This year started with excitement as we launched Revista Médica American Family Physician (AFP) Podcast, the Spanish-language version of the popular AFP Podcast. It is the first American medical journal podcast produced in Spanish and is developed in partnership with the Rio Bravo Family Medicine Residency Program and Clinica Sierra Vista in Bakersfield, Calif. The production is led by Hector Arreaza, MD, associate director of the residency program. Episodes are translated from the AFP Podcast, which is produced in partnership with the University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix Family Medicine Residency Program, and led by cohosts Steve Brown, MD, and Jake Anderson, DO. To date, the AFP Podcast episodes have been downloaded nearly 7 million times. We look forward to the Spanish version becoming just as popular. To learn more about the new podcast, check out our website and tune into Episode 175, Part 1 of the February 2023 AFP Podcast and Episodio Cero of Revista Médica AFP Podcast.1,2
In addition to sharing our enthusiasm over the new podcast in this annual editorial, we are also delighted to introduce new members of our editing team, highlight the top 20 articles from the previous year, provide print circulation and website statistics, and thank our peer reviewers.3
Medical Editing Fellow and Resident and Student Representatives
The AFP team welcomes Dr. Laura Blinkhorn as this year's Jay Siwek Medical Editing Fellow. Dr. Blinkhorn is a family physician and geriatrician at Mary's Center in Washington, D.C. She has a unique background in that after college she was a math teacher in the U.S. Peace Corps and then a congressional journalist. She later transitioned her writing interest to medical writing and peer reviewing during medical school. You can read more about her background and interests in the AFP Community Blog at https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/afp-community-blog/entry/new-2023-2024-afp-medical-editing-fellow-blinkhorn.
In addition to fellows, AFP also has resident and student representatives who assist with various projects throughout the year. They typically serve annual terms from January through December. This year we have two resident representatives: Dr. Nia Carty, a second-year resident at Kaiser Permanente Napa/Solano, Calif., and Dr. Kiersten Kelly, a second-year resident at Dignity Health Methodist Hospital of Sacramento, Calif. Our student representative is Evan Starr, a third-year student at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine in southern Utah. More information about these positions is available at https://www.aafp.org/afp/residentrep and https://www.aafp.org/afp/studentrep.
The AFP Photo Contest is an ongoing project created by the resident and student representatives. Residents and students are encouraged to share their stories about how they use AFP through photographs. The winners from 2022 can be found at https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/about/photocontest/2022Winners.html, and the 2023 winners will be announced in the July issue of AFP and at this year's American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) National Conference.
AFP's Top 20 Articles of 2022
Do not miss the top 20 AFP articles that were most viewed by readers online last year.4 Popular article topics include office-based urinalysis, antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, contraception, arthropod bites and stings, cluster headache, post–COVID-19 condition (long COVID), and heart murmurs in children. We are reinstituting the AFP Article of the Year Award, and the 2022 award will be announced in October 2023 at FMX.
The top 10 AFP Community Blog posts of 2022 were highlighted in the December 26, 2022, post.5 Topics include vitamin D and omega-3 supplements, Family Medicine National Resident Match, don't-miss syphilis diagnoses, panic disorder treatment, postoperative complications with COVID-19, and contraception.
The top research studies of 2022 for primary care physicians were published in the April 2023 issue of AFP.6 A collection of the top 20 research studies for primary care physicians that have been published in AFP is available at https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/content/top-poems.html.
Circulation and Website Statistics
The circulation of AFP's print journal is more than 175,000 (Table 1). To the best of our knowledge, it is the second-largest circulation of any medical journal, based on an independent publication auditing firm.7 AFP has consistently been rated the number one journal among primary care physicians.8
|Average recipients of electronic table of contents, monthly
|Average recipients of AFP Clinical Answers eNewsletter
|Unique visitors to the website in 2022
|Unique visitors to the website per month (average)
|Total visits to the website in 2022
|Registered unique visitors in 2022
|Page views in 2022
|Total page views since 2010
|AFP Podcast (total downloads since 2015)
|Revista Médica AFP Podcast (total downloads since 2023)
The AFP website received an average of 2.6 million unique visitors per month (attributable to a unique browser or device) in 2022, making it one of the most popular online medical publications. This means that in addition to visits by AAFP members, the website is viewed by millions of other health care professionals and others who presumably are seeking information about various clinical conditions. Additionally, about 2.7 million CME quiz credits are awarded annually. This year, the AFP editors have started adding an explanation for each quiz question as a new feature to enhance learning.
Publication Timelines and Acceptance Rates
On average, review articles are accepted a little under five months after they are submitted, which allows time for peer review, author revisions, and medical editing (Table 2). Articles are typically published six to seven months after acceptance. We work hard to select articles for each issue to provide readers with a mix of topics. Articles that go online ahead of print are typically published online within six months of acceptance. In 2022, we published seven articles online ahead of print. So far in 2023, we have published one article online ahead.
|Average days to publication
|From submission to acceptance
|144 (goal: under 150)
|From acceptance to publication
|196 (goal: 180)
|From submission to publication
|340 (goal: 330)
|Manuscript acceptance rates
|Approved proposed manuscript†
|Unsolicited manuscript (no pre-approval process)
To ensure comprehensive coverage of a curriculum of topics, we solicit most of the articles that are published. We circulate a “call for papers” through multiple family medicine communication platforms and post it on social media and online. Our preference is for the first author to be an experienced clinician and writer because our readership largely consists of busy physicians who rely on AFP for practical, evidence-based content and CME. However, we encourage experienced authors to mentor coauthors, especially authors from groups that are underrepresented in medicine to increase diverse authorship.9
Authors who propose unsolicited topics go through a formal approval process before submitting a manuscript for consideration. Because only 14% of proposed topics are approved due to duplicate topics or not fitting with AFP's curriculum, authors are strongly encouraged to read the AFP Authors' Guide (https://www.aafp.org/afp/authors) before contacting us.
Acknowledging Peer Reviewers
Peer review continues to be an essential and valuable process for the journal, and we are very appreciative of the work reviewers do in helping us develop sound content for AFP. Each year we recognize all peer reviewers for volunteering their time in addition to highlighting those who provided exceptional feedback (https://www.aafp.org/journals/afp/reviewers/peer-reviewers/2022.html). An archive of past AFP peer reviewers is available at https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/reviewers/peer-reviewers.html.
If you are interested in reviewing for AFP, please read the Reviewers' Guide (https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/reviewers.html) and complete a reviewer profile. For new reviewers, we highly recommend that you find a mentor for your first review, which could include senior physicians with authorship experience, department chairs and faculty, and residency directors. The AAFP has authorized CME credit for physicians who peer review manuscripts for journals (https://www.aafp.org/credit-reporting/reporting/claim-credit).
Each year as I reflect on the journal's goals and accomplishments, I am filled with gratitude for the dedication of our authors, editors, and reviewers and for the support of our loyal readers, making AFP the best-read journal in primary care. As always, we welcome your feedback. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's Note: Dr. Sexton is editor-in-chief of AFP.