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ACP History: Annals of Internal Medicine (Part Two) 1941 - 1959

A few months after the United States entry into the Second World War, Dr. Maurice Pincoffs, the editor of Annals, was called into active service with the Army. On Dr. Pincoffs' recommendation, Assistant Editor Dr. Paul Clough became Editor for the duration of Dr. Pincoffs' military service. Dr. Clough appointed Dr. Hansley Barker of Baltimore as Acting Assistant Editor, with both taking office on May 1, 1942. With so many members serving in the military (over 20%) or having to take on additional responsibilities as a result of the war, a concern rose that there might be difficulty in obtaining appropriate contributions for publication. Annals Acting Editor Dr. Clough gathered enough suitable materials to enable Annals to publish through the first few months of 1943 without incident. Dr. Clough also used some issues of Annals to publish papers presented at regional postgraduate meetings. Although the College cancelled all Annual meetings for the duration of the war, regional and educational meetings continued.

Annal of iNternal Medicine, June 1944

As a result of the war, the College's cost for the printing of Annals by the Lancaster Press increased by 10 percent per issue in 1942. As members who were serving in the military had their fees waived, there was concern that Annals might have a significant decrease in subscription revenue. But such concerns proved immaterial as the Army and Navy increased subscriptions for military hospitals, and many members in the armed services, despite their wavier from dues, continued to pay the full subscription costs. In order to comply with federal restrictions on paper during wartime, the size of Annals volumes had to be reduced slightly. While initially there was concern about the quality of articles available for publication during World War II, the volume of contributions was significant enough to alleviate any concerns. There was occasional difficulty in publishing the journal on time due to shortages brought on by governmental regulations during wartime and labor troubles.

By the end of 1945 the circulation of Annals exceeded 7500, which was more than double that in the previous decade. Advertising rates had also increased by 45% over the same time period, and Annals subscription income was estimated to be over $53,000.00 ($617,000.00 in 2011 USD). By early 1946 Dr. Clough, Acting Editor of Annals, announced that Dr. Pincoffs was discharged from the Army and after a short period would be returning as to his post as editor. During his army service Dr. Pincoffs was decorated twice for bravery in combat and exceptional meritorious service. He was awarded the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster and was appointed Chief Consultant in Internal Medicine to the Surgeon General for the Pacific Theatre of Operations. By 1948 Annals was again being published without delay, as wartime paper shortages were no longer an issue.

The postwar economic boon and the prestige of Annals had enabled further production and revenue development, such as using heavier coated paper and raising advertising rates by 16%. The Committee on the Annals of Internal Medicine was dissolved and replaced by an Editorial Board. In June 1954, with the completion of Volume 40 of the Annals of Internal Medicine, the first cumulative index of the journal was prepared and distributed to College members and requesting subscribing libraries. When Dr. Pincoffs first became Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine it was a small publication, occasionally struggling during the worst depression in American history. By 1959 the circulation of Annals was nearly 24,000 and it was regarded as the best medical journal in its field in the world.

-Prepared November 2011 by Eric Greenberg, based on materials from the Archives of the American College of Physicians and, Morgan, W. G. (1940). The American College of Physicians It's First Quarter Century. Philadelphia: American College of Physicians, Piersol GM. (1962) Gateway of Honor. Philadelphia: American College of Physicians and Annals of Internal Medicine at Age 75: Reflections on the Past 25 Years ANN INTERN MED July 2, 2002 137:34-45.