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What are medical journals and types

What are medical journals and types

What are Medical Journals?

Medical Journals are the pots of crucial information that are very beneficial to medical professionals or researchers trying to traverse into the medical territory.

Medical journals are a collection of information that contains all the relevant information in a particular field. Think of it as a bookshelf filled with all the useful books on one particular topic.

A medical journal can have all the relevant and latest research for one school of thought or even a crossover of many schools of thought. Journals that cover many medical specialties are sometimes called general medical journals.

List of medical journals


History of Medical Journals

It all started in 1665 with the formation of England’s ‘Royal Society’. They were the pioneers of the scientific school of thought.

They coined the idea of having peer-reviewed scientific journals which resulted in a whole new world filled with scientific knowledge and the countless journals that keep it alive and promote it. A fraction of these scientific journals is medical journals.

The original purpose of scientific and medical journals was to permit scientists and physicians to communicate with one another. A newer aim is to permit scientists and physicians to communicate with people who may not be trained as scientists or physicians to communicate with the world at large.


How have Medical Journals Evolved and their future?

When in 1665 the Royal Society in England published one of the first 2 scientific journals in the world: the "Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society."

The other being the "Journal des Savants" (Scholars) which appeared in France in the same year.

It all started going uphill from that day onwards. Because of these 2 journals in the field of medical science completely evolved into a thriving field. From these 2 journals are descended the many thousands of scientific periodicals today, including all those devoted to the biomedical sciences and medicine, whether they be in print or newer media such as the Internet. Now there are countless medical journals readily available that are extremely helpful.

It’s speculated that there will be more progress in the field of medical science and more journals will be available at the click of a button.


What are medical articles and how they’re different from medical articles?

Medical articles are short articles filled with very useful information about a particular scientific field. They consist of rich knowledge or a basic introduction of a topic that may be helpful in arousing interest and may require some further deep research to master it.

There are 6 basic different types of medical articles that can be found in medical journals


Original research

These are detailed studies reporting original research and are classified as primary literature. They include hypothesis, background study, methods, results, interpretation of findings, and a discussion of the possible implications.

Review article

These provide critical and constructive analysis of existing published literature in a field, through summary, analysis, and comparison, often identifying specific gaps or problems and providing recommendations for future research.

Clinical case studies

It presents the details of real patient cases from medical or clinical practice. The cases presented are usually those that contribute significantly to the existing knowledge on the field. The study is expected to discuss the signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of a disease.

Clinical trial

These are also specific to the field of medicine, clinical trials describe the methodology, implementation, and results of controlled studies, usually undertaken with large patient groups.

Perspective, opinion, and commentary

Perspective pieces are scholarly reviews of fundamental concepts or prevalent ideas in a field. These are usually essays that present a personal point of view critiquing widespread notions pertaining to a field.

Book review

Book reviews are published in most academic journals. The aim of a book review is to provide insight and opinion on recently published scholarly books.

What are the different categories of medical journals?

There are numerous categories of medical journals. These categories are based on the different fields of study in scientific medicine.

They have numerous journals that can be accessed to gain valuable scientific information to boost the understanding of that particular field or to help in carrying out one’s own research on a particular topic.

Each category of medical journal mentioned below is a separate field of medical science that has gone under at least 100 years of evolution filled with research and scrutiny which has helped shape it into an amazing subject filled with interesting and eye-opening knowledge. They are also known as Journals of specialty.

Few of the categories of medical journals are as follows

  • Allergy
  • Anesthesiology
  • Cleft palate and craniofacial anomalies
  • Dentistry
  • Pharmaceutical sciences
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics
  • Cardiology
  • Surgery
  • Pathology
  • Neurology
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Medicine
  • Urology
  • Rheumatology
  • Nephrology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Gynecology
  • Dermatology
  • Muscle health
  • Bone health
  • Endocrinology
  • Sexual Health
  • Geriatrics
  • Speech Pathology
  • Genetics
  • Diabetes
  • Palliative care
  • Gene Therapy
  • Epilepsy
  • Clinical research
  • Hepatology
  • Pain Management
  • Chronic Illness


These were some of the available categories on which you can gather medical journals to quench your thirst for further knowledge. You can find much more if you’re willing and determined to.


What are medical journals used for?

Medical journals are very useful pieces of information. You would know that we initially thought of them as pots of knowledge.

These pots of knowledge have many uses but we are gonna exclusively talk about 3 of them.

These 3 are the most crucial of all. The initial 2 of these are the reason they were created in the first place and the last one, the third one just happened through the years.

We have observed how the medical journals have evolved and we believe that they are just gonna blossom more.

Now you must know that these uses are carefully studied for but there can be other uses too that haven’t been noticed yet. 


The 3 primary functions of medical journals are 


Selecting and publishing relevant, high-quality research

This means that journals are documents filled with the latest research on medical topics that may change the future of medical science and help in diagnosing more diseases or employing new methods and techniques to diagnose them.

Supporting continuing professional development

Medical journals are known for changing the scenario of medical science and using an improved understanding of a subject matter to use more efficient and effective methods to improve upon the general health of society. And how does that happen? By improving the understanding of the medical professionals in our society that have the power to help us move past life-threatening diseases and issues. 

For example - Due to a better understanding of smallpox, we were able to eradicate it from the face of the earth.

Putting issues on the agenda

It’s been observed that medical journals have helped in putting crucial topics into perspective. 

Whenever some medical researcher gathers information and presents facts towards a new problem that could grow up into a really terrible scenario, then putting it on a medical journal and using it as a platform to grab eyeballs and help in saving humanity from that terrible scenario has been noticed.

These were just some of the few points in how medical journals can prove to be useful.


What are the types of Medical Journals?

Medical journals can be divided into 2 major types, each of which can be further divided into 2 subtypes. This division is critical in knowing how far the medical journals have come.
The 2 major types in which medical journals are divided are
  • Medicine Therapy Based
  • Specificity based


Now the 1st one is Medicine Therapy Based. This is further divided into subtypes which are very crucial to know.


Alternative and traditional medicine journals 

These journals are based on the use of medicinal techniques that aren’t modern and do not imply the use of modern medicines. Eg- Homeopathy, Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture, etc.

Modern medicinal journals

These journals are based on the use of modern medicinal techniques and imply the use of modern medicines. They depend on the development of modern medicinal practices.

Now the 2nd one is Specificity Based. This is further divided into two subtypes.


General medical journals

These journals are based on the types of topics it covers and what it doesn’t focus on one specific topic or category in the medical journals. It doesn’t fall into a single category or subcategory of the countless medical journals available. Eg - Indian Journal of Medical Research, The National Medicinal Journal Of India, etc.

Specific medical journals

These journals are based on one specific topic or category it covers. It falls into a single category or subcategory of the countless medical journals available. Eg - Toxicology, Dentistry, Psychiatry, etc.

Top Medical Journals list

A list of top 2 medical journals from all over the world - top medical journals list


1. The New England Journal of Medicine

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) is the world’s leading medical journal and website. Published continuously for over 200 years, NEJM delivers high-quality, peer-reviewed research and interactive clinical content to physicians, educators, and the global medical community more...


2. The Lancet

The Lancet is considered an authoritative voice in global medicine, with 1.8 million registered users worldwide. The Lancet’s 2013 impact factor is 39.207, ranking the journal second in the general medicine category more...

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