Welcome to the Sackler Journal of Medicine (SJM), a peer-review medical journal written by and for the medical student body. Beginning with our inaugural issue— imagined and implemented in the span of less than nine months —we will learn from one another what a medical student-run journal is, and what it can inspire in our constantly evolving world.
Since we announced the launch of SJM with our website, www.sacklerjom.org, in April 2016, I’ve been trying to answer a question that seems crucial for a so-called medical student journal. Namely: What can this journal add to the ever growing field of medicine? At this point, this medical student journal is a forum in which we can shape and mold the conversation. What we are all really after—and what SJM is all about—is the “charged-up” feeling that comes with reading a blog post or an original paper, learning something new, and then applying this knowledge. It’s about planting a seed; as we progress not just our schooling but in our medical careers, we are constantly learning, growing, and adapting our medical methods to best serve patients and the greater community.
Whether you are reading this journal as a print copy or a PDF, on your laptop or your cell-phone, this issue was a work put together by an editorial team for a discerning audience- a striking package that a group of medical students prepares for its readers. Finally, a journal is about context: how ideas and images (in this case, graphics and figures) are juxtaposed and presented to one another.
But enough theorizing- let me tell you about this inaugural issue of SJM. So the essential question is, what can we learn about medicine from our peers? We went looking for it in our news briefs (found on our website under SJM Commentary), consisting of commentaries from students who read some fascinating papers and wanted to share their thoughts/ comments/ideas. Want to know what goes into a peertutoring histology session? Jonathan Shayo (MS4) brings to you a reflection piece on what goes on inside the mind of a peer-tutor, and what may seem like riffs and fills are part of his deliberate steps to teach students and get them interested. One of our advisory board members and recent Sacker graduate, Dr. Maxine Stachel, reports about her recent experience with the residency match, something that we, as medical students, will undertake. Our inaugural issue profiles pieces ranging from current events in medical marijuana, the biochemistry of drug addiction, and treatment of multiple sclerosis, as well as the implications of the tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease. These review papers, written by both inquisitive and research-oriented medical students on the latest breakthroughs and understandings in medicine, are integral to the journal’s mission to broaden medical students’ knowledge outside the confines of a lecture hall. To equipoise these substantive review pieces, a feature of this issue from Melissa Schechter (MS2) explores a specific topic (HIV/AIDS diagnosis and disease timeline) with narrative that applies archetypal information to a realistic scenario. Michael Burke and Amira Beeber (MS4) detail their proposed analysis for congenital heart disease follow-up. Lastly, dispersed throughout the issue are “key points” to help clarify medical terminology or expand on topics discussed in the pieces.
So here’s our modus operandi: Let’s have great success. Let’s discover the wide-ranging corners of medicine, really examining the crooks and crevices. Let’s explore our own interests, tailored to what we want to better understand and also gets us excited. Let’s make our academic lives more creative and, in turn, help us to become kickass future physicians. Let’s learn. Let’s enjoy. If any that speaks to you, then this is the journal for you.
Stay with us—and expect more.