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Fam Med. 2003 Mar;35(3):195-201.

A physician peer support writing group.

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Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, British Columbia Women's Hospital and Health Centre, Vancouver, Canada.



Barriers to publication can be overcome through a peer support writing group in an academic department of family practice. This study describes the experience and outcomes of a writing group in a family practice department.


A writing group was established to provide collaboration in identifying potential research and/or writing projects, to assist individual faculty to complete unfinished work for submission, to match journals appropriate to the individual group member's work, and to provide peer support for faculty members through attention to group process. Resource materials included instructions for authors for various journals and writing support literature. Minutes were taken at each meeting, and the manuscripts presented were tracked. Individual publication records in CVs and citations in Index Medicus were used to generate pre-group and post-group publication records for group participants and nonparticipants.


The writing group met 23 times in 36 months. Attendance ranged from 3 to 10 participants. Fifty writing projects were discussed, and 12 of the discussed manuscripts were published in indexed journals. The seven most frequent attendees increased their publications as first author from one publication over the 3 years prior to the writing group to 10 publications over the first 3 years of the writing group. Comparison of the attendees' publication records with nonparticipant members of the department demonstrated an increase in publication success for participants.


A peer support writing group, emphasizing group process and respectful collaboration, has increased the publication frequency of faculty in a Canadian department of family practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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