Journal of American Medical Association Response and My Response Back February 18, 2023
I heard back from JAMA and unsurprisingly, they will not be publishing my letter. Here is their response:
Dear Dr Hastings:
Thank you for your recent letter to the editor. Unfortunately, because of the many submissions we receive and our space limitations in the Letters section, we are unable to publish your letter in JAMA.
After considering the opinions of our editorial staff, we determined your letter did not receive a high enough priority rating for publication in JAMA. We are able to publish only a small fraction of the letters submitted to us each year, which means that published letters must have an extremely high rating.
You are welcome to contact the corresponding author of the article, although we cannot guarantee a response. We do appreciate you taking time to write to us and thank you for the opportunity to look at your letter.
Kristin Walter, MD. MS
Letters Section Editor
To which I responded back:
Thank you for your consideration of my letter regarding the critical errors found in the ivermectin article.
As an actively practicing community family physician, I read JAMA to keep informed on many areas of evidence based research that pertains to my practice. I have found JAMA quite helpful in many regards to patient care. For that, I am grateful for this resource of knowledge.
However, just like any other institution, JAMA does not always get it right. In some cases, badly so. This is the case with both the Naggie and Lopez-medina ivermectin trials. It’s difficult to see how some peer reviewer somewhere didn’t catch the enormous confounding variable of controlling for time from symptom onset.
What this may do, and is in fact already doing, is to further divide academic medicine from community medicine to the point where a complete fracture is occurring. Summary conclusions from JAMA or NEJM, Lancet, and other journals (rightly or wrongly) are being increasingly dismissed by groups of community physicians who work, practice, and live in a world of patients vastly different from the world portrayed by these journals’ conclusions.
While I neither support or oppose JAMA’s vision of how a good medical journal should be, I do find it interesting that this was a relatively easy error to find, and one that one of the authors admitted to as well. In any case, thank you for your work, and should you ever consider checking “outside the box” thoughts on an issue, I would be happy to provide you with an actively practicing community doctor’s thoughts–minus spin, politics, and innuendo–which is pretty rare these days.
All the best,
Scott Hastings D.O.