July 7, 2020

Journal Notes: Navigating Publishing during a Pandemic

The editors of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education (JGME) had a plan for the June 2020 issue. We would offer the same great content—original research, educational innovation, and perspectives from the graduate medical education (GME) community. We also would feature our annual collection of New Ideas – a series of short pieces showcasing novel innovations. However, this year, we also asked authors to look ahead to where they envision GME in the year 2030.

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. We weren’t sure at first how this crisis would affect our work. Would physicians be writing less, consumed with clinical emergencies? Would editors have a tougher time finding reviewers? Would publishing be less of a priority in the coming months as we all dealt with the unfolding pandemic? As the weeks went by, some of our editors, authors, and reviewers were delayed, as their hospitals scrambled to meet the needs of an influx of patients. But one thing didn’t change: people were still writing. In fact, they were writing a lot more.

Across the country, and especially in hard-hit areas, institutions and programs were responding in their own ways, rising to the occasion, already beginning to study what was working and what wasn’t in the fight against COVID-19. Residents were suddenly finding themselves thrown onto the frontlines of fighting this pandemic in ways they never expected. They had stories to tell.

Soon the submissions came—a few at first, then a steady stream of manuscripts relating to the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the resident and fellow experience. Clearly, this issue of the journal would need to adapt and address this rapidly evolving crisis.

As JGME Editor-in-Chief Gail Sullivan, MD, said, “At the end of March, papers started to explode. We realized that educators were scrambling to deploy residents and fellows to new roles and sites, and shift teaching to the virtual spaces, in a matter of days—sometimes in 24 hours. We decided to fast-track COVID-19-related submissions to help these efforts, but keep rigorous review and quality filters, and also to publish accepted papers early online.”

For the JGME June 2020 issue, the New Ideas are still there, including our 2030 look to the future of GME, as well as the usual variety of cutting-edge GME content. But this month we also present a special COVID-19 section highlighting research, innovation, and personal experiences from the GME community during this unprecedented crisis. Look forward to a similar section in the August 2020 issue.

COVID-19 articles include:

Remote e-Work and Distance Learning for Academic Medicine: Best Practices and Opportunities for the Future explores the increase in the last decade toward more remote e-work and the best way to work and educate collaboratively online.
Citation | Full Text | PDF | Supplemental Material 

Peabody’s Paradox: Balancing Patient Care and Medical Education in a Pandemic lays out clear strategies for addressing the challenges of medical education during an outbreak along with examples of innovations used during the pandemic.
Citation | Full Text | PDF 


Knowing Your Team: Rapid Assessment of Residents and Fellows for Effective Horizontal Care Delivery in Emergency Events looks at how the idea of horizonal care (clinicians assuming roles outside of their usual responsibilities) has taken on a new urgency and how residents and fellows can be assessed quickly for deployment.
Abstract | Full Text | PDF 

ACGME’s Early Adaptation to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Principles and Lessons Learned by Dr. Thomas Nasca appears in our ACGME News and Views section and describes how our own organization rose to meet the rapidly unfolding crisis.
Citation | Full Text | PDF

JGME’s COVID-19 articles are open access for all to read. We invite the ACGME community to visit www.jgme.org, follow us on Twitter (@JournalofGME), and be part of the conversation.

Guest blogger Kevin Gladish is an editorial associate on the staff of the Journal of Graduate Medical Education and a program associate with the ACGME Field Activities staff in the Department of Accreditation, Recognition, and Field Activities. He’s been at the ACGME for three and a half years, and is also a “live lit” performer, writer, and storyteller.