AAPHP News - News Items
1. HOLD the date - AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH PHYSICIANS
* Fall General Meeting *
Item 2 - JMI at the Crossroads
What follows is the JMI material to be considered by the AAPHP and ACPM Board meetings in November:
1. Conclusion: The JMI, in its current operating mode,
is not viable on a long term basis.
The JMI formally began in 1995, with the first JMI-related presentation at one of the annual Prevention (now Preventive Medicine) meeting. The web site posting jobs and ads abstracted from journals and web sites went on line in October 2001. Over its first 15 months, it built up from 2 posted ads and 57 abstracted ads (number of hits unrecorded the first four months) to 50 job postings and 191 ads abstracted, in January 2003, followed by its peak of 742 visits to the page the following month. Since then it has declined to about 25 ads and about 400 hits, this last month.
The decline appears (with near certainty) to be related to the decision made in mid-February 2003, to temporarily discontinue the abstraction of ads from other journals and web sites. Until that time (and continuing through April of this year), I, as the person managing the JMI, received a constant flow of thank-you calls and e-mails, and kudos from both job applicants and employers. These ceased within a few months of discontinuation of the abstraction of the ads. They were discontinued because of the pressure of other pressures on my time, and out of frustration from the inability to secure the desired long-term and consistent volunteers.
The original plan was to have volunteers from residency programs and other agencies take over the abstraction of ads from other journals and web sites -- requiring each of four to six volunteer agencies to contribute about an hour a week of staff time to this endeavor.
The original plan was to build the site up to the point where it was getting about 1,000 hits per month, then market ads on the site to executive recruitment firms and selected others to generate the revenues to cover the ongoing costs of JMI site management and recoup costs to date, over a period of a year or so. We never reached that point, although, the experience to date suggests that this was a viable proposal. I had even secured statements of interest from a number of executive recruitment firms in placing ads with us, when we could present them with a viable Internet venue.
Experience with the site and the posting of the ads, this past two years has confirmed my initial impression that charging for the posting of ads would basically kill the site and the JMI by drastically reducing the number of ads posted. Please keep in mind that the vast majority of jobs that could benefit from physicians with PM training are advertised for physicians without PM training or for non-physicians with public health training. The primary purpose of the JMI is to create a situation in which employers will begin to specify a requirement or preference for physicians with PM training for those jobs that could benefit from such expertise.
Given current circumstances -- Kim Buttery (AAPHP Webmaster) and I feel the time has come to either build the JMI web page to a point of long term viability and financial self-sufficiency -- or abandon this effort, after having given ACPM and AAPHP six months to (by whatever means) provide, create or instigate the staff time needed to upgrade the site to full potential. As noted above, this is estimated at about 4 hours per week for the journal and web site abstraction -- with the goal of having 150 to 400 job posting on the site at any point in time -- with about 50 from direct postings and the rest from the journal and web site abstraction.
Please keep in mind that, from the very beginning, the goal of the JMI is to strengthen the specialty of Preventive Medicine by increasing the number and quality of jobs that express a requirement or preference for Physicians with PM Board Certification. It was never intended as a source of revenue for AAPHP or ACPM beyond the amount to make the JMI web page financially self-sufficient.
I am sharing this communication with those of you who will be participating in the October 2 AAPHP Board Meeting and/or the October 6 AAPHP/ACPM conference call. If, at these meetings, the problem is solved -- we can go from there. Otherwise, I will be sharing these concerns with the entire JMI Advisory Group (about 50 persons) to solicit any suggestions they may have to offer.
Joel L. Nitzkin, MD, MPH