The year was 2006: Saddam Hussein was executed for crimes against humanity. The Wii gaming console debuted. Pluto lost its planetary status. High School Musical and Borat were the talk of the town in entertainment. And JUCM, The Journal of Urgent Care Medicine was born—the first and only peer-reviewed journal in the industry (which it remains to this day).
Well, let’s just say that JUCM was the undisputed highlight of 2006!
The whole idea for JUCM was given life in a small rented conference room at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. Dr. David Stern, myself, and two accomplished medical publishing experts, Stuart Williams and Peter Murphy, consummated what would become a 13-year relationship and, for me, a personal and professional journey I will never forget.
As with all great adventures, there comes a time when it is best to hang up the cleats and entrust the responsibility to others to keep the fun going and the ideas fresh. And in this column, my last as editor-in-chief, it is my honor to officially pass the torch to others to lead us into the next decade of success at JUCM.
I have been privileged to serve as the editor-in-chief of JUCM since our founding, which for those counting at home, means over 140 issues and columns like this one. The early years were learn-as-you-go for all of us. Our fledgling journal needed reliable content and recurring advertisers, neither of which proved easy to come by. But the editorial team found a way to cultivate credible authors while our publishing partners mined for ad dollars to keep the lights on. Over time, we built a more consistent pipeline of both, and that allowed us to expand the journal to include more diverse topics from a wider network of experts.
The Urgent Care Association and College of Urgent Care Medicine have also provided valuable support, bringing in new talent and content throughout my tenure, for which I am very grateful.
I would be remiss without recognizing our incredible and talented editorial team, without whom we would never have made it to this moment: Harris Fleming, our first managing editor, and back again after a short hiatus to re-energize and stabilize all the editorial work that goes into each and every issue. Tom DePrenda, our one and only art director, and a multiple award-winner for his cover work and graphics. While Harris and Tom work largely behind the scenes, the journal would not exist without their contributions. And, last, but certainly not least, our associate editors, Alan Ayers and Dr. Michael Weinstock. Alan and Mike do all the dirty work to ensure our content is trusted and fresh. They both work tirelessly to recruit and mentor authors, and when they’re not editing others’ work, they are delivering powerful articles of their own. JUCM continues to evolve along with our industry and attract the best and the brightest of emerging urgent care thought leaders, as evidenced by recently expanding the editorial team to include Dr. David Mathison as associate editor for pediatrics.
The urgent care industry owes a big debt of gratitude to these incredible people. And for me, no better time to highlight their work and my personal admiration for everything they do.
Of course, none of this matters without readers, and JUCM has some of the most knowledgeable and loyal. Over the years, I have tried to develop a relationship with our readers that speaks to their needs and celebrates the industry and clinical practice we love.
This endeavor has always been about giving a voice to urgent care and a forum for the discussion of things that matter to us most. All great disciplines are born out of the conversation and debate among their constituent professionals. If I have made even a small contribution to that for urgent care, I am satisfied.
So, thank you all for 13 great years as editor-in-chief at JUCM. For the next 13 years, I look forward to joining the readers!