Time capsule: 1962 through the lens of the BC Medical Journal

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 50, No. 10, December 2008, Page 593 News&Notes

Today the pages of the 1962 bound volume of the British Columbia Medical Journal are yellow with age. The journal is in its heyday of 6" X 91/2" pages, with type set in a single column. The typography is muscular and clear; the ads, from today’s vantage point, are variously charming, naive, stylish, and sexist. The first Xerox machines are being acquired, and the medical scene in BC is still small enough that the Journal carries monthly notices of hospital rounds and clinics, of new practices, and new babies.

The language of the articles is formal and sometimes stilted. This is the last year that the Journal is published by the Vancouver Medical Association, after which it is transferred to the BCMA.

There are a great many articles about universal health care, a pressing issue at the time, with strong opinions both for and against this new concept in Canadian health care. Along with this come warnings about the dire straits of physicians and patients in the National Health Service of the UK.

In the June issue there is an article by Dr John McCreary, dean of the Faculty of Medicine, in which he proposes that a university hospital be built at UBC. Dr McCreary sets the historical stage, mentioning that the recently opened Faculty of Medicine welcomed its first students only 12 years earlier, in 1950. There is also a proposal to move the BCMA from its old building, as well as a plea for social workers to be available in hospitals.

Some of the hot clinical issues of the day were the tragedy of thalidomide and the emergence of a promising new form of birth control—oral contraception. It is fitting that the BCMJ should include, so early in the decade, a cautious yet generally positive clinical article on “the pill,” the medical breakthrough that opened the door for so many social breakthroughs that were to define the 1960s.

The first comprehensive truly feminine regulator of cyclic function

. Time capsule: 1962 through the lens of the BC Medical Journal. BCMJ, Vol. 50, No. 10, December, 2008, Page(s) 593 - News&Notes.

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

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