The British Medical Journal brought in a freelance guest editor, Lynn Eaton, to produce a special issue on the relationship between doctors and patients.
She secured an interview with Superman actor Christopher Reeve, asking him about his experiences of doctors during his recovery from the riding accident that left him paralysed.
Eaton wanted to include more general features that would appeal to the public as well as to doctors – such as how to be a better patient and the rising number of old people in the UK. She also asked freelance journalists who had medical conditions to interview doctors who had suffered from similar problems, such as alcoholism.
Ten thousand extra copies of the special issue, dated 14 June, were sent to patients.
Marion Francis, who had worked on the Nursing Times, was designer.
Eaton said: “This latest patient issue was a chance not only to put together content which looked at the doctor-patient relationship, but went beyond the normal to turn a fairly dry-looking academic journal for doctors into something anyone with a passing interest in health might pick up and read.”
By Mary Stevens