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Editorial Volume 16 Issue 4

My time has come. After 15 years and over 50 editions it is time for me to hang up my metaphorical red biro, and hand over the role of Editor. It has been an interesting job, and I am extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed and supported the journal over this period. When I took on the position in 2002, this journal was very different to how it is today. Some readers may recall its original incarnation as the CPD journal of Internal Medicine, part of a series of publications produced at that time by Rila. Initially this was comprised predominantly of commissioned review articles, running over a 5 year cycle which was designed to cover the common conditions managed by ‘general’ physicians. As time progressed, the number of unsolicited submissions grew steadily – initially (and continually) dominated by case reports, but with a slowly increasing number of research-based articles as the readership expanded. The quality of these submissions improved further when we finally attained indexing in PubMed, which also attracted more international submissions. I am delighted that the current edition features research papers from the Netherlands and Singapore, both of which have a growing community of Acute Physicians. I remain hopeful that the number of acute medicine-related research submissions from the UK will rise as the speciality grows. The number of high quality abstracts presented at the Society for Acute Medicine (SAM) meetings is indicative of the amount of work that is going on, but it is disappointing that so few of these turn into publications in peerreviewed journals. Acute Physicians are busy people with constant and year-round operational pressures, which may mean that writing up  research is continually pushed down the list of priorities. Perhaps also the fact that the number of consultant posts across the continues to exceed the number of Acute Internal Medicine trainees removes some of the ‘pressure to publish’ which is felt by trainees in other hospital specialities.

My hopes for the future of this journal have been boosted by the appointment of Tim Cooksley as my replacement ‘Editor in Chief’, who will take over from the Spring 2018 edition onwards. Tim has been a hard working member of the editorial team over recent years, and prior to this was a regular contributor to the journal. He has a strong research background and is a leading member of the SAMBA academy and SAM research committee. I would also like to thank the other members of the editorial board without whose support and contributions this job would have been completely untenable. I understand that Tim plans to keep many of these colleagues in post, as well as bringing in some ‘new blood’ to create a fresh new vision for the future. I wish them all well, and will look forward to reading (as opposed to writing) these editorials.

Thanks, finally, to all of the loyal readers who have stuck with the journal over the past 2 decades. I hope that we have managed to keep you entertained and educated on those occasional moments of respite during the acute medical on-call. I wish you all well for the future.

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