Only a naive editor could think of clinical journals as the first sources of information in the day-to-day work of the busy clinician. But journals do meet some needs; thousands of physicians voluntarily subscribe to The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine, this journal, and others. The needs served are diverse—new information, new concepts, reviews of treatment or diagnostic methods, didactic exercises such as the clinicopathologic conference, an outlook onto the society and culture of medicine, even professional gossip. But whatever the busy clinician's particular needs, he or she has little time for reading or even for scanning; journals must be chosen carefully. The choice is difficult for the clinician who wants to keep informed both widely and well. Papers and articles pertinent to clinical medicine are divided among scores and scores of journals, some broad in scope but most highly specialized. How many journals and what journals should the internist follow closely?
The paper in this issue (p. 686) by Dr. Oster looks at one aspect of this problem. He has analyzed the coverage of clinical oncology in three broad-scope journals and
What Journals for the Physicians?. Ann Intern Med. ;85:674–675. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-85-5-674
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1976;85(5):674-675.
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