Mark Hudak, MD, a professor and chair of pediatrics and chief of neonatology at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville, has been appointed to a prestigious position with the American Academy of Pediatrics. He will become the editor of the monthly Case Reports section of “Pediatrics,” the AAP’s official journal. In this role, he will serve as one of the publication’s six associate editors.
His appointment begins July 1, 2018, and runs through June 30, 2021.
“I was very surprised to get the nod to assume this position when it opened up,” said Hudak, who has been a member of AAP for 30 years and has served on the editorial board for nearly three years.
“One of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of being a board member — other than reviewing about one article per week — is the opportunity to participate on a weekend call with the editor and deputy editor,” he said. “During those calls, I provide input on the disposition of about 30 to 40 manuscripts that week.”
Hudak will now take on the additional responsibility of overseeing submissions of medical case reports, which detail the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of an individual patient. He says they are valuable because they:
- Elevate the caliber of care
- Present exceptions to current paradigms
- Promote hypothesis-testing research
- Provide early alerts about unexpected adverse consequences, and
- Suggest new therapies
However, Hudak says case reports are being published less often nowadays. That’s due to the ascendant importance of journals’ “impact factor,” which compares journals based on how frequently their articles are cited by manuscripts published in all other journals. Because of that, Hudak says journals have raised the bar to select “the very finest” manuscripts that are likely to be widely cited.
“Although some case reports may have a greater audience than many original scientific articles, case reports do not tend to be cited as frequently. This works to diminish the impact factor for a journal,” Hudak said. “Nonetheless, case reports are a valuable way for residents, fellows and junior faculty to become engaged in academic publications.”
“Pediatrics” and AAP impact
According to its website, “Pediatrics” is the world’s leading pediatrics resource and the most-cited journal in pediatric medicine. It’s also among the top-100 most-cited journals in all of science and medicine. Hudak said his involvement with “Pediatrics,” and AAP overall, has proven to be invaluable over the years.
“The AAP has afforded me unique opportunities to develop as a teacher, advocate, academician, crafter of policy and as a leader in my discipline,” he said. “The experience has been priceless.”
Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Chief, Division of Neonatology; Associate Medical Director NICU Wolfson Children's Hospital; Associate Dean for Managed Care