Let me introduce myself as the incoming editor of BJGP. What a time to start! Someone must have pressed the fast forward button — our medical world has started spinning at ever increasing speed and seems barely in control. Meanwhile, the rest of life has screeched to a halt. So much for a gentle introduction.
It all changed just before the BJGP Research meeting. Delegates began to cancel and speakers from abroad were prevented from travelling by their hospitals and universities. In our first taste of this new world, the programme was hastily reorganised and included a mix of oral presentations and rapidly prepared powerpoints with voice over. Thanks to some amazing background work, it all came together better than one could have been imagined.
Our aim is to make BJGP Life the multimedia communication platform for comment, opinion, ideas and experience.
This was also an opportunity for me to briefly meet the BJGP editorial team. Our orderly handover with carefully structured induction over a two week period suddenly became accelerated speed dating: Tell me what you do — in two minutes. The following Monday, like the rest of the world, our editorial team suddenly became remote workers. As an editor at the BMJ and at CMAJ, I was well accustomed to being a remote worker/telecommuter so it wasn’t a major issue for me. I have huge sympathy, however, for my colleagues at BJGP who were used to working on a traditional model based at the College headquarters in Euston Square, who had to adapt overnight. Its not easy working from home — the novelty soon wears.
Remembering my job interview, back in November, where I presented nicely packaged ideas for development, well thought out timescales, and plans for managing change. What happened those “best laid schemes?” What I had anticipated might take a year has leapt ahead and what we had hoped to achieve in the early stages of my editorship have already been completed through the enormous goodwill of everyone involved. With Roger’s blessing, we began work immediately after the research meeting and I must give huge credit to the BJGP Editorial team and, in particular, Euan Lawson Deputy Editor. Dealing with a not-yet-contracted editor, whom you have met only briefly, and who you have to relate to remotely is an enormous challenge.
Roger kept the Journal running while we focused BJGP Life. Our aim is to make BJGP Life the multimedia communication platform for comment, opinion, ideas and experience. It is now accessible from the BJGP website and is an integral and essential part of the BJGP package. You will already see that it has taken on a new life with video interviews and contemporary comment related to the COVID-19 crisis. Our aim is to change the content daily — that there should be something for you to read or view at the end of every working day. Click on to BJGP to see what’s new. Its not perfect yet but its running. Join the conversation — now it’s over to you.