Testing times for EBM : NEJM gets ready & begins a new journey
The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) the premier journal in medicine originated two centuries ago, in 1811, when John Collins Warren, a Boston physician, along with James Jackson, submitted a formal prospectus to establish the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery and Collateral Branches of Science as a medical and philosophical journal.
Subsequently, the first issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery and the Collateral Branches of Medical Science was published in January 1812. In 1921, the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) purchased the Journal for US$1 and, in 1928, renamed it to The New England Journal of Medicine.
NEJM’s New Journey
It is 2022, after 200 years of providing explosive knowledge in medical science, MMS starts a new journal, fresh and bold. It is called NEJM Evidence. Can you guess, what is the need for such a journal now? I think the most battered word in science in current times is probably “ evidence”. It has a unique character of appearing most sacred as well as scandalous at the same time.
NEJM has remained the torchbearer of almost all advances in the medical field seen in the last two centuries. It is heartening to note the newborn is named as NEJM evidence. It has come at a critical juncture. I am sure, everyone will acknowledge that we are at difficult crossroads. Overwhelmed with unregulated scientific discoveries and publications, struggling to deal with self-inflicted knowledge pandemic. In the process, we have lost “not only” the ability to ignore trivial health issues “but also” failed to provide simple, cost-effective care to the real patients who desperately need it.
Let us hope, (& wish,) NEJM’s new prodigy will guide medical science towards a successful, meaningful, and ethically fulfilling journey for mankind. Meanwhile, let us pray for every medical scientist to be blessed with the required strength and courage to steer in the right direction, weeding off both academic and non-academic contaminants.