Journal Mobile


Alisdair McNeill

Author Affiliations: 

Editorial Office, JRCPE, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, 11 Queen Street, Edinburgh EH2 1JQ, UK

Journal Issue: 
Volume 49: Issue 4: 2019
Cite paper as: 
J R Coll Physicians Edinb 2019; 49: 266



No abstract

HTML Full Text

As a native of Edinburgh and graduate of its Medical School, it gives me great pleasure to write my first editorial for the Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh in my new role as Associate Clinical Editor. Alongside my colleague Dr Durga Prasanna Misra who has also taken up the position of Associate Clinical Editor we will be working with Dr Yeong Yeh Lee on the Clinical Section. Also, joining the team we have six new members to our International Advisory Board: Prof. Molly Mary Thabah, Prof. Quazi Tarikul Islam, Prof. James Ker, Dr Jugal Kishor Sharma, Prof. Kathryn Choon Beng Tan and Prof. Michael Cholbi. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our peer reviewers for their voluntary provision of time and efforts in assessing manuscripts submitted to this journal. A full list of reviewers from 2018 and 2019 can be found on page 347.

In my work as a clinical academic I am constantly seeking patterns within data to help explain the causes of disease and improve patient care. What overarching patterns and themes then can be found in the current edition of JRCPE?

Several papers address an issue that has eternally challenged physicians: how to best manage resources and time for patient benefit. An editorial by Clarke and Ravindran highlights that the James Lind Library is a unique resource of information on how best to assess the effectiveness of treatments and thus make best use of resources. In a thought-provoking perspective Bostock addresses the vices and values of social media. She provides some practical suggestions for how to avoid wasting time on social media and make productive use of digital resources. Goodfellow and Mackay provide a timely review of autoimmune encephalitis. These disorders are rare – but potentially treatable – and early diagnosis is important to facilitate appropriate management. Goodfellow and Mackay’s paper describes the appropriate diagnostic tests and clinical features that help to identify those at whom testing should be targeted. This is crucial to help make appropriate use of valuable diagnostic resources. In the clinical section, Nandish and colleagues report that relative adrenal insufficiency is not predictive of mortality in liver cirrhosis. Routine testing for adrenal insufficiency in this group of patients may therefore not be an effective use of resources.

The Education section also supports effective time and resource management. Nadama and colleagues demonstrate that a webinar describing the Academic Foundation Programme application increased attendees’ knowledge and confidence in the process. Webinars make efficient use of both time (no travel required) and resources (free to attend) and perhaps should be more widely utilised in medical education. In their editorial, Misra and Ravindran provide a useful overview of reporting standards in scientific and medical research, which will help budding authors to write manuscripts more efficiently. Working as a junior doctor is associated with both immense challenges and rewards. The paper by Singh et al. provides an insight into factors that can support junior doctor morale. Junior doctors are one of the most precious – and sometimes underappreciated – ‘resources’ that the UK’s National Health Service has. As senior members of staff we should consider how to best support them so they can make the most effective contribution possible.

In the History and Medical Humanities section Silver reviews the evolution of management of spinal injuries in the UK. By looking back to see how clinically effective services were developed we can learn from the past.

We have some exciting developments coming up next year so keep an eye out for changes to our website and submission system.

On behalf of the entire editorial board, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all season’s greetings and the best for 2020.

The editorial team is always seeking suggestions or opinions on how we can better ourselves to serve the College Journal. We welcome any feedback by email to the editorial office at

Alisdair McNeill
Associate Clinical Editor

Editorial Office, JRCPE
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
11 Queen Street
Edinburgh EH2 1JQ