I am honored and delighted to be writing the first of what I hope will be many editorials for Contemporary OB/GYN. Honored in part due to the legacy of the magazine – following in the steps of Drs. John T. Queenan and Charles J. Lockwood. As the founding Editor in Chief, Dr. Queenan developed a treasured resource for learners, practitioners, and educators. His successor, Dr. Lockwood, added two decades of success along with national publishing awards. I feel the weight of their incredible foresight and accomplishments in bringing Contemporary OB/GYN to the prominence it holds. Further, in a time of unprecedented national chaos, the opportunity to provide a voice and guidance is humbling.
I am also honored and delighted as I know Contemporary OB/GYN to be a leader in disseminating practical information to ob/gyns caring for patients. Having the ability to participate in such an endeavor is wonderful. As a past member of Contemporary OB/GYN’s editorial board, I live and believe in the magazine’s guiding principles: to provide concise, clear, and simple information on complex topics, decipher the myriad of new studies and data, and provide context to understand how and if they should change our care and management. I am eager to continue our partnerships with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and other professional societies to provide a venue through which they can disseminate their guidelines and opinions.
My vision for Contemporary OB/GYN is simple: to build on our strengths, adapt to current learners, address topical issues by experts in the field, and expand venues for information dissemination. We will maintain the caliber of the publication – credible peer-reviewed sources providing clear, concise, plain-language insight on topics of daily interest to ob/gyns in day-to-day practice. I am eager to expand our online presence and create multiple modalities for learning.
As an example of timely topics, this issue features an article by Drs. Sarah Dotters-Katz and Brenna Hughes on COVID-19, the coronavirus – a pandemic and national emergency – that has challenged us in ways unprecedented in our lifetime. The impact on communities has been stark – schools closed, colleges cancelling all in-person classes and moving to remote learning for the next semester, community events, places of worship, and gatherings cancelled. In order to work we are challenged to find care for our children, and many people are not working due to these changes, impacting financial stability.
It is critical that we all keep abreast of the ever-changing guidelines for COVID-19 as we grapple with the pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified those at highest risk: older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease.1 We may have patients who are high risk, and equally important, our low-risk patients may be in contact with these individuals. We recognize that they include some of our patients and – equally importantly – are often in regular contact with our patients. Therefore, preventing disease in all of our patients is essential. Furthermore, although the available studies on COVID-19 in pregnancy do not suggest an increased risk for pregnant women, they are small. The physiologic and immunologic changes in pregnancy are known to be associated with a heightened susceptibility to viral respiratory illnesses and some of those illnesses, such as influenza, are more severe in pregnancy. Thus, extra vigilance for our pregnant women is important.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coronavirus (COVID-19) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2Findex.html Accessed March 17, 2020.
- World Health Organization. WHO Recommendations on antenatal care for a positive pregnancy experience (2016) https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/250796/9789241549912-eng.pdf;jsessionid=ADB5DEAC531BDEFC48F781DE0288E616?sequence=1 Accessed March 17, 2020.
- Clinicaltrials.gov. Accessed March 17, 2020.
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women ) https://www.nichd.nih.gov/about/advisory/PRGLAC Accessed March 17, 2020.