35,000. As I assume the role of editor-in-chief of the journal, this is the number that revolves through my head with rhythmic pops like an old, vinyl record. Cognitive psychologists estimate that that’s the number of decisions an average adult makes every day. This number may seem impossibly large at first, to the point of absurdity even. After all, that breaks down to a decision every 2 seconds. But let’s pause briefly and examine this.
Pay attention for a moment and you’ll realize that you’re constantly deciding what you ought to do next. To what stimulus in this hyperstimulating, 2020, “the future is now” existence should you commit your finite attention?
Think about it. At any given instant, you’re deciding if you should respond to that email lingering in your inbox, go to the gym, finally start that home improvement project that’s been on your to-do list for as long as you can remember, or check your text messages (again).
Throughout all of human history, this dilemma of choice has never been greater. And amongst this sea of options, there you sit—holding this copy of the Journal of Urgent Care Medicine—choosing to spend your time pouring over our pages. That means a lot to me.
I greet this opportunity to serve as the journal’s editor-in-chief with tremendous enthusiasm. These are exciting times in the story of urgent care as our specialty continues to expand and mature rapidly. And we are all fortunate enough to have a privileged vantage point where we may watch the history of urgent care transpire.
It is my hope that this publication will play an integral role in this story by simultaneously guiding the dialogue and narrative, as well as providing a stage for the plot to unfold. All this, obviously, towards the ultimate goal of improving the quality of care and experience of the growing number of patients who seek attention at urgent care centers each day.
I would also like to acknowledge the hard work that the outgoing editor-in-chief, Dr. Lee Resnick, has done building this journal and steering its content since its inception. A publication that has remained the only peer-reviewed journal in the urgent care world for the past 13 years and counting—this was no small feat.
Dr. Resnick’s departure is also importantly telling of a vision of longevity for this journal. As was the case when George Washington announced he would not seek to continue his service as president after his second term, Dr. Resnick’s decision to step down after all these years is similarly telling. It is symbolic of a belief that the journal and its readers will benefit from periodic changes in leadership and perspective. From this transition comes an opportunity for the journal to evolve and transform into something new. And I am honored to take the proverbial torch from Dr. Resnick in guiding this process.
And so we come back to the notion of choice because, although the journal has no charge, it certainly is not free. You’re paying for it with your valuable and finite attention, even now as you read. Thus, it is my mission and commitment to you, our reader, to print content that’s worth your precious time. And I thank you for joining me.
Joshua W. Russell, MD, MSc, FACEP
Meet the Editor-in-Chief
Joshua W. Russell, MD, MSc, FACEP is a board-certified emergency physician and a Fellow in the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. He was previously an associate medical director and continues to serve as a supervisor and educator for Legacy-GoHealth Urgent Care in Oregon and Washington State. He obtained a Masters degree in clinical research and has pursued postgraduate training in the teaching of critical thinking and creative writing. He is also a frequent contributor and editor for the UC:RAP podcast.