A renowned family practice journal conducted a readers' survey and was dismayed to discover that the section least valued by the readers is the original research articles! Perhaps the research conducted was too esoteric and of little relevance to the real world of family practice? We all know that a vibrant research activity is the mark of the maturing of a scientific discipline. So, The Family Physician will continue to give prominence to research about family practice, or those conducted by family physicians, which aims to improve the quality of primary medical care. In this issue, the research by Loh LC (page 10) has demonstrated the inadequacy of basing asthma evaluation purely on symptoms and peak flow − a timely reminder for all of us to reassess the way we manage our asthmatic patients.
Most of us like to discuss our interesting or challenging patients with our colleagues. While theFamily Physician wishes to publish case reports that suggest the emergence of a new disease or the first documentation of the unusual manifestations of a known disease, these situations are rarely observed in a typical family practice clinic. More frequently we are stumped by a relatively rare disease or embarrased to find we have committed yet another error in diagnosis or treatment (despite our best intention). Both these types of lessons are of educational value to our colleagues - as demonstrated by the case reports by Mimi Omar (page 15) and Loh KY (page 16) in this issue. (copied from article)