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Fam Pract Manag. 2002;9(5):14

You may not think of Family Practice Management as a peer-reviewed journal because it’s not a scientific journal. But the nature of the articles we publish makes peer review crucial.

First, FPM operates in a field where the literature is far from mature. There is not always a clear context within which to evaluate the contribution of every article submitted. Second, FPM deals with a bewildering variety of topics, from accounting to patient relations, from CPT coding to stress management and from contract negotiation to clinical quality improvement. No one is expert in the whole range. And third, unlike most scientific journals, FPM has a special focus on being useful to practicing physicians. That demands an extra layer of peer review: In addition to reviewers who are subject-matter experts, we need reviewers who are representative of various sections of our readership.

Our need for extra peer review means, in fact, that we send the typical article not to one or two reviewers, but to five or six – some subject-matter experts, often including lawyers, accountants or other nonphysician experts, and some whose relevant expertise is simply an acute awareness of what they need and don’t need as practicing family physicians.

Light work, but many hands needed

FPM thus needs to maintain a large and diverse pool of peer reviewers. Currently, we are hoping to expand the pool, and we invite you to consider joining our review panel. While the number of manuscripts sent to a given reviewer varies with the reviewer’s areas of interest and expertise and with the nature of the manuscripts we receive, the average is probably two to four manuscripts a year, so the work is not onerous.

If you are interested in reviewing for FPM – either as an expert in some area or as a representative FPM reader – please complete the downloadable reviewer interest questionnaire form and fax it to me (or e-mail me the same information with “FPM reviewer” in the subject line at When you complete the questionnaire, we’ll add you to the panel and put you to work.

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