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Reflections: 60 Years of Medicine Today

Kim Oates, Peter A. Castaldi, Audra Barclay, JUDY PASSLOW
OPEN ACCESS

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60th Anniversary Special

Medicine Today (formerly Modern Medicine of Australia) turned 60 this month, a time to reflect on where the journal has been and where it is going. To celebrate this milestone we asked the Chair of the Board of Honorary Consultants, the Editor-in-Chief (and former Chair), the Editor and the Publisher (who confesses to being the same vintage as the journal) to share their reminiscences and feelings about working with Medicine Today. We also examine how the Medicine Today Group has evolved over the last ten years since the celebration of its 50th anniversary. During a period of enormous change and digital disruption, the journal has launched four new 'sister' journals, each with their own website, and embraced changing technology to provide its readers with an ever increasing range and diversity of authoritative, practical and focused clinical content.
 

Professor Kim OatesFrom the Chair: past, present and future

Professor Kim Oates

AM, MD, DSc, MHP, FRACP

At the age of 60, when many start wondering about retirement, Medicine Today continues to develop, innovate and improve. This may sound like hyperbole from the Board Chair, but I’ll explain later.

First, think for a moment of the changes that have occurred in Medicine Today’s life so far.

The birth control pill was developed and Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite, was launched the same year that our journal (then known as Modern Medicine of Australia) was first published in Australia.

The year we turned 4, Yuri Gagarin became the first man to fly in space. In our sixth year the oral polio vaccine was invented, followed a year later by the measles vaccine in 1963. Our 10th birthday in 1967 saw the first coronary bypass graft surgery. When we were 12, Neil Armstrong took man’s first steps on the moon: ‘One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind’. Just after we turned 15, the MRI and the mobile phone were invented, although it was some time before they were more widely available.

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The personal computer appeared when we were 18, and the GPS (Global Positioning System) was invented in our 21st year. We were nearly 40 when the internet and email became widely available in Australia. And now there is not only email, but also Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When I asked my grandchildren if that was the complete list, there was a tolerant groan and they suggested adding Snapchat, Tumblr, Pinterest and Flickr. Yes, it is hard for some of us to keep totally up to date, another reason why Medicine Today is so valuable.

Medicine Today hasn’t been left behind by any of these advances. It has reported medical discoveries as they happened and, in particular, reported them in a way that has been accessible to GPs. It has embraced the new technologies as they developed. Our website is a great example of this. Do you need a patient handout on a particular topic? They are all there on our website. Do you need a flowchart for a particular problem? Again, they are all there. Readers can explore past issues, review the dermatology quizzes, have access to all the supplements and take advantage of the CPD program. And, unlike some websites, it’s user-friendly.

"Medicine Today ... has reported medical discoveries as they happened and, in particular, reported them in a way that has been accessible to GPs."

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Medicine Today is a peer-reviewed, independent journal of education, written specifically for GPs by national experts. It’s also valuable for specialists who can read about areas outside their own field of expertise, remaining informed about advances in the whole spectrum of medicine.

The first edition of Modern Medicine of Australia published in September 1957 and today's issue of Medicine Today published in September 2017.
The first edition of Modern Medicine of Australia published in September 1957 and today's issue of Medicine Today published in September 2017. 

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