I have been a long-time admirer and occasional contributor to the BC Medical Journal. Over the last couple of years, I have been increasingly concerned about the changes the current BCMJ Editorial Board has made regarding the Personal View section of the BC Medical Journal.
Eighteen months ago, I submitted a letter to the Journal that in my opinion was a good-natured observation that Dr Heidi Oetter and the College of Physicians and Surgeons had taken the opinion that physicians in the province should not have direct access to the e-mail addresses of the registrar or the vice registrars. This seemed ironic given that physicians in the province are required to pay their dues by e-mail and provide e-mail addresses to the College.
The Editorial Board decided that my letter was “not likely to be of interest to the BCMJ readership” and it therefore was not published. Since that time, I realized the Personal View section no longer appears in every edition of the BC Medical Journal. What letters are published appear to be apolitical. Letters possibly critical of the College or the BCMA have not appeared, which is not in keeping with prior years.
It is my experience that the Personal View section of the BC Medical Journal has traditionally been a very well-read portion of the journal. The letters there have often been controversial and encouraged debate.
Ironically, despite the Internet age, there appears to be less opportunity for communication between physicians in the province than previously. The BCMA News is no longer published and the Medical Post does not come out as frequently.
I would like to see the BC Medical Journal continue to be the most widely read journal by BC physicians and also to reflect a broad cross-section of opinion, not just the bland.
A response by the BCMJ Editorial Board to the above concerns I believe would be of interest to the BCMA membership.
—John Sehmer, MD
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