-based online database. Dr. Siwek said, “I've been impressed with Colin's newsletter, FP Revolution, and, from years ago, a newsletter he used to publish summarizing important developments in the medical literature. He has a keen, critical eye, and I look forward to the informed perspective he'll bring to AFP.

A board-certified family physician for more than 20 years, Dr. Kopes-Kerr has held director and faculty positions at Sacramento Family Physicians, Sacramento, Calif., the Family Practice Residency at SUNY Stony Brook, NY, and the Family Practice Residency Program at Penn State University College of Medicine. He also has been in private practice in Allentown and Hamburg, Pa.

Dr. Kopes-Kerr earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., and his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in Philadelphia. He continued his education by obtaining his masters of public health degree and a law degree at the University of California, Berkeley. He also was the chief resident at Case Western Reserve University, Department of Family Medicine, in Cleveland, Ohio.

His diverse background, which includes service as a health officer for an agricultural project in Guatemala, prompted the question, “What area of medicine are you most passionate about?” He replied, “My passion is for primary prevention, which has largely been ignored in medical education and research. We have fantastic data in recent years … studies [that] stand for the proposition that a healthy lifestyle … can reduce all-cause mortality by 50 to 60 percent. We don't have anything else in conventional medicine that offers that.”

Of his work publishing FP Revolution, Dr. Kopes-Kerr said, “I really did it just to get the message out there. Someone's got to say it and provide the supporting data. Also, I am always looking for opportunities to increase yield (the effectiveness of each minute in the office) and for opportunities to eliminate waste (so much of what is traditionally done). I am hoping there will be some synergies between my observations and the new issues that arise in the pages of AFP.”

When asked why the idea of serving as an AFP medical editor appealed to him, Dr. Kopes-Kerr said, “I have spent half of my life just trying to keep up with the medical literature. This opportunity presents both another way to do so and a way to stay connected with the mainstream as my own take tends to diverge more and more.”

Dr. Kopes-Kerr agrees that AFP is a valuable resource for family physicians. “ AFP is a very important piece of the education of primary care physicians,” he said. “Starting on the medical student level, it remains one of the best primers on almost all the core topics of primary care—always a great collection of pictures; easy to understand tables; and simple, concise statements of the problem. It never outgrows this utility and remains a core source of the basics through one's practicing life. The extent to which it has allied itself with the principles of evidence-based medicine in recent years is a real plus.”

On a personal note, Dr. Kopes-Kerr said, “I have been a fairly veteran itinerant, moving every five years, but we've settled into Santa Rosa now, which my wife Diane and the kids love. We are settling into small town life in Kenwood, where they attend a small, outstanding public school, that has enriched all of our lives.”

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