Medical Journal of Australia
The Medical Journal of Australia (1982-1983)
In October 1981, Sir Keith Jones, chairman of the Australasian Medical Publishing Company, the publishing arm of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), reached out to Alan Blum, MD, a 33-year old family physician in Chicago and a former fellow in medical journalism at the Journal of the American Medical Association, to offer him the editorship of the Medical Journal of Australia. That conversation would begin a two-year odyssey during which Dr. Blum and his wife Doris and infant son Leon moved half the world away to help rebuild a journal whose previous editors had resigned over the appointment of a managing publisher with strong ties to pharmaceutical advertisers. In the face of commercial pressure from the managing publisher and old guard members of the AMA, Blum's focus on preventive medicine and his criticism of the pharmaceutical and tobacco industries created broad interest in the MJA. Blum resigned after one year after refusing to edit and include a second publication within the MJA aimed at increasing pharmaceutical advertising.