Editor's Note

Readers will notice many changes in our January 2008 issue, which will relaunch as ACP Internist with a new look and expanded content. ACP Internist will feature the same high-caliber reporting that readers have come to expect from ACP Observer, with some notable additions and improvements.

ACP Internist: Our new name is just the beginning

Welcome to ACP Internist, the relaunch of the College's newspaper. Our new name is just one of the many changes we've made over the past year to make the publication more relevant to our readers. We've also completely redesigned the look of the paper and added new features, departments and columnists. Our goal is to become your most trusted resource for keeping abreast of the news, people and trends affecting the business and practice of internal medicine.

We hope that the new look and content will inspire you to become more engaged with the publication. In this issue, for example, we invite you to participate in two new features that will be driven by reader input and feedback. We are very excited to welcome husband-and-wife team Jerome Groopman, FACP, and Pamela Hartzband, FACP, as regular contributors discussing the art of diagnosis. Using your suggested case studies, Drs. Groopman and Hartzband will analyze how doctors arrive at a correct diagnosis, and the missteps that can lead to errors. In their first column on page 4, the authors explain their approach and relate a personal story that occurred during Dr. Groopman's residency. Looking back, they reflect on the thinking process that led to the diagnosis and how it might have been avoided.

Another new column, moderated by distinguished medical ethicist Lachlan Forrow, FACP, focuses on common ethical dilemmas faced by clinicians. In each issue, Dr. Forrow and other experts will comment on cases drawn from actual clinical experience. This month, Dr. Forrow considers the case of an elderly woman with dementia who refuses to undergo dialysis despite steadily progressive renal failure. How should the physician respond to the patient's family, who want to force their relative into treatment? After you read Dr. Forrow's commentary, we invite you to e-mail us your thoughts and perspectives. A selection of the comments we receive will be displayed on our Web site and in a future print issue.

We've also added several staff-written news columns that aim to provide quick updates on important and practical topics. In this issue, Senior Writer Jessica Berthold launches two regular columns. “FDA Review” is an overview of drug approvals, warnings and other regulatory issues, while “Web Watch” helps readers decide which of the many medical Web sites and blogs might be worth checking out, The “Campaign Trail,” by Staff Writer Stacey Butterfield, focuses on the health care platforms of the major presidential candidates as we approach the November 2008 elections. Rely on these writers to distill the reams of information out there on these subjects into the key points most relevant to physicians.

ACP Internist is also expanding its online presence. ACP InternistWeekly, our weekly e-newsletter has a new look that reflects the print design and look for a complete transformation of the ACP Internist Web site in the coming months, including interactive features that make it easy for readers to send comments or engage in discussions. The goal isn't just to look different, but to foster engagement with readers by capitalizing on the complementary strengths of print and online media.

Our new format and content respond to what readers have been demanding—shorter, more focused stories and quick facts on trends and statistics—while keeping popular features that offer insight into breaking medical trends and practical advice on running a practice. We hope ACP Internist provides all this and more, and that you'll continue to provide the feedback and input that help us grow and adapt to the changing needs of our readers. I hope you enjoy the issue and we look forward to hearing from you. Send us your comments.


Janet Colwell