Dr. Howard Bauchner, who takes over as the new editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association on July 1, promised the publication will "continue to evolve" with "intelligent innovation" and the addition of thoughtful and provocative content—but pledged that original research would "remain the heart and soul" of the publication.
Bauchner vows to continue JAMA's 'evolution'
Bauchner, 59, added that he will leave his position as a professor of pediatrics and community health sciences at Boston University School of Medicine, and relocate to AMA headquarters in Chicago, where he hopes to start a medical practice because seeing patients "forms the type of research I do."
In addition, he announced that he will reach out to Chicago's healthcare community and the deans of the region's medical schools and will also resign his position as editor-in-chief of the Archives of Disease in Childhood, a journal of the U.K.’s Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Bauchner expressed his desire to see JAMA play a leadership role in the debate over healthcare reform, expanding health insurance coverage, developing accountable care, and retooling medical education and training.
"I want to see JAMA participate in the debate on the best way to accomplish these goals," he said.
Noting that the general public is now a greater consumer of medical education than ever before, Bauchner said JAMA's readership now extends beyond its traditional physician audience, and he pledged to make the journal more reader-friendly. This would include considering making articles shorter while increasing the length of abstract summaries.
Another change would be to add more accompanying editorials to original research articles that would help put the research findings in the context of the larger healthcare system.
In his opening remarks, Bauchner said it was an honor and a privilege to be chosen as the 16th JAMA editor, and he described the position as a "sacred trust."
He replaces Dr. Catherine DeAngelis, who announced in September that she would return to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to develop the Center for Professionalism in Medicine and the Related Professions. She has held the post since 2000 and previously was the editor of another AMA journal, the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
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