Editor's Choice US editor's choice

US Highlights

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39085.624873.3A (Published 04 January 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:0-a
  1. Douglas Kamerow, US editor (dkamerow{at}bmj.com)

    Our big news this week is the launch of the redesigned BMJ (in paper anyway—the new bmj.com website debuts in two weeks). The changes are not just cosmetic; we've added departments and features as well. Here's a brief overview.

    Much of the journal will be familiar. Every issue will be anchored by original research articles. We still have editorials up front, some commenting on research articles, others free-standing. Letters, Minerva, and obituaries, love them or hate them, continue just as before. But we've beefed up the news and commentary sections, publishing extended news features and adding a raft of commentators, reviewers, and columnists. Our aim is to inform, provoke, amuse, and even outrage readers. Education is also a focus, with a Practice section that includes clinical reviews, excerpts from BMJ's popular masterclasses and bmjlearning, head-to-head clinical debates, and helpful summaries of important articles from other leading general medical journals.

    This week's journal includes a randomized controlled trial (doi: 10.1136/bmj.39010.551319.AE) of self management for men with lower urinary tract symptoms. Christian Brown and colleagues found that three group sessions helped men with prostate related complaints dramatically improve their symptoms and delay the need for medications or other interventions. The self-management sessions included education, lifestyle advice, and training in problem solving and goal setting skills.

    Matthew Peters and Leonard Glantz debate whether failure to quit smoking should be a contraindication to elective surgery. Peters (doi: 10.1136/bmj.39059.503495.68) points out that many surgical procedures in smokers cost more and have poorer outcomes. Glantz (doi: 10.1136/bmj.39059.532095.68) responds that denying surgery violates smokers' autonomy and treats a very diverse group of patients as a class rather than individuals.

    Journalist and general practitioner Graham Easton describes (doi: 10.1136/bmj.39063.418391.68) how easy it is to purchase prescription drugs over the Internet, a common problem both in the UK and US. Many of these drugs are counterfeit and others are dispensed without appropriate safety precautions. Easton provides advice for doctors to give to their patients about shopping online for drugs.

    Two clinical reviews round out this issue. Elizabeth Elliott discusses (doi: 10.1136/bmj.39036.406169.80) acute gastroenteritis in children, most cases of which are caused by rotavirus. New vaccines against rotavirus are helpful, as is oral rehydration treatment. Most patients don't need drugs or hospitalization. Rupal Shah reviews (doi: 10.1136/bmj.39014.468900.BE) dyspepsia and H. pylori, providing diagnostic, referral, and treatment criteria from recent research and guidelines.

    We hope you like the new BMJ and we welcome your comments.

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