By the time this editorial is published I will have survived another winter. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love living in British Columbia and particularly the Lower Mainland. I have called it home since preschool, and love the people and beauty of our province. I can’t imagine residing anywhere else. I have taken care of numerous retirees who disappear around November only to reappear in my office the next April. These snowbirds escape winter by fleeing to warmer destinations. I remember thinking that if I were retired I wouldn’t have a need to go south and would spend my time enjoying all the fabulous local activities. However, over the years I find myself dreading the onset of another Vancouver winter. It’s not that I’m afraid of being wet or cold (I realize we are waterproof and I can always put on more clothes) but find the seemingly endless dreary, wet, and grey days harder to tolerate with each subsequent year. I become less motivated and slightly irritable. My energy plummets and I drag myself around. Previously, when I listened to patients describe seasonal affective disorder, I would think to myself, nope, not me. I certainly don’t remember lying around as a teenager (well, yes, I do, but that is just a side effect of being a teenager) thinking about the rain and hoping it would stop.
So, what to do? I don’t feel my symptoms merit medication, and sitting in front of a light box would detract from couch surfing and Netflix bingeing. Therefore, I decided to build sun breaks into my winter schedule. Thankfully, I have the financial means to get on an airplane and head to sunnier destinations. I am still working out the details, as all-inclusive vacations to places such as Mexico nurture my inner 300-pound alcoholic who can’t seem to refuse any offered beverage or food item no matter the time of day or night. I return solar satiated but filled with disgust and self-loathing of my gluttony. Looking for an alternative, I attended a cycling camp in sunny California this past February. Daily guided rides offset the evening gorging and calorie fest so I at least returned home weight neutral but not without a few tender areas.
Moving forward I intend to fine tune my winter escape plan as I don’t think my late onset seasonal affective problem is likely to resolve. In fact, I anticipate some worsening as the years go by.
Lastly, if you think about it, shouldn’t retirees who leave Vancouver from November to April really be called rain-birds?
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 www.icmje.org