Welcome to Issue Four of Medicine and Meaning! In this issue we continue our growth and development which follows many changes in UAMS leadership, journal editorial staff, and submission guidelines. We thank you, our readers, for the support and for your kind company along the way.
At the helm in the College of Medicine we now have Dr. Susan Smyth, who became our new Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of the College of Medicine at UAMS. Previously, Dr. Smyth was Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of the Gill Heart and Vascular Institute at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. She is a nationally known cardiologist and translational scientist and brings brilliance and compassion to our university. Read her interview in the “Conversations” column of this issue.
At the journal editorial level, we are excited to have Dr. Paulette Mehta as Editor-in-Chief. She will be working with an outstanding team, some of whom are also changing roles. Mr. Chris Fettes will be succeeding Dr. Mehta as Poetry Section Chief and Dr. Allen Sherman will be joining as Editor of the 55-word story column. Ms. Metu Osele will continue as Fiction Section Editor, Mr. Eric Moorehead as Non-Fiction Section Editor, Dr. Bill Ventres as Conversations Editor, and Dr. Vicki Flynn as Images Editor.
Dr. Erick Messias will continue as our Founding Editor as he pivots in his career to be both Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at UAMS and also Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at St. Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine. Dr. Messias will continue his work in editing and will lead efforts to develop collaborations between UAMS and SLU.
There are other changes too! In line with practices at other medical school journals, we have opened submissions to friends and colleagues outside of UAMS. You will see this change as you read through the pages of this new issue. There are writers from different parts of this country and from around the world. Writers also range in age and stage from students to retired professors, giving us a wide range of humanity from which to draw knowledge and wisdom.
Our current issue has something for everybody. Our nonfiction section features reflections on COVID-19, and two memoirs, one about a late life reconciliation between father and son and another on an uncle’s inspiration to his nephew to study medicine. In the fiction section, we feature stories relating to siblings dealing with a dying father, a pregnant woman anticipating her baby, and domestic violence. The images section carries vivid photographs, paintings, drawings and now—for the first time—videos. The poetry section features work from our burgeoning poets here at UAMS and some from the Poetry Roundtable of Arkansas, UA-Little Rock, and elsewhere. All these contributions are beautiful and wise.
We hope you enjoy this issue and that you will send us your best work for our next issue in the spring of 2022!
Paulette Mehta, UAMS, Editor-in-Chief
Erick Messias, UAMS & SLU, St. Louis, Missouri, Founding Editor
Eric Moorehead, UAMS, Non-Fiction Editor
Metu Osele, UAMS, Fiction Editor
Vicki Flynn, UAMS, Images Editor
Chris Fettes, UAMS, Poetry Editor
Allen C. Sherman, UAMS, 55-Word Story Editor
Bill Ventres, UAMS, Conversations Editor
Chris Lesher, UAMS, Website Content Editor