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By Dr. Steve Wong
2020 will go down as the most challenging year on a number of fronts — with unprecedented stressors affecting our personal and professional lives, not to mention the enormous struggles facing our local and global communities. Thanks to everyone on the front lines, and condolences to all those touched by this pandemic. I hope we can continue to work together to beat COVID-19 and I take solace in the fact the turning point seems to be coming as vaccines are deployed.
This year also marks This Changed My Practice’s 10th year. It’s been an incredibly rewarding journey. Given this milestone, I’ll indulge in a little bit of history and acknowledgments but also share some of our learnings and future plans.
The format of TCMP articles is based on presentations I give at the UBC CPD Annual Family Practice Review course. Back in 2009, Dr. Bob Bluman (then Assistant Dean, UBC CPD, now Executive Medical Director) had the idea to broaden this to an online initiative. He and UBC CPD were willing to take a chance on a website that was based on personal opinion, backed by evidence, rather than the more traditional “unopinionated” presentation of a clinical trial or review article. We launched TCMP in June 2010 to a few hundred readers. We now reach over 57,000 readers, most of whom are physicians and other medical professionals.
We’ve been fortunate to have the support of UBC CPD members who have been with us from the beginning. I’d like to thank Dr. Brenna Lynn (Associate Dean, UBC CPD) and Andrea Keesey (Director, UBC CPD) for their support and vision. Thanks also to our editors, who provide editorial input and reality checks: Drs. Bruce Hobson, Christie Newton, Daniel Ngui, and Shirley Sze. And literally, none of this would work without the tireless efforts of Nina Zoric (Web & Comms Specialist, UBC CPD) — her organizational skills and technical abilities are the reason TCMP moves forward week to week. I’m lucky to have all of these amazing people to act as sounding boards and supportive hands as we move through the inevitable challenges of running a website like ours.
Of course, thanks need to go to our authors for their willingness to share their knowledge and opinions. TCMP is actually a bit of a risky endeavour: our site has been built on the idea that practice change requires someone to say “I’m doing this differently now, and here’s why” — and sometimes this can be controversial. I’ve always felt that respectful debate drives learning, and we’ve certainly seen that play out in our discussions. Many of the practice changes featured on our site are now standard of care, or at least increasingly implemented, but weren’t at the time of publication (a few examples include the use of novel anticoagulants in AFib (1) and VTE (2), hypertension treatments and targets (3,4), approaches to autism (5,6), heart failure (7,8,9), addictions (10,11), management of depression (12,13), treatment of stroke (14,15)).
We’re grateful for the trust our readers have given us. Your active participation in comments and voting help shape learning for each other, and even helps authors learn more about their topic and how it is perceived by a wide range of clinicians.
We are also still learning at TCMP: as an educational resource, we’re learning to change our own practice as we evolve.
- We are trying to balance article length against ease of use: we know our articles are now longer than they were when we started. Some topics need more “breathing space” and it is hard to do proper justice to some topics given the short length of our articles — this can be a disservice to our authors as well as readers. We are looking at more multipart article series to address this. While TCMP isn’t meant to be a full topic review site, we do hope to be a launching point for more learning.
- We’re enhancing article intake and editorial processes to help ensure ongoing rigour in scientific statements.
- We will be more specifically attentive to potential issues of racial bias (in addition to gender, commercial, or other biases).
- We are striving to address emerging trends and present articles that might be hard to find in usual CME offerings — this year we had more physician & caregiver wellness articles, as well as “COVID-adjacent” articles that addressed aspects of the pandemic response which were different than the rapidly evolving treatments covered by a myriad of other sources
Finally, looking ahead, we are in the active phase of developing TCMP-Live — our first conference! It will be a 3-part virtual conference series with short-form presentations in the TCMP format — watch your inbox for an announcement in the new year.
On behalf of all of us at TCMP, I wish everyone a very safe, enjoyable holiday season. I look forward to a time when we emerge from this difficult period, hopefully as whole as we can be, together.
Steve Wong, MD, FRCPC
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, UBC
Medical Director, This Changed My Practice, UBC CPD
thischangedmypractice.com – Practice changing evidence and tips
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