Reminiscences of 60 years of reading and learning
Professor Peter A. Castaldi
AO, MD(Syd), DU Paris(Hon), FRACP
The 60th anniversary of Medicine Today is a good time to reflect on how the reading and learning habits of medical practitioners persist and adapt over the years. As young medical graduates in the 1950s and 1960s, we were placed under the supervision of senior practitioners, the ‘Honoraries’ of those times. They were mostly kind and a little indulgent but, when we were fortunate, we became the juniors to outstanding clinicians and mentors who were well read, firm, critical and often personally strongly supportive. We were compelled to read avidly and perform on rounds and in presentations, striving to make the grade as physicians, surgeons or whatever path we chose. In the 1960s, I discovered Modern Medicine of Australia. By then the journal was established as a useful companion for coverage of medical topics. I always checked its contents on the library shelf, and remember ward rounds being stimulated by the latest issue. We responded to ideas to which we could relate and that sometimes challenged our capacities.
"To preserve our communication we depend on journals that can provide...the type of grounded information so typical of that in Medicine Today."
Where are we now, all these years later, when we find that simply perusing a few trusted sources leaves us short of the awareness we seek? In the digital age, do we still see value in print journals, do we have the access we need and the information on which we depend? It is striking how the same topics recur as information grows and flows. The more we diverge into specialist pathways, the more we need the reassurance of continuing values in clinical excellence. To preserve our communication we depend on journals that can provide a meeting place for specialties and the type of grounded information so typical of that in Medicine Today.
On this 60th anniversary, I would like to pay tribute to Judy Passlow and Tony Scott, the longstanding directors of this journal, and also to the editors, production staff, contributors, reviewers, editorial board, and finally the readers, for their continuing support.