Breath of fresh air

Some major medical journals are now presenting obvious social and humanities concepts in stupefying detail, so the October 2019 issue of the BCMJ was a breath of fresh air. An osteopath friend once told me that one of the three differences between them and MDs was that they had a bedside manner. However, and in spite of the destructive one-problem-per-visit MSP rule, the humorous and ironic editorial, “The secret to Icelandic health and happiness” as well as “Transitions” and “Healthy aging” assure me there are still many docs in BC who put patients at ease and gain their confidence whatever the clinical circumstance.

On the other hand, the conclusions of “Commonly used antibiotics may lead to heart problems” are questionable and the reported findings almost certainly occurred by data-trolling chance. How could current and recent use of fluoroquinolones cause aortic and mitral valves to leak but there is no damage in patients who were previously treated with them?
—G. Frank O. Tyers, MD, FRCSC, FACS, FACC, ABS, ABTS

G. Frank O. Tyers, MD, FRCSC, FACS, FACC, ABS, ABTS. Breath of fresh air. BCMJ, Vol. 62, No. 1, January, February, 2020, Page(s) 7 - Letters.

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

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