Colleague Dr C., while trying to clear his desk before going on vacation, got frustrated with the endless requests for more information about a Special Authority request and jotted, “Quit wasting my time!” on the paper. His MOA faxed the form. The civil servant at the Ministry of Health forwarded the note to the College, with a cover letter asking, “Is this professional behavior?” The College sent the correspondence to Dr C., asking for an explanation. On his return from vacation, Dr C. was greeted with the letter on yellow paper from the College. The letter was dated 2 weeks prior to Dr C.’s return to the office. The College demanded a reply within 2 weeks. Dr C., an astute and well-liked family practitioner, retired at age 52.
Older GPs are retiring, and young graduates are not competing to take over their practices. Society might get doctors to provide more medical care if committee members and office clerks sent fewer forms. For now, to fill out a form, I charge the fees suggested by the Society of General Practitioners of BC.
—Robert Shepherd, MD
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