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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

Harold Sox Named Annals of Internal Medicine Editor

Harold C. Sox, MD, MACP PHILADELPHIA -- (January 30, 2001) Harold C. Sox, MD, MACP, a noted internist, teacher and medical decision-making expert, was named today by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) editor of Annals of Internal Medicine. Sox succeeds Frank Davidoff, MD, FACP, who will retire in July. Sox, a former president of the organization, was selected after an eight-month search by the College. He'll oversee an editorial staff housed in the ACP-ASIM headquarters in Philadelphia.

"ACP-ASIM is extremely proud to announce Hal Sox as the next editor of Annals," said Walter J. McDonald, MD, FACP, executive vice president and chief executive officer of ACP-ASIM. "Annals, our flagship publication, publishes some of the most important research in internal medicine. Hal is an influential thinker and a respected teacher and writer. He brings to Annals the experience and sensitivity of the general internist and the wide-ranging interests of a scholar. We are confident that under his guidance Annals will continue its history of excellence in bringing clinical information to the new generation of internists and researchers."

Sox said that his plans for Annals blend tradition and innovation. "I hope to attract more original research, including reports on clinical trials, and new invited articles that use available evidence to help physicians manage common medical problems."

"I envision the pages of Annals as lively and interactive in both the print and Web versions, with imaginative use of formatting and layout to engage the reader's interest. I think that electronic publishing has compelling advantages, and I want Annals to be near the forefront of this movement."

Sox is the Joseph M. Huber Professor of Medicine and chair of the department of medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where he has served for 13 years. He has led national committees that have shaped clinical, educational and public policy in the United States. He has served as chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Institute of Medicine Committee to Study HIV Transmission Through Blood Products, and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Health Effects of Exposures in the Persian Gulf War. He currently chairs the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee and the FDA Medical Devices Dispute Panel. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sox, a practicing general internist, also has been a leader of internal medicine nationally and of ACP-ASIM in particular. He served as president of the American College of Physicians from April 1998 to April 1999, during the organization's merger with the American Society of Internal Medicine, and prior to his election as president served on many ACP committees. He was chairman of the College's education committee from 1994 to 1996 and was a member and later chair of the College's clinical efficacy assessment subcommittee which develops the College's clinical practice guidelines. He also served on ACP's education and career development subcommittee and on its task force on physician workforce supply.

Sox is an associate editor of Scientific American Medicine and has served on the editorial boards of three medical journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine. He also served as consulting associate editor of The American Journal of Medicine. He is the author of ten books, various book chapters and many journal articles and is the principal author of Medical Decision Making, an introductory textbook used throughout the world.

Sox was editor of both the first and second editions of Common Diagnostic Tests, a groundbreaking evaluation of commonly used medical tests, first published by the American College of Physicians in 1987. The book said, for example, that chest X-rays routinely obtained upon all hospital admissions and before surgery were not appropriate. Routine use of chest X-rays in hospitals was estimated to cost more than $1.5 billion in 1980. Today, routine chest X-rays have almost disappeared from medical practice in the U.S.

In his lifetime of research and writing, Sox has explored issues such as technology assessment, medical decision-making, disease prevention and health promotion, cost effectiveness analysis, physicians' and patients' risk preferences, and medical education.

Annals of Internal Medicine, established in 1927 by the American College of Physicians, is the most widely cited medical specialty journal in the world. With a circulation of nearly 93,000, it publishes original research, reviews, debates and commentary on subjects pertinent to internal medicine.

Annals was the first peer-reviewed medical journal to use a structured abstract for all original research articles, and its editors have been leaders in setting ethical standards for medical publishing and proper use of statistics in medical research and reporting. In the 1980s, Annals published many groundbreaking studies related to the then new AIDS epidemic.

Sox graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in physics and received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. After serving as a medical intern and resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, he spent two years doing research in immunology at the National Institutes of Health and three years at Dartmouth Medical School, where he served as chief medical resident and began his studies of medical decision-making.

Sox then spent fifteen years on the faculty of Stanford University School of Medicine, where he served as chief of the division of general internal medicine and director of ambulatory care at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Medical Center. In 1988 he returned to Dartmouth to chair the department of medicine.

ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty society, with a membership of more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists are specialists in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses that primarily affect adults.

NOTE TO EDITOR: Dr. Sox is available for interviews. Please call Susan Anderson (215-351-2653).

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