The role of a general medical journal

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 04 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:591
  1. Joseph Ana, managing editor (
  1. BMJ West Africa edition

    Good science, good research, and patients will be the victims unless there is a free exchange of health information worldwide. Because doctors practising in countries with theheaviest burden of disease have the least access to medical journals and other forms of health information, and also have the least access to quality undergraduate or specialisttraining, the general medical journals that they are likely to see must carry material that is relevant to all doctors, whether in rich or poor countries.

    A general medical journal should publish material that is robust enough scientificallyto help doctors and other health professionals practise medicine better. It should be influential enough to have an impact on health policy. It should carry interesting educational and peer reviewed papers, so that it retains a reputation for excellence. It should help to remove health policies and practices that are not evidence based. While it should carry international research, papers should be relevant and attractive to local medical practitioners. …

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