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May 2, 2001

Why Be a Medical Editor?

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JAMA. 2001;285(17):2253. doi:10.1001/jama.285.17.2253-JMS0502-6-1

Thousands of medical journals exist, and new ones are published each year. Curiously, despite a vast "market" for medical editors, the field has no career track, no training programs, no faculty, no schools, and no classes. Few medical students set out to become medical editors. Instead, editors spring from physicians of all stripes: those who like to write and have shown a propensity to do so; specialists and subspecialists skilled in their own domain; and physicians who have served as associate editors or as members of a journal's editorial board. With the exception of a few dozen journal editors who do their jobs full time, most medical editors work part time, sharing their editorial work with other research, education, and patient care duties.