Welcome to Journal Of Pakistan Medical Association

Shabih Zaidi - West Birmnigham NHS Trust Hospital, West Midlands, United Kingdom.

March, 2010

In the initial days of our beloved country, medical documentaion did not play such an important role in a clinician\'s life. There were many resaons, but the major being that there was no medical journal to document one\'s clinical or academic experience. The credit for introducing the philosophy and practice of medical writing goes wholy and solely to the Journal of Pakistan Medical association. Much before the term \'medical writing\' was coined let alone become a fashionable icon of the medical fraternity, the founding fathers(and mothers) of the JPMA were collecting, reading , editing, advising and publishing the medical literature in Pakistan. After five deacdes of continuous publication this journal may have contributed more to health care in Pakistan than all of us combined together. Afterall it is no mean task to publish a journal of international standard for as many as fifty years and God willing innumeravble more to follow, in a country where people have no habit of buying books or magazines. Even the daily news paper need not be bought as the roadaside vendor who may have spread out his daily paper on the footpath provides a free service to the casual news reader.So why buy it if you can galnce over the news for free! Therefore in such a society who would buy a sophisticated medical journal. Well not many. And yet..this journal has not only survived but flourished indeed. Only the editors and publishers would know how much effort goes into generating funds , and gathering scientific material to publish each edition.
My association with the JPMA goes back to late seventies , when many of my articles were summarilly rejected by the editors (and the reviewers). I must submit that each rejection  taught me a lesson in medical writing . I learnt more through condemnation of my write ups than perhaps what was published in some journal without much ado.
Much later as a mediacl teacher and  a regular writer , I developed a special fondness for some of the editors of the JPMA and worked on may platforms with the likes of Naeem Jafari, Fazal-e Elahi and Sarwar Zuberi. Sarawar perhaps became my mentor in medical writing . I recall in some of these workshops that we conducted on different aspects of medical writing in different institutions , I was duly corrected by Madam Zuberi , if my material was faulty.
It was my personal devotion to these great writers that I developed the life long passion for medical writing . Even today I look upto the JPMA to seek guidance in my medical writing. In my view JPMA is the Gold Standard of medical writing in Pakistan. Infact it is the one journal that many expatriates must read to keep us in the flow.
Much has been said about the Impact Factor , and truly enough JPMA may not have an Impact factor of the likes of the BMJ or the Lancet. But even thes illustrious do not have an Impact Factor to match the likes of The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature and Science. I think it a relative term and in my view JPMA has more Impact on ordinary mortals like me than the Nature etc. Some of their publications are much too targeted for the elite. I\'d rather be a man next door enjoying ordinary but relevant material to read than the mighty scientist living in the ivory tower!
Kudos to the JPMA and long live our Journal.



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