José Elías García Sánchez and Enrique García Sánchez
Departamento de Medicina Preventiva, Salud Pública y Microbiología Médica. Facultad de Medicina. Universidad de Salamanca (Spain).
Correspondence:José Elías García Sánchez. Facultad de Medicina. Alfonso X El Sabio s/n. 37007 Salamanca (Spain).
Received 20 October 2006; accepted 26 October 2006
This issue closes the second volume of the Journal of Medicine and Movies and hence its second year of publication. In light of this, the editors have considered it of interest to reflect upon the progress of the journal.
We believe that the aims that we set forth in the first issue1 continue to be valid and that they have been more than met. Over these past two years, we have published an editorial comment, eight editorials, thirty-two articles, and three contributions in the medicine in film stills section. The content of the editorials and articles has been varied and we only wish to highlight that there has been an important contribution to the field of health education using the cinema2-5. In compiling their articles, our authors have used very diverse schemes, a sign of the creative possibilities fostered by a publication of this type. Thus, analyses of groups of films or single films have been offered, and although there has been a predominance of comments addressing health aspects, our authors have sometimes assessed the cinematographic quality of films with medical contents. On some occasions the same film has been subject to critique by different authors, reflecting the manifold ways in which it is possible to analyse the cinema, as occurs with non-medical film criticism6-7.
Although our aim is to continue with the current scheme of editorial, original articles, editors’ forums and medicine in film stills, the inclusion of the latter has led us to appreciate that the possibilities of drafting articles are huge and these will undoubtedly appear in forthcoming issues. Some of them, of great potential interest, may involve the use of some parts of a script, or may address the impact of censorship on reflections about falling ill, the changes made in pathologies appearing in remakes…
We consider that it is again necessary to thank Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca and those directing it for the support we have always benefited from since the inception of the Journal. We are proud to publish the journal under the auspices of the oldest printing house in Spain.
In many respects, the idea continues to seem novel. Since the journal is bilingual, this means that its readership is potentially very broad, even though it does not offer Cervantes’s Spanish or Shakespeare’s English. Since its electronic distribution and acquisition are free, its diffusion should be favoured. That the themes addressed are of interest to physicians and other health-related professionals is unquestionable. Thus, for many years we have seen professional medical journals that from time to time, and increasingly so, have included quality articles about medicine and the cinema. What is we hope is refreshing about our endeavours is that we gather such quality articles into a single publication devoted specifically to them.
The Journal of Medicine and Movies is not merely yet another publication but one that exalts medical-humanist issues. The main objective of a journal of this type is to educate and inform, to awaken a critical spirit and foster observational skills and to facilitate the expression of the abilities and preoccupations of one segment of the health sector (physicians, pharmacists, veterinarians, nursing staff, those undergoing rehabilitation, paramedics, biochemists, biologists and many more). Also (and why not indeed?), the journal is also directed towards people outside the health sphere who wish to gain insight into the role of medicine in the cinema. For most professionals, what is important is their work, such that we are aware that there may be great interest in reading the journal but less in publishing in it.
It is also most gratifying for us to inform readers about the course of our affairs. Regarding readers in 2005, we detected 8000 “hits” while the estimation for 2006 is 12,000, all for a journal with no PR although it is true that there are now other references to it on the Internet that are undoubtedly facilitating its diffusion. From 100% of readers in Spain we have now passed to a little more than 75%. Readers from non- Spanish nationality mainly come, in the following order, from Argentina, Mexico, the United States, Colombia, Peru, Chile and Brazil. The results may appear insufficient for some but not for us.
Two additional details merit comment. The first is that the journal has consistently appeared on or around the publication dates foreseen and the second is the request for the journal to be included in some databases.
During the first year of the journal, the Editorial team worked hard -much merit is due for this- at starting it up, either directly or by inviting researchers from the University of Salamanca to contribute. The situation soon changed and currently there is a fluid and spontaneous influx of articles. Many of these have already passed the peer-review stage and will appear in forthcoming issues. The editors of a publication that aims at offering an international forum consider it positive that an important number of contributions should come from countries other than that hosting the Editorial Board.
This, then, is the balance for two years of Journal of Medicine and Movies, a journal with no lucrative ends that is aimed directly at the reader and potential contributor.