Andrew Auerbach, MD, MPH, SFHM, is an associate professor at one of the most highly regarded academic medical centers in the country, and he is a nationally respected researcher whose work has been published in prominent scientific publications.
His peers believe both roles prepared him well for his newest endeavor: editor-in-chief of the Journal of Hospital Medicine. His five-year term begins in January.
Dr. Auerbach’s affiliation with the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), where he also serves as director of research for the division of hospital medicine and associate director of the General Medicine Research Fellowship, lends instant legitimacy to the journal, editorial team members say. His research has focused on evaluation of care-delivery models and methods for improving the measurement of quality of care.
That background, medical publishing experts believe, gives Dr. Auerbach a foundation in scientific accuracy and reporting transparency that is integral to a new editor’s effort to expand a journal’s reach and increase the quality of work it publishes.
Dr. Auerbach intends to do both, continuing JHM’s growth and solidifying it as the go-to resource for hospitalists. “It is an incredibly good platform for hospitalists to publish their work,” he adds. “I want people to look back at the journal in five years and say it’s even better than it is now.”
As Dr. Auerbach prepares to take over as editor-in-chief, he is focusing his efforts on how to best build on the success the journal has enjoyed since its 2006 launch.
“JHM’s core values are to reflect the field of hospital medicine broadly, to provide a venue where the field’s current scholarly work can be published, and to provide a point of reference for where future scholarly work might be directed and published,” he says. “JHM has been very successful at the first two. I think there is an opportunity to be somewhat more strategic in providing the reference point for future research directions, largely through the input of the editorial team and by paying close attention to JHM readers.”
The Right Choice
An eight-person committee embarked on a five-month search to identify the ideal candidate to replace JHM ’s founding editor-in-chief, Mark Williams, MD, FACP, FHM. The intense process reflected the search committee’s goal that the new editor strengthen the journal and the society it represents, says committee member Harold C. Sox, MD, MACP, a noted internist and author who served as editor of Annals of Internal Medicine from 2001 to 2009.
“A journal published by a professional organization is far and away the most visible manifestation of the organization and its values and ambitions,” Dr. Sox says. “The appointment was anything but pro forma. It had to be the right choice.”
Committee members wanted to select a physician who had a strong scientific background, the judgment required to be a leader, and a desire to better position the journal as a source for first-rate articles in the competitive landscape of medical publishing, Dr. Sox says. They also searched for a candidate who had considerable experience writing for publication.
Dr. Auerbach, who served as deputy editor of the Journal of General Internal Medicine from 2004 to 2007 and as a JHM reviewer, has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, and the Archives of Internal Medicine.