Heart 95:e3 doi:10.1136/hrt.2009.186338
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The role of European national journals in education

The Editors’ Network of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) defined its mission in the statement published across the national cardiac journals of Europe in 2008.1 The network is now considering ways in which their publications can have a broader influence in the field of postgraduate education.

The need for cardiologists to continue to learn throughout their professional life will remain essential. Indeed recognition of the need for postgraduate education was highlighted by Hippocrates long before it was espoused by the medication educationalists and public relations departments. “Ars longa, vita brevis” is the Latin translation of Hippocrates’ recognition that for doctors the need to continue learning the art of medicine lasts for all their professional life. In mediaeval times, the foundation of modern day ethical medical practice was laid within the heart of the universities; the long-term future of the medical profession was founded in the concept of doctors as men, and women, of learning and knowledge, rather than the purveyors of non-scientifically based remedies.

So how does the modern day editor of a national cardiology journal, crouched over his computer screen, relate to his mediaeval predecessor, the Abbot in charge of the university library selecting the books for scholarly enterprise? The most obvious difference, of course, is that the internet provides modern day authors with …