Go team!

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 49, No. 3, April 2007, Page 104 Editorials

At the trading deadline a few days ago the Vancouver Canucks added a couple of players, one of whom had been a previous team member, the other a well-known veteran centre. As a long-time hockey player and coach I immediately appreciated the wise decision of the GM and his scouting staff to be very careful with their “team chemistry.” They added a veteran, affable, articulate, well-liked forward and a previous team member, both of whom would be immediately accepted into what can be a weird, dysfunctional milieu but more often (with careful nurturing) can be a wonderful, hilarious, world of social learning.

Virtually all businesses, organizations, and athletic teams spend significant time and resources designing team-building activities as part of their annual planning because they realize how important team chemistry is to their success.

The Canucks trade got me thinking about the BCMJ team and how important team chemistry has been to the ongoing success of this publication. 

The BCMJ organized a CME cruise in the Caribbean in February that seems to have been very successful. The CME was provided by the Editorial Board members (including our managing editor) and all the organizational logistics were handled by a combination of our staff and the people from Sea Courses Cruises. The cruise was sold out and we were all pleasantly surprised that the conference room was full for all sessions. Attendees seemed to appreciate the variety of CME topics that were covered and, as the bloom is still on the rose of success, we are currently thinking about another (stay tuned).

However, to my mind the most important aspect of the cruise was the opportunity it provided for all of us to interact outside of the rather formal business of manuscript review and publishing decision making. As a group, we ate together, drank wine together, took tubing trips and snorkeling safaris together, and the team building couldn’t have been better. The BCMJ Editorial Board has always had extremely good team chemistry. But at the end of the day the focus on fun generated by the beautiful weather and the mini-universe of a big cruise ship guaranteed that our shared commitment to editorial excellence is stronger than ever. In my opinion, this solidification of our team mind-set ensures that this journal you receive 10 months of the year will continue to be the one medical publication you and the majority of your colleagues in BC take the time to read. 

I just can’t help tapping into my hypomania and expanding all of the above into a general statement about how important the nurturing of team chemistry is to just about every endeavor I can think of. Just think how productive we all could be with a team-first approach to government, business, sports, and professional and non-professional associations. I’m always reminded of the great fun, camaraderie, and collegiality that are the focal points of the doctor’s hockey tournament in Vernon every year when doctors of all stripes come together from all over BC (and some other provinces as well) for three days of extremely successful team building. This tournament should be a very bright light to anyone looking for an example of where doctors have been successful in designing team-building exercises—all done without the help of team-building contractors (imagine that!). 

We all are working for a common goal: the health of our patients, the pursuit and expansion of scientific knowledge, and a real sense of having helped. These enviable goals are likely only achievable with a full commitment to team play by all of us. I wonder if it’s possible.


James A. Wilson, MD. Go team!. BCMJ, Vol. 49, No. 3, April, 2007, Page(s) 104 - 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."
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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

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