The medical profession is one of ever-widening clinical challenges, as diseases evolve alongside the expansion of technology and knowledge. As such, the Southern Medical Journal strives to address a diverse range of clinical topics each month. To that end, the SMJ categorizes the articles published within one of the following content headings:
- Bioethics and Medical Education: Addresses ethical considerations in patient care, including ethical dilemmas, physician duties to patients, and end-of-life decision-making. Includes all aspects of medical education throughout the continuum from medical school to lifelong learning.
- Emergency and Disaster Medicine: Includes the clinical practices in the emergency department as well as disaster medicine (physician preparedness and physician response). Addresses natural disasters, terrorist events, pandemics, and nuclear/biological/chemical disasters.
- Medicine and Medical Specialties: Encompasses the entire field and disciplines of internal medicine, as well as family medicine and general medicine. Addresses the wide-range of non-surgical diseases and disorders (diagnosis and treatment), pharmacological therapy, evidence-based practice, and interdisciplinary patient care.
- Mental Health: Includes the topics of psychological and psychiatric disorders including substance abuse, psychological and psychiatric responses to systemic disease, posttraumatic stress disorder, dementias, and the effects of stress on the human body and mind. Includes drug treatment for mental health disorders as well as substance abuse issues.
- Quality Health Care, Patient Safety, and Best Practices: Addresses the development of health policy and the integrity of the healthcare delivery system. Emphasizes patient-oriented health care, evidence-based medical practice, the collective and individual safety of patients, and the best practices to achieve excellence in health care.
- Public Health and Environmental Medicine: Includes the broad field of public health, public health policies and practices, international medicine, global health, environmental medicine, aerospace medicine, and preventive and occupation medicine.
- Surgery and Surgical Specialties: Considers the expansive area of general surgery practice, as well as the many clinical aspects of the surgical specialties. Includes the preoperative diagnosis of patients, the intraoperative performance of safe surgical procedures, the postoperative care of the surgical patient, and outcomes of surgery. Emphasizes the interdisciplinary care of the surgical patient.
- Women’s and Children’s Health: Encompasses all aspects of care of the female patient, especially gynecology and obstetrics. Addresses the special and unique care of pediatric patients, including the maternal-fetal period of life, adolescent patients, ethical issues in pediatric medical and surgical care (ie, informed consent), and growth and development in children.