Enjoyment of reporting

According to the Vancouver Sun, 7700 billings were made in which patients were identified as homosexuals—a shocking infraction of the rules of confidentiality. My wife and I were trained in continental Europe—the Netherlands—where confidentiality was much stricter than here. In the 1960s Belgian doctors went on strike because the government wanted the diagnosis before paying. Here we did not notice any such reticence. As soon as government schemes were introduced doctors revealed the embarrassing conditions of their patients with a candor that caused a German commentator to talk scathingly about die Rapportierfreudigkeit (enjoyment of reporting) of the profession.

The question is not an academic one. Many years ago a woman who worked in a processing office told us that the personnel made fun of claims for treating embarrassing conditions, such as genital or psychiatric ones. Since her complaint was in such a category she asked us to fudge the diagnosis.

—Herman J. van Norden, MD 

Herman J. van Norden, MD. Enjoyment of reporting. BCMJ, Vol. 47, No. 3, April, 2005, Page(s) 147 - 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 www.icmje.org

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

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