Celebrating our second anniversary!!

December 4, 2008

second.jpgCommentary by Neil Shapiro MD, Editor-in-Chief, Clinical Correlations 

Two years, four hundred posts…wow, I’ve finally even impressed myself. It’s hard to believe that we’re here celebrating our second anniversary, although there are times when I feel like we’ve been working on this forever. It’s been a tremendous ride and fortunately I think over these two years we have gained some traction and some real momentum.

I’ve frequently been accused of not being more patient with the evolution of Clinical Correlations. In some of my colleague’s eyes, I’m obsessed, I want everyone to be totally consumed and engaged by the website. I want to make it into a cult and I want people to drink from the Clinical Correlations Kool-Aid…well not really.

What is it that I really want Clinical Correlations to be? My hope is that we are not every thing for every reader, but rather some thing for a lot of readers, that “some thing” being an inspiring location to learn a bit of medicine. We started out as a simple website that I thought would be great for the residency program, a site that would help our housestaff realize that medicine is a fascinating field. Over time though I realized reaching out to our housestaff was not enough.

It is clear that to be a physician we must constantly be questioning our knowledge and our experience. We must always strive to maintain our intellectual curiosity. Without that curiosity our profession becomes a mere job, drudgery, no different than putting widgets in a box. To me, that’s the worst outcome that could happen to a physician. We all chose medicine for different reasons but one reason was clearly common to us all; a fascination for science and the rewarding moments of discovery. Too often I’ve seen this curiosity burn out, first fading, then disappearing and then going silent. I’ve seen this sequence occur in my fellow physicians, in our housestaff and unfortunately in our students as well.

Thus I feel I now understand that this is the mission of Clinical Correlations. We’re not a journal. We’re not a textbook. Our content is frequently random, but touches on all aspects of healthcare. We strive to provide a little spark to ignite that small flame that keeps burning somewhere deep inside us all, to remember that this is an amazing profession, one that is noble, vital and captivating . We owe it to our students and patients to maintain our passion. This passion trickles down to both groups and makes us better physicians. This is what I hope Clinical Correlations can be for you.

There are a number of exciting new developments here at Clinical Correlations. As of this post, we will now officially be labeled as a peer reviewed medical website. If you’re interested, our detailed peer review process can be found here. We are readying an application to Medline to become indexed and, if successful, we would be the first medical blog to be credible enough to be cataloged. In addition, we are sending out a press release in the next few weeks to promote our name and mission to physicians and students everywhere. And for the geeks out there, under the direction of Michael Maniero, the director of NYU Medical Center’s web and digital media services, we will be migrating our software from WordPress to Drupal which should give us additional flexibility and resources.

I would be remiss in not thanking several people as well: Cara Litvin, my executive editor who constantly keeps me motivated and despite no longer being at NYU is as involved as ever. She’s a tough editor (tougher than me) and has been instrumental in maintaining the high quality of Clinical Correlations. Judy Brenner, an associate editor, has also been an invaluable member of our team. She reminds me constantly that we are not doing this in a vacuum and that the content is really superb. As if that wasn’t enough she recently nominated me as a hospitalist of the year in ACP Hospitalist (my parents were so proud). Marc Triola has also been there every step of the way as my technical editor and has dealt with me with extraordinary patience with every annoying request I have. And finally to the rest of our editors, contributors, and readers there are too many to thank individually…thank you all. One thing that is clear to everyone, we’ve only just begun…


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