An idea of the influence of the Bulletin can be seen by its circulation numbers. The circulation numbers of the print Bulletin for 2001 was 51,608. The largest professional group subscribing were family practitioners. The breakdown was as follows in 2001:
You Might Also Like
Explore This IssueMarch 2009
Also By This Author
- Family practitioners: 18,114
- General internists: 5,998
- Rheumatologists: 5,804
- ARHPs: 6,750
- Medical Students: 2,331
- Orthopedics: 3,064
The number of online subscribers in 2002 was approximately 9,000.
Today’s Sources for Rheumatology Information
Today, physicians caring for patients with rheumatic diseases can obtain their information from multiple sources: textbooks, journals, sources on the Internet, meetings, many pharmaceutical publications, and the ubiquitous pharmaceutical detail person ready to comment on the virtues of their particular products. However, the abundance of information today, much of it sponsored or instigated by the pharmaceutical industry, might pose a dilemma for the practicing physician. The physician today, like the physician of years ago, desires to provide the best care for patients. To do this, physicians must rely on scientifically sound information. The physician today is busy and cannot sort through the stacks of publications or all of the sources on the Internet. The physician must have available a recognizable source of reliable information that is accurate and succinct. The best way to accomplish this is to obtain information sponsored by reputable organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, university medical centers, the ACR, and the AF. There are Internet sources of information, such as UpToDate.
The ACR in November 2006 launched its monthly print publication, The Rheumatologist, which is directed to rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals. This publication reviews scientific information, selected rheumatic diseases, education, economics, human-interest stories, and activities of the ACR and ARHP. It fulfills a need. It is a modern resurrection of the Bulletin for the rheumatologist and reflects the spectrum of issues of interest to the rheumatologist. It is interesting to note that economic issues were not considered to be pertinent 50 years ago as the Bulletin was conceived and perpetuated, but economic issues have become as important to the practicing rheumatologist today as the science.
The rheumatologist’s needs are probably met today with the various publications sponsored by the ACR, including The Rheumatologist. As for the other physicians—such as the primary care physician, internist, and medicine residents—for now, I guess, we will leave their rheumatic disease education to whatever sources they can find. I suspect the succinct, pertinent, and up-to-date information provided to them by the Bulletin has not been replaced.