In a series of articles1 in current issues of the London Lancet a chronicler traces the rise of medical journalism from the earliest times to the present. He suggests that medical journalism began with the votive offerings found in the temples of Aesculapius; these were essentially clinical notes and were thus the starting point of medical literature.
In the period called the Dark Ages the publication of medical material lapsed, although industrious scribes kept medicine alive through their records, which were stored away in the monasteries. Apparently the first definite medical journal to be published in Great Britain was the Foreign Medical Review, which ran for ten years at the end of the eighteenth century. That publication had slight support. It was based largely on materials published on the continent of Europe, which were abstracted. Then in 1781 the London Medical Journal was established, which also was devoted to
THE RISE OF MEDICAL JOURNALISM. JAMA. 1937;108(7):559. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780070043015