We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge

“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.” – John Naisbitt

I like seeing U.S. Medicine in my mailbox. For me, it is akin to a life ring in a sea of discordant information that seems to have an overpowering undertow which is sucking me under its overwhelming mass. I find it difficult to explain to my children, who have not experienced a world without the Internet, the dramatic change in how information is packaged, presented and utilized. So much of my professional and private life is centered on managing the vast amounts of information thrust upon me. I easily spend more time answering (better yet deleting) reams of email than I do writing science papers or working with patients. I feel some warped sense of accomplishment in leaving work with no emails in my inbox and a sore “delete” finger.

Editor-In-Chief, Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier III, MD, COL, MC, USA

Between editing responsibilities and research within my own areas of interest, there is little hope of keeping up with the professional journals that seem to arrive daily. Add to that the phone, which also connects me to the world in under-160-character tweets, no matter where I am or on what I am supposed to be concentrating. So far, I have managed to resist the siren pull of social media, though my resistance is fading. Sheepishly, I admit to having a Facebook account. With all this information and media, who has time for the relative simplicity of the television anymore?

Like so many of my friends and colleagues, I feel swept up in a media feeding frenzy, and I often feel like I am the blood in the water. The competition for my attention, though beguiling to my id, tends to make concentration on anything, even family, more difficult. So why do I appreciate U.S. Medicine? Being editor-in-chief certainly helps, but with the reader’s indulgence I would like to set that fact aside.

U.S. Medicine helps me make sense of and stay current with the ever-more-complex world of federal medicine. The dispassionate approach taken by the editorial staff toward reporting the issues that affect all of us in federal medicine is both refreshing and, from my perspective, vital to my success as a federal medicine leader. Before I joined the U.S. Medicine team, I used the periodical as a primary source to keep in touch with what was happening beyond my rather narrow focus in pain medicine. With the increasing deluge of information, particularly online, U.S. Medicine helped me focus on what was most important in federal medicine and facilitated my turning that information into useful knowledge on which I could rely in my daily work. I have come to value highly anything that enhances my ability to focus and find clarity in the increasing information assault that I and many federal medicine providers face daily. Not to mention, I still have a nostalgic spot for the tactile and visual experience that is print media delivered on paper and not a video screen, although the U.S. Medicine electrons are there for Internet connoisseurs (http://www.usmedicine.com).

The editorial staff at U.S. Medicine is dedicated to reporting the most important issues that affect our federal medicine and interested parties readership in the most impartial and unbiased way possible. Granted, as “the voice of federal medicine,” the periodical is a staunch proponent of federal medicine providers and the heroes they serve, but the staff has always tried to approach any story with balance. Federal medicine leaders need to be aware of the good, the bad and the ugly of the issues impacting our patients and the practice of federal medicine. Our concerns in federal medicine are a microcosm of the issues influencing the health of the country.

The decisions federal medicine leaders make concerning these issues will profoundly influence the medical decision-makers of the United States. In this regard, U.S. Medicine plays a key and essential role in providing information in a manner those leaders can easily translate into the knowledge they require to be effective.

U.S. Medicine is committed to being your essential resource for staying knowledgeable about the issues affecting federal medicine and your practice. Our reporters depend on you, the readers, as our primary source for that knowledge. Periodically, we query the readership about their interests and desires for content, likes and dislikes. We encourage your comments and participation in U.S. Medicine’s future.

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