In ancient Rome, the forum was the place where everyone gathered to share ideas. With this issue of The Journal, we begin a new monthly feature entitled "The Orthopaedic Forum." I hope that it will become a place in orthopaedics where intriguing, provocative, controversial new ideas will be presented and discussed. In the coming months, we will focus on health-care policy, orthopaedic practice, ethics, and other issues of importance to the orthopaedic surgeon. We will use it as a place to present interesting symposia held at national orthopaedic meetings. Many of the articles that previously appeared in The Journal as Commentary pieces will become part of The Forum. This month, The Forum is inaugurated with an interesting report from the University of California, San Francisco, about overseas volunteer opportunities for residents in training.
We will also use The Forum to present useful information that heretofore did not exactly fit into the format of a scientific article and, thus, had no easily identifiable spot in The Journal. From time to time, a subsection entitled "Briefly Noted" will include short clinical tips, descriptions of new surgical techniques, reports of studies with negative results, humorous and entertaining items, and other "short subjects" that are of clinical interest or usefulness. Because many of the pieces that we publish will be so provocative and controversial that readers will be stimulated to write thoughtful letters of comment in response, we will add the Letters to the Editor section to The Forum.
We are actively looking for articles to cover this wide range of topics. To be considered for publication in The Orthopaedic Forum, the article must be of general interest to the orthopaedic community; be of help to our patients or our profession; be honest, concise, and well written; and be of interest to someone besides the author. We will not be able to publish all of the material that we receive and, as with all original work published by The Journal, every manuscript will be peer-reviewed and edited prior to being accepted for publication.
The Orthopaedic Forum will be a strong complement to our scientific articles and will be so relevant to the practice of orthopaedics that you will want to read it every month, just as the Romans looked forward to going to their forum to exchange ideas. Please examine The Forum critically over the next several months and let me know how we are doing. I look forward to hearing from you.
James D. Heckman, M.D.