Cruise control

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 48, No. 8, October 2006, Pages 372, 378 Editorials

In February of 2007 the BCMJ will host its first CME event—a Caribbean cruise. We undertake this new venture with a certain amount of trepidation, but expect to make some money to help defray our publishing costs and reduce the amount you pay out of your Association dues for the journal that you receive 10 times a year.

We plan to provide attendees with excellent CME (updates on chronic disease management [COPD, asthma, diabetes], chronic pain and addiction, humor in medicine, vascular and orthopaedic surgery, and transportation medicine) as well as an opportunity to take in some informal, round-table presentations on medical writing and publishing. There will be ample opportunity to interact regularly and closely with the faculty (who happen also to be members of the BCMJ Editorial Board) and we plan to have at least one get-acquainted cocktail party. This will be your chance to meet and interact with those not-so-mysterious personages who go by AJS, BD, DR, HMO, JAW, LML, and SEH—whose editorial opinions you may or may not have agreed with. The BCMJ managing editor and production coordinator will also be present, so it will be a terrific opportunity to meet the people to whom you may have spoken or had written communication with, but never met. Medical politics is always a hot topic with doctors, and our list of faculty and medical dignitaries includes the current president of the BCMA, at least one past-president, and, we hope, the president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association.

Irrespective of the high level of interest I’m sure that will be generated by an opportunity to meet with BC’s energetic and often controversial provincial and federal politicos in a very intimate environment, the week’s educational component guarantees to provide commonsense, useful practice information delivered by extremely entertaining, highly skilled, practising docs. Just as important, to my mind at least, the cruising experience at that time of the year will be a more than welcome respite from the dog days of winter, and I’m already looking forward to the whole experience.

During the BCMA’s centenary celebrations in 2000, I was asked to do a presentation on medical writing, and for some reason I agreed. I assumed that of the hundreds of attendees there might be two or three who would be interested in the topic, but I was surprised by the packed house that met my co-presenter (then–managing editor Ms Claudette Reed Upton) and I as we prepared to start. The standing-room-only crowd seemed to like the information we provided, but up to the final wrap-up point I thought that we were only a 1-hour “filler” for the almost-rapt crowd. Claudette and I worried that as soon as we finished the attendees would have to be careful if they wanted to avoid suffering physical injury as they stampeded out the door. To our amazement, the crowd hung around, asking an amazing variety of questions about not only the mechanics of scientific writing but also about the business of medical publishing. We finally shut it down when the next presenter arrived and started to set up. This experience showed us that there is an unexpectedly large, quiet, keenly interested cohort of docs out there with an educated interest in this somewhat obscure domain.

Knowing this, I promise not to be surprised when the cruise is completely sold out and people start calling our office for more tickets.

My advice: visit our web site for more information and contact Sea Courses Cruises before it’s too late.
See you there.


James A. Wilson, MD. Cruise control. BCMJ, Vol. 48, No. 8, October, 2006, Page(s) 372, 378 - Editorials.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

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