An update on seeking BC doctors’ literary works

The archival project seeking literary works described in the September 2014 issue (BCMJ 2014;56:349) is meant to honor existing literary works of BC physicians and encourage other doctors and medical students to exercise their literary talents. Karen MacDonell, director of the Library of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, helped me formulate some practical steps to find physician authors in BC, and Scott Anderson, a staff member of the Library, directed me to, a public reference site established by Alan Twigg, author of The Essentials: 150 Great BC Books and Authors. The website contains information about close to 11 000 published authors with roots in BC. I found over 80 physician-authors already listed in this database. By the end of 2014, physicians responding to the news item in the BCMJ brought this number up to 94, with several more entries still to be processed. The published works include poetry; fiction; early BC history; BC politics; biography; autobiography; memoirs; tales of medical practice in the Arctic, North, and on the West Coast; First Nations history; marine adventures; plays; war experiences; health advice; and even cooking practices. These literary accomplishments provide a view on life through medical practitioners’ eyes and are unique additions to the history of medical practice in the province. My next objective is to showcase the published works. In the meantime, an information seeker visiting may search for the key words “physician author” to find the current list, and click on a name in the list of results for additional information.
—George Szasz, MD
West Vancouver

George Szasz, CM, MD. An update on seeking BC doctors’ literary works. BCMJ, Vol. 57, No. 2, March, 2015, Page(s) 74 - News.

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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