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Reflections: 60 Years of Medicine Today

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

Judy PasslowTwo peas in a pod

Judy Passlow

We’ve been together a long time, Medicine Today and I. In May 1979 we made our acquaintance. We were both 22 years old, born in 1957, me in June and her in September. She was known as Modern Medicine of Australia and was owned by The New York Times, my employer. Popular and well respected even then, an active Editorial Board of esteemed physicians and surgeons headed by the father of neurosurgery, Sir Douglas Miller, Chairman of the Board, and Dr John Ellard, Editor, guarded her virtue and honed her knowledge and wisdom.

In those early years of our relationship I toiled long and hard, first as a production assistant, later as production manager, responsible for laying out the pages of the journal. It was cut and paste back then and not until 1992 did we discover the technical wizardry of desktop publishing. Later still I became the Editorial Director and Publisher.

The New York Times sold Modern Medicine to the Adelaide Advertiser in 1983. Within a year it was sold again to Adis Press, then publishers of Current Therapeutics and Patient Management but the marriage was an uncomfortable one, so in 1985 Modern Medicine moved on again, this time into the welcoming embrace of my business partner, Tony Scott, and me, finding home.

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Under our stewardship and the watchful guidance of the Honorary Editorial Board, the gatekeepers of our clinical standards, Modern Medicine graduated from a franchised title publishing a mix of international material to an independent, rigorously peer-reviewed journal of original clinical reviews authored by Australian experts across all fields of medicine.

In 2000 we relaunched the journal as Medicine Today, sadly but necessarily forsaking our hard-earned volume number owing to a legal dispute with the US trademark holders. Most of our readers caught on and the journal continued to thrive in its newer livery.

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The staff of this fine publication are a passionate lot, some never having worked elsewhere. We have seen our staff marry and have children, watched them mature into adults. We have welcomed keen medical students as avid subscribers and watched them grow into fine GPs and consultants, content in the knowledge that Medicine Today has contributed to their education along the way.

Sometimes I have thought of Modern Medicine/Medicine Today as my own child, sometimes as my sister. Irrespective she has grown so much wiser than me. We each still have a lot to offer and the time to do it. After all, we are only 60!

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Ms Passlow is the Co-Proprietor, Publisher and Editorial Director of Medicine Today.

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