American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Editor’s Note: Beginning this week, Cancer Programs News will move to a weekly publishing schedule. As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions for this newsletter.

From the Director's Desk

Just in Time News

Heidi Nelson, MD, FACSHeidi Nelson, MD, FACS
Medical Director, ACS Cancer Programs

So much information and so little time. Every year we have more we must read and know in order to just keep up, and we have more ways than ever of getting news in our personal and professional lives, from hard copy newspapers and journals to social media and podcasts. And the stories are getting shorter, with some medical journals now promoting brief reports that render facts and statements on a single point in a narrow topic—the medical equivalent of a sound bite or fast fact. The number of journals is exploding—fueled by the exponential growth of our knowledge—while the speed of publishing is accelerating with the introduction of online and open source publishing options. It would normally be impossible for a person to leverage all the new facts and figures imparted by these new communications platforms if it weren’t for the fact that accessibility has also dramatically evolved.

There was a time when a trip to a library with a pocket full of nickels was what it took to tap into the collective wisdom of others in our field. Hunting and gathering and the chase for facts was half the battle, and part of the mystique and art of research. Eventually titles were collapsed into monthly lists and one could sift through the many to find the few articles that were a must-read in order to keep current. Now we live in a time when we can search for new titles using common digital devices that we all have at our fingertips, and arguably we spend less mental effort storing and retrieving key information, relying more on search engines. We have now grown accustomed to having information “just in time” or as we need it. With that in mind, we have decided to publish our Cancer Programs News newsletter on a weekly basis, with fewer news articles in each edition and perhaps fewer email blasts between editions. We hope this modification will keep you current and fit your workflow better.