Research and physician innovation are the life blood of medicine. Research journals are how we doctors vet new ideas with our learned colleagues, as every article published goes through peer review. This means that the article is read and extensively reviewed by a panel of experts for accuracy before it’s allowed to be published. When this is done, the article is finally published in the National Library of Medicine, which serves as a massive computerized repository of information for other doctors.
Writing articles for publication can be challenging for a practicing physician. First, sometimes with patient and other responsibilities there simply aren’t that many hours in a day. Second, the process of peer review can be a give and take that can drag on for months. Third, practicing physicians rarely have the support staff present in a university setting. So why do it? Because this the process by which new therapies become accepted as the standard of care. For stem cell use in orthopedic and musculoskeletal injuries, we care deeply about getting the research foundation published in the journals so that this field evolves from a nascent movement to its next logical step-commonly practiced medicine.
Above is our new review paper that was just published this week in the Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. It covers the use of stem cells to treat many different orthopedic conditions. This type of article can help other doctors discover for the first time that stem cells may be the future. For those who have heard of using stem cells in this way, but were staying clear until more was published, it may be the spark they need to begin researching this field. So in many ways, papers like this are like seeds planted, they tend to grow over time as more and more physicians see the possibilities.