Memorialize dying practices?

Daily, we hear of physicians leaving practices in our community, both to retire, go abroad, go south to greener pastures, or even to abandon the profession for other endeavors. Politicians, who are elected for very short terms in the grand scheme of things (how many health ministers have we had during my practice lifetime?), seem to be ignoring this very high wastage rate.

The press do report high-profile defections. However one gets the sense that they are insensitive to the continued loss of medical talent from the province.

My suggestion is to have a section in the BCMJ, much as we do with obituaries, which records physicians who are abandoning their practices without replacement. Maybe a colleague could be invited to provide a summary of the physician’s contribution to the medical community and other attributes. All too often, we read about these personal details after death. Too late to express an appreciative word or remembrance. Perhaps too, once these were officially recorded and circulated, someone somewhere might finally sit up and take notice.

—Peter Richards, MD 
North Vancouver

Peter V. Richards, MB. Memorialize dying practices?. BCMJ, Vol. 43, No. 6, July, August, 2001, Page(s) 318 - 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.

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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

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