The AMA Specialty Journals: Everyone, Including Grunts, Squeals Unfair

Stuart A. Shapiro, MD
JAMA. 1990;264(20):2627. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450200034024.
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To the Editor. —  I am writing to respond to the recent editorial by Springer et al1 concerning AMA specialty journal readership. The authors present statistics relating to "specialty" readership of the AMA Archives journals. However, they broadly dismiss a vast plurality of the AMA readership—physicians like myself in general or family practice.When the AMA implemented its "controlled circulation policy" on January 1, 1988, physicians who did not fall into predetermined specialty categories were summarily denied their previous choice of journals. Under the old policy, generalists could choose a different Archives journal each year, thereby receiving an overview of a variety of medical fields.The editorial highlights an increase in paid subscribers to Archives journals since the implementation of this new policy. My hunch is that the greater part of these paid subscriptions are from family practitioners, general practitioners, and others who were "shut out" on January 1,1988.


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