One hears frequently through the press about nosocomial (hospital) or iatrogenic (doctor-induced) diseases these days. I find this frustrating because when I entered medicine in 1946 the antibiotic era was just beginning and we were still indoctrinated in the older measures for disease control. One wonders if some may have been abandoned too quickly.
For example, we all had a small booklet called The Control of Communicable Disease, which listed measures for the practitioner such as immunization, placarding, or isolation. Surgical infection (it used to be called “surgical scarlet fever”) was a cause for horror and embarrassment by all the staff of the hospital.
One of my fondest memories is of practical advice such as “the first thing the patient does when he/she enters the office is to look to your hands” and “wash your hands in front of each patient before examining them.” Also “get offices on the main floor so older patients are considered.” Many of our teachers had seen the 1918 influenza epidemic and were still scared stiff of it.
I fully realize that the world moves on, but perhaps we should look back once in a while at what we are leaving behind.
—Jim Battershill, MD, FRCPC
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