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David Payne

The BMJ Today: The climate change horse has bolted

7 Apr, 14 | by BMJ Group

David Payne Eric Chivian urges doctors to help tackle climate change, but shouldn’t the profession’s energies be spent tackling unsafe hospitals and under resourced healthcare systems? more…

Readers’ editor: Clichéd series titles, and “Save our Des”

11 Mar, 14 | by BMJ Group

David PayneLast month the journal launched the first in a series of in-depth reviews written by international experts—State of the Art—to highlight important areas of clinical medicine and academic inquiry.

So far we have published two. The first article examined the mechanisms and clinical implications of neuropathic pain and, according to Google Analytics, has been viewed 21,930 times since its publication on 5 February. It is the 10th most viewed page on, and we hope it and subsequent articles steer “an effective course between oversimplification and over-complication,” to quote one reviewer. The second article looked at drug treatments for epilepsy in adults. It went online on 28 February, and so far has 11,418 views, our 19th most popular page. more…

The BMJ Today: Sponsorship, epilepsy, and votes

3 Mar, 14 | by BMJ Group

David Payne Welcome to this new blog category, The BMJ Today. We aim to post an update each weekday of recent articles and other content to have caught our eye. We hope it will function as an online editor’s choice, chosen by different members of The BMJ’s editorial team each day.

Our first highlighted article is Drug treatment of epilepsy in adults, the latest in our in-depth “State of the Art” clinical reviews series. The article, written by Berlin based Dieter Schmidt and Steven C Schachter, from Harvard, was our second most visited article over the weekend, with 2746 visits.


David Payne: Books for the incurably curious

25 Feb, 14 | by BMJ Group

David Payne When John Keats switched from medicine to poetry he found a different way of healing people, according to Andrew Motion.

Motion, a former poet laureate, attributes his interest in medicine and literature to the Romantic poet, whose biography he wrote in 1997.

Wellcome Book Prize shortlist04Unveiling the shortlist for 2014 Wellcome book prize in London this week, Motion, chair of the judging panel (pictured foreground), described the challenge of choosing a winner from the six medically themed books, which straddle both fiction and non-fiction. more…

David Payne: Open House London’s healthy buildings

12 Sep, 13 | by BMJ

David Payne Akerman—a £12.3m community healthcare building designed by the architectual practice Henley Halebrown Rorrison—opened last year as part of the regeneration of Myatts Field North in the south London borough of Lambeth. Sandwiched between homes and a local park, the bold white building stretches for 80m and, according to its architects, was designed to mimic the flat facades of an 18th century residential terrace whilst also referencing a vast church, with arches and crossings. Interior daylight-filled spaces aspire to instil a sense of calm. The flat roof is fronted by the word “Health” in giant letters. more…

Readers’ editor: Where has all the research news gone?

3 Sep, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne In March 2005 Ali Tonks wrote her first weekly Short Cuts column, a summary of nine papers published in the world’s other main general medical journals. The following year we published the first of Richard Lehman’s weekly journal review blogs. more…

Readers’ editor: Homophobia and the BMJ

21 Aug, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne In December 2012 Doug Kamerow asked in his regular BMJ column if gay marriage improves health.

Eight months later the article attracted its first response. Gregory Gardner, a GP in the West Midlands, wanted to know why Kamerow had not mentioned the impact of same sex marriage on the health and wellbeing of children. Dr Gardner’s response cited the 2012 findings from the New Family Structures Study in the Elsevier journal Social Science Research by Mark Regnerus, associate professor of sociology at the University of Austin, Texas. more…

Readers’ editor: The Liverpool Care Pathway—anyone care outside the UK?

31 Jul, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne Columnist Charles Moore asked in The Spectator magazine last week if the Liverpool Care Pathway might have inspired more confidence if it had been called, say, the Oxford Care Pathway.

Was Moore referring to Oxford as an ancient seat of learning and innovation, or lazily perpetuating the myth that Liverpool is synonomous with riots, poverty, and crime and therefore incapable of either developing or inspiring confidence in a tool to deliver end of life care? (It was the city’s Marie Curie Hospice that collaborated on an end of life care pathway for use in hospitals in the late 1990s, BMJ clinical fellow Krishna Chinthapalli reminds us in his blog). more…

Readers’ editor: Authors “ignoring” readers

18 Jul, 13 | by BMJ Group

David Payne Joginder Anand, a longstanding reader of the BMJ, wants to know how we can encourage authors to respond. In a recent email he asks: “Should the BMJ not make it mandatory for the leading authors of all articles to respond to criticisms or requests for clarifications?

My question back to him is how? What would be the penalty?

Dr Anand suggests banning further publication in the journal.

Would that work? I don’t think so. Many of our authors are busy clinicians or researchers. Often they intend to respond, but finding the time to do so is a challenge. We are delighted when they do, but acknowledge it isn’t always feasible. more…

Readers’ editor: Influence beyond the impact factor

2 Jul, 13 | by BMJ Group

David PayneThe BMJ’s impact and influence should be measured by more than just established metrics such as impact factor.

But the new figures, released two weeks ago, are very welcome. The journal’s impact factor rose more than 20% to 17.215. My first thought on discovering this was that a strategic aim to increase the impact of the BMJ’s scholarly content is starting to pay off.

The new figure makes the BMJ the most highly cited open access general medical journal in the world, now higher than PLoS Medicine and puts it in the top four general medical journals, above the Annals of Internal Medicine. This is due in part to a conscious drive to publish research that will be highly cited as well as widely read by clinicians around the world.

But authors also value media coverage alongside measures such as impact factor, and articles in the BMJ get namechecked regularly in UK and international newspapers, magazines, blogs, and broadcast channels. This blog aims to illustrate the ripple effect caused by media coverage and the debate it can engender, both in the BMJ and beyond. more…

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