Doctors are next

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 43, No. 6, July August 2001, Page 316 Editorials

A few years ago I made an important mental-health maintenance decision. I decided to get off the emotional roller-coaster ride our politicians love to take us on whenever the BC electorate decides to give the incumbent majority a royal butt-kicking. The new group, flushed with their sense of importance and newfound power, grasping their list of election promises in upraised, victorious mitts, have always driven my optimism and almost carnal desire for change to new heights. However, reality quickly dampens the enthusiasm of novice health ministers within a few heartbeats. I think we will see our shiny new health minister demonstrating the strained “what the hell have I got myself into” look of all the previous ones in short order. The terrible disrepair of the medical system, with important infrastructure and new technology gaps coupled with serious labor unrest among nurses and allied health professionals, will require a huge injection of cash to fix.

The doctors are next, and if Victoria thinks the docs are going to make life easy for them in our negotiations, I have a prescription for major delusional disorder already written.

Behind all of this is the looming labor crisis that everyone is predicting if workable solutions are not achieved in short order. The new government seems to have bought into the need to increase the size of the medical school, as well as to increase training positions for nurses and other allied health professionals. But are the teachers going to be happy? The negotiations have been strained, with some acrimony, but it now appears the two sides are close to reaching a consensus. We can only hope that the two sides remain amicable and we can all stop worrying about wholesale walkouts.

It seems once again that one of the possible pieces to the solution puzzle for this huge, seemingly unmanageable group of interrelated problems is to fully explore the possibility of partnerships with the business community. How much longer can we allow our health care system to continue its inexorable decline? I hope we wake up and look at all alternatives, especially the most politically unappealing ones, before it’s too late.


James A. Wilson, MD. Doctors are next. BCMJ, Vol. 43, No. 6, July, August, 2001, Page(s) 316 - 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.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply