Intended for healthcare professionals


Avoiding becoming the English Medical Journal

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 01 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1158

May need structural changes

  1. Richard Smith, Editor
  1. BMJ

    Personal view p 1221

    My wife is Scottish, making my children half Scottish, I'm a graduate of Edinburgh Medical School and a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, I breathe more deeply when I'm in Scotland, the bagpipes make me weep, and often “My heart is in the Highlands a-chasing of the deer,” but I fear that—viewed from Edinburgh—the British Medical Journal could become the English Medical Journal in devolving Britain.

    “It already is,” say some Scots, although ironically the BMJ is the best read publication among Scottish general practitioners, while it comes third to two free newspapers in England (confirming in my mind the superior taste of the Scots). The view of the BMJ from Cardiff may not see it as quite so foreign, but the Welsh regret that many interesting health innovations in Wales don't make it into the BMJ. The doctors in Northern Ireland are perhaps too used to being forgotten to complain and, I suspect, enjoy the 20 miles of cold sea that separate them from the mainland of Britain. But the BMJ wants to be useful to doctors in all parts of what is currently called the United Kingdom, …

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