Friday, October 8, 2010

Seeking Editor for “The Carlat Medical Report”

Yes, I know this is a piece of rank commercialism. But it’s for a good cause.

I plan to launch a new CME newsletter called The Carlat Medical Report. It will be similar in format to my two existing newsletters (The Carlat Psychiatry Report and The Carlat Child Psychiatry Report), but it will cover topics in general medicine. Think of it as The Medical Letter with an attitude.

I’ve been casting about for an editor-in-chief through the usual channels of contacting friends and colleagues but I've had no luck so far, so I thought I’d post the job description here.

I plan to publish the newsletter monthly or so, depending on the energy of the editor. It will be available in both print and online versions. My company, Clearview Publishing, is ACCME accredited, so readers of the newsletter can get plenty of AMA PRA Category 1 credit. There will, of course, be no pharmaceutical industry funding of any sort, directly or indirectly—no sponsorship, no ads, no inserts. Furthermore neither the editor nor any of the writers can have any financial relationships with pharma.

A word about my no pharma policy. I am philosophically and politically opposed to industry sponsorship of medical education (no duh!), but I am not opposed to industry sponsorship of clinical research. In fact, I value the opinions and expertise of my colleagues who work with industry, either as researchers or as research consultants. In The Carlat Psychiatry Report I sometimes interview experts with hefty industry disclosures. I rationalize it because I feel that in an interview format I have more control over the content and can steer the conversation in a non-promotional direction. This allows readers to reap the benefit of industry know-how without being subject to the subtle (or not so subtle) commercial biases that sometimes appear in the articles and talks of academics with industry ties.

Anyway, to get back to The Carlat Medical Report, below is the formal job description along with compensation. At $1000 per month, you will not get rich being the editor of this newsletter (it will take a few hours a week of your time). But you’ll get your name out there, you will meet a lot of interesting people, and you’ll be part of what is clearly a growing trend in medical education—great practical CME without the industry hype.

If you’re interested, email me directly at

Newsletter and Job Description:

The Carlat Medical Report
will be published monthly, and each issue will focus on a specific therapeutic area in medicine. There will be one or two in depth articles, one interview with a national expert on that month's topic, and 3 or 4 short "research updates" summarizing the most important articles (on any medical topic) published during the prior month. The writing will be informal, mirroring the way a doctor would discuss recommendations verbally with another doctor. Problems with excessive pharmaceutical company influence in medical practice will be discussed explicitly when relevant.

Editor-in-chief compensation and responsibilities.

--Must be an MD or DO

--Compensation: $1000 per issue honorarium

--Will be the identified "face" of the newsletter--"Mary Smith, MD, Editor-in-Chief" would be prominently displayed below the masthead and the editor's photo and email contact would be on the home page of the website. Reader and press inquiries would go directly to editor.

--In conjunction with publisher, will put together a stellar, non-industry affiliated editorial board for the newsletter.

--Will decide on content for each issue

--Will write one of the in depth articles (about 1000 words) for each issue

--Will assign other articles and research updates to other writers

--Will be responsible for interviewing the Expert of the Month (or may assign this to someone else)

--Agrees to no financial relationships with pharmaceutical or device companies within the last year and during editorship tenure

--Estimated time commitment required: about one day per week.


Joel Hassman, MD said...

Why not consider what the journal Psychiatric Annals does and have guest editors who might have some type of specialty to the topic du jour of the month?

SteveM said...


Thousand bucks a day for a physician? You should consider outsourcing to India.


Anonymous said...

It is interesting that you exclude PhD's. Perhaps these folks have no bias at all as they cannot prescribe drugs. And they are most certainly more research minded than your average D.O. Curious to say the least.

moviedoc said...

Like anon suggests: Why not a psychologist? Maybe one with prescriptive authority?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dr. Hassman, however would also consider a medically situated Ph.D. given the Ph.D.'s tendency to agree with your anti-pharma stance.

Michael E. Silverman, PhD said...

MD's are not generally trained as researchers despite their willingness to accept pharma and do their bidding - as you have repeatedly pointed out. Your decision to exclude Ph.D.s from the applicant pool is short sighted, narrow minded and frankly, not very academic.

Dr John said...

What is a "a medically situated Ph.D."

It sounds painful or itchy at least.

If this is going to be a clinically focused news letter I could see why Dr Carlat would want a practicing physician.

Maybe its not going to be and a Ph.D would be swell.

SteveM said...


Or perhaps consider approaching the esteemed Drs. Howard, Fine and Howard for pro bono support.

They work not for monetary compensation. But have pledged themselves to serve gallantly for "Duty and Humanity".

MIchael Silverman said...

"a medically situated Ph.D." is a PhD, not unlike myself, who works in an academic medical center, teaches medical students and residents, conducts NIH supported clinical and translational research across a number of interrelated fields (e.g. Neurology, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and immunology to name just a few), and maintains a private practice.

Daniel Carlat said...

My ad probably was not clear enough. This is for a medical newsletter targeting primary care doctors, not a psychiatric newsletter for PCPs. So the editor should be a generalist physician who understands the treatment of a wide range of medical illnesses (eg., cardiac disease, diabetes, GI, etc....)If this were a biological research update, a PhD would be fine. But it is a medical practice oriented newsletter.

Anonymous said...

"I am philosophically and politically opposed to industry sponsorship of medical education (no duh!), but I am not opposed to industry sponsorship of clinical research."

Are these not inapposite? After all presumably it is the biased clinical research that leads to the biased medical education.

This seems very odd to me.

Daniel Carlat said...

Anon--I see your point. "Junk in, junk out," as they say. But commercial supporters provide a financial incentive for teachers to highlight or to downplay research, whether it is well designed or not. If a wonderfully designed study implies that the supporter's drug is lousy, you can bet that study will somehow go missing from the slide set.