I wrote my first column for ACEP News as a fourth-year medical student in 2012. By allowing me to keep contributing columns during my early residency years, Bob Solomon, MD, FACEP, then the editor of ACEP News, in effect gave me my first recurring “job” as a writer. I could write about whatever I wanted, whether it was light-hearted, serious, or edgy. What a gift that was.
When, under the visionary leadership of Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP, ACEP News became ACEP Now in 2014, I stayed on as a columnist, thanks to some backroom support from ACEP staff members Nancy Calaway and Darrin Scheid. (I never forget, and I always celebrate, those who have helped me along the way. Thanks, you two!) I soon joined the magazine’s editorial advisory board. Kevin had me writing dispatches about social media and medicine. It was service journalism, sure, but it kept me in the game and provided me with a front-row seat as a great magazine was being built and maintained. (It also freed me up to write about larger issues for other media outlets like Slate, where I soon became a regular contributor, and which led to my more recent work as a frequent contributor to the Washington Post, The New York Times, and elsewhere.) It’s no exaggeration then to say that ACEP Now has been an integral and formative part of my life as an emergency physician and writer, from the beginning of my career through today.
Naturally, I was thrilled to be offered the Medical Editor in Chief role for ACEP Now when Dr. Klauer left the position to become the Chief Executive Officer of the American Osteopathic Association. When I started in the role, I already understood the strengths of the magazine and also knew the areas where we could improve. Thanks to the professionalism and dedication of the team at Wiley, led by Dawn Antoline-Wang, our fearless, brilliant, incredibly well-organized, and somehow still fun and cheerful editor there; the fine craftwork, intelligent instincts, and good humor of Chris Whissen, our art director; plus ACEP’s passionate staff members Nancy Calaway and Jordan Grantham, we accomplished in two years what I thought would take at least five. The goal was to make sure that the magazine better reflected the College’s membership, had a modern look and feel, and captured the Herculean efforts of our physician members and full-time staff in Dallas and Washington, DC.