Turning the page

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 64, No. 7, September 2022, Page 282 Editorials
Dr David R. Richardson, outgoing editor of the BCMJ.
Dr David R. Richardson, outgoing editor of the BCMJ.

I am honored and humbled to be considered as the next editor of the BCMJ by our association’s Board of Directors. The previous editor, Dr David R. Richardson, dedicated the past 14 years to this position until his recent retirement from the BCMJ. I speak for myself and my fellow Editorial Board members when I say that he will be tremendously missed.

Dr Richardson, or DRR as you may know him from his signature, is a great leader. He infused the Board with humor, discipline, and an enduring inspiration to do our best for our readership. The work that happens behind the scenes at the BCMJ is enriching, educational, and fun, but it can also be detailed, arduous, and political. DRR took it all in stride. On behalf of the Editorial Board and BCMJ team members, I want to thank Dr Richardson for everything.

Every month Dr Richardson enlightened and entertained us with his editorials. Some were funny, like when he talked about an editor’s frustration with endless abbreviations [BCMJ 2021;63:361-362], suggesting that the pronoun “he” was a more succinct option for referring to him than “PNME” (“picky, narrow-minded editor”). Some were raw and vulnerable, like his 2021 “Holiday message” [BCMJ 2021;63:405], when he reflected on a year filled with hope, as well as devastation, as a result of COVID-19 and his wife’s illness.

I had the pleasure of rereading DRR’s editorials as I reflected on the idea of editorship. Even though medicine has evolved over his tenure, Dr Richardson’s first editorial, “Self-delusion and self-care” [BCMJ 2008;50:433], still resonates. Writing about his failed attempt at self-diagnosis of abdominal pain, DRR said, “The moral of this editorial is not the obvious one (that I am an idiot), but that as physicians we don’t take very good care of ourselves, or for that matter each other. We give patients advice about stress management, lifestyle changes, counseling, addiction, mental health, and more, but then ignore our own advice. I wonder how many of you even have your own family physician.” To me this demonstrates that either physician health is a chronic problem or Dr Richardson was ahead of his time. I think both are true. Today, perhaps even more so than in 2008, physicians are in crisis. Family physicians are in great shortage and those who are working are often overburdened, underpaid, and at risk of burnout. COVID-19 has taxed us all, and although adrenaline and camaraderie may have sustained us through waves one, two, and three, we are now facing another wave (seven? I’ve lost count) and we’re tired. The BCMJ is our common ground, where we can converse, share knowledge, and discuss our experiences in the varied health care settings of this beautiful province.

The BCMJ was first published in 1959, evolving from its predecessor, the Vancouver Medical Association Bulletin, which originated in 1924 and was edited by Dr J.M. Pearson. The BCMJ is the official publication of Doctors of BC and, as stated nearly 100 years ago, still aims to “strengthen the ideals of unity and organization among members of the profession.” We are also the only provincial medical journal in Canada. Since its inception, the BCMJ has had only six editors: Dr Jack MacDermot, Dr Sid Hobbs, Dr A.F. Hardyment, Dr W.A. Dodd, Dr James A. Wilson, and Dr David R. Richardson. As we prepare to turn the page at the BCMJ, I am proud to say that, if appointed, I will be the first woman to hold the position. Building on the hard work and dedication of my predecessors, I hope to expand on the BCMJ’s legacy of representing our readership, which is increasingly diverse and skilled. We at the journal want to hear your voices! So please, send us your studies, share your stories, be a part of the conversation. We’re stronger when we help and support each other.

With immense gratitude, I will end by recognizing Dr Richardson again and thanking him for his support and guidance. We already miss you and wish you the very best.
—Caitlin Dunne, MD
Acting editor


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Caitlin Dunne, MD, FRCSC. Turning the page. BCMJ, Vol. 64, No. 7, September, 2022, Page(s) 282 - 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.

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