A Christmas like no other

Issue: BCMJ, , No. 10 , December 2008 , Pages 551 President's Comment

Portrait of BCMA President Bill Mackie

This is a wonderful time of year when we can warmly remember back to Thanksgiving, surrounded by family, good food, all interspersed with hues of orange and brown, and where we can look forward to Christmas filled with tradition, more good food, family, and cheer (not to mention the howling pagan celebration and the day of remembrance sandwiched in between). It’s also a time of year when we are consciously thankful for all the good things in our lives and we can reflect upon our accomplishments, and maybe even our foibles.

I have many things to be thankful for—among them the knowledge that my family is healthy and safe. This reality hit home a couple of months ago. Although my family is fine, I had a mishap that put me in a rigid neck brace 24/7 for 12 weeks. I was on Hornby Island helping prepare my in-laws’ yard for their golden wedding anniversary celebrations. A wasp’s nest had made its home in the eaves of the front entrance to their house. The hum and the splattering of flying wasps is not something you want greeting your guests as they arrive, so I bravely offered to take it down. Upon detaching it with a large stick, I attempted a quick getaway, but my feet slipped on the gravel walkway and I toppled over a large flower pot onto my head, fracturing the left superior facet of C7 with C7 nerve root neuropathy. Emergency rescue arrived promptly, stabilized me, and sent me on my way via helicopter to Vancouver General Hospital. Although funny to reflect on now, it was not a pleasant experience at the time and these last 12 weeks, at best, have been a discomfort. But I am extremely thankful for the efforts of all those who contributed to my medical emergency care, including the emergency res­ponse team, paramedics, and ERD staff. And after spending months in a hard neck brace, I fully comprehend the expression, “if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything.”

I am excitedly anticipating Christmas, free of the neck brace, with my wife, six kids, and extended family. Everyone should be home for the holidays, including my daughter who is currently attending the University of Utah, hopefully with lots of tales to tell. My eldest son and daughter-in-law are expecting their first baby in early December—this first Christmas as a grandparent is a long-awaited milestone. So I am both thankful and grateful for all that I have. And I hope all of you find the opportunity to reflect and realize all that you have to be thankful for. From my family to yours, I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.

—Bill Mackie, MD
BCMA President

Bill Mackie, MD. A Christmas like no other. BCMJ, Vol. , No. 10, December, 2008, Page(s) 551 - President's Comment.



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

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply