Editing team's latest project a 'by the book' success

Image with caption: Paul Paulman, M.D.
Paul Paulman, M.D.
It was just an idea on the drive to a medical meeting in Kansas City.

"Hey, we should write a book."

Paul Paulman, M.D., and colleagues Jeff Susman, M.D., and Cheryl Abboud submitted their manuscript -- "Precepting Medical Students in the Office" -- to four publishers before getting a bite.

But that idea -- a handy reference guide for family medicine teachers -- was only the beginning.

In fact, Dr. Paulman says he had no idea what he was getting into.

picture disc.
The UNMC Family Medicine editing team -- now made up of Dr. Paulman, his wife Audrey Paulman, M.D., Nate Falk, M.D., Jeff Harrison, M.D., Kimberly Jarzynka, M.D., Laeth Nasir, M.D., formerly of UNMC and now the chair of family medicine at Creighton, and occasional others -- recently completed its 12th project, the third edition of "Taylor's Differential Diagnosis Manual," released earlier this year.

The books, which have been translated to Chinese, Turkish and other languages, are medical reference books, designed for primary care providers.

Despite the team's productivity, there was no great rush for a new project after the first book was released in 2000, Dr. Paulman said.

Then he got a call to do the "Family Medicine Clerkship Guide" in 2005.

He had written a book chapter for Robert Taylor, M.D., a big name in medical publishing for works such as "Taylor's Principles of Family Medicine."

"Apparently, I got the chapter in on time and didn't cause him too much trouble, so he recommended me to his publisher to do some other things," Dr. Paulman said.

After that project -- with co-editors Dr. Susman, Jeffrey Harrison, M.D., Dr. Audrey Paulman, Katherine Finkelstein and Robert Zatechka, M.D. -- the team solidified, going on to produce works such as "Taylor's10-Minute Diagnosis Manual," "Signs and Symptoms in Family Medicine" and other titles or editions.

Finding chapter writers has become easier as the team has become more established, Dr. Paulman said, and editing team members often write some chapters themselves.

"If the universities didn't value (getting published) as scholarly activity, recruiting writers would be very difficult," Dr. Paulman acknowledged. "What's your compensation -- you get a copy of the book?"

Still, for the team the effort is worth it. Not for money -- royalties go to charity -- but for the experience of a job well done.

"The big thing for the team is we all hope it's been useful for the people in the field," Dr. Paulman said.


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October 15, 2013 at 3:26 PM

Way to go.. So cool

Peggy S. Finch
October 15, 2013 at 8:55 AM

How about a chance to meet the authors and a book signing at the UNMC Bookstore?