The History Of Our Journal, Medical Acupuncture
Medical Acupuncture is the only medical acupuncture journal published in the United States in conjunction with the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA). Our job is to integrate acupuncture into physicians' practices to offer the best aspects of Western and Eastern medicine to our patients. The journal was founded in the fall of 1989 by Christina Stemmler, MD. In its embryonic stages, it was 3-4 articles in a 20-page pocket-sized format distributed to 300 AAMA members. The Latin logo on the front cover said: "Our goal is not an ordinary one." Dr Stemmler labored intensely to produce an attractive product and it was the start and inspiration of our current day journal. Dr Stemmler was followed by Dr Robert Roalfe. Bob handed the journal over to me and I can imagine that he is surprised I am still at the helm. Bob was very caring with each article and like myself, he had a lot of rewriting to do.
When I volunteered to be Editor-in-Chief in 1996-1997, my knowledge of publishing a journal was zero. My education at that point consisted of reading medical journals for CAM purposes and being a published author. Through hard work, I'm more enlightened to the demands of creating a world-class journal and I thank the AAMA for the opportunity.
Let me speak to you about change and overcoming hurdles. The AAMA Board has been our greatest ally in retooling the journal and moving forward towards our ultimate goal of becoming an indexed journal. The first thing I did as editor was engage the services of award-winning writer Rosalyn Royal in 1996, who has been your faithful Managing Editor.
I would not survive if it were not for Roz. Next, I hired JAMA's manuscript editing director, Stacy Christiansen-Krol.
I continued to seek the wise counsel of our custom publications design firm headed by Deborah Odell and the AAMA's Executive Director, Jim Dowden.
Here are just some of the changes made to the journal since 1996:
- The size was increased to its present dimensions.
- We began utilizing professional publication design elements and printing in full color that increased advertising revenue.
- The cover design was changed.
- Non-physician authors were permitted to publish in our journal.
- Advertising inserts as well as ads breaking up editorial pages were discontinued.
- Manuscripts were consistently delivered on time to the design firm.
- We have kept on schedule for almost 9 years now which has held down costs.
- Publication was increased from twice a year to 3 times a year.
- All articles became peer-reviewed.
- Now the journal is a full-sized professional product averaging 52 pages.
What is the next step? We need to continue our publication growth. We have gone from "famine to feast" with suitable articles from all over the world and in the process, have tried to remain user-friendly even when we had to initially reject some articles.
Here's how you can help. We need more reviewers because the journal has a good growth problem! Our volume of articles now is significant. For new reviewers, I have set up a rotation system for educational purposes so you can critique some articles and then compare your recommendation with more seasoned reviewers. This way we encourage qualified physicians to become reviewers.
Our publication is a strong educational instrument. I need proactive members' input and time. Utilizing the instructions for authors near the front of each journal as your guideline, we invite every AAMA member to contribute an article.
As an important reminder, here is the journal's Mission Statement:
"The Medical Acupuncture journal published by the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture is dedicated to publishing the highest quality of clinical and research articles to encourage the understanding and practice of acupuncture both from theoretical and practical perspectives.
Its goal is to be the premier national and international journal in this discipline. To achieve this goal, the journal welcomes and encourages original work that, transcending traditional scientific and medical paradigms, is able to rigorously formulate, propose, advance, and qualify the integrative field of acupuncture."
There's a long road ahead but I am confident that with your assistance and talent, we will reach our destination.
- Richard C. Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH
Dr Richard C. Niemtzow is a Radiation Oncologist and Colonel in the United States Air Force. He is the Chief Medical Consultant for Alternative Medicine for the Air Force Surgeon General. In addition to his research activities, Dr Niemtzow practices Medical Acupuncture full-time at Malcolm Grow Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. He is Chairman of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture (AAMA) Research Committee.
Richard C. Niemtzow, MD, PhD, MPH
9800 Cherry Hill Rd
College Park, MD 20740
Phone: 301-937-7424 • Fax: 301-937-3205
Colonel (Dr) Richard C. Niemtzow
Medical Group (AMC)
Malcolm Grow Medical Center
Andrews AFB, MD 20762