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This question has been on my mind since I took over the job as Editor-in-Chief in January: “Who are we?” In the process of reformulating and revising the editorial structure and looking toward marketing the Journal to databases, subscribers, and advertisers, this question keeps coming up: “What is the unique niche of the Cardiopulmonary Physical Therapy Journal?”
I have struggled to answer this question, just as the physical therapy profession as a whole is struggling with defining our identity—most recently in APTA's branding campaign. I find it difficult to answer this question without saying what I am not, as much as finding it difficult to define what I am.
In the back of my head, I hear my PhD advisor admonishing me for not having a clear, specific research agenda. The problem is, I can be interested in so many, many things, as one look at my CV will reveal! In my travels and interactions with other cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapists, I sense I am not alone in this dilemma. We don't want to be constrained by traditional definitions or methods.
So, this brings me to introducing the current issue of the Journal. As you peruse these pages, you will notice the great diversity present. We have the Linda Crane Memorial Lectureship, in which Mary Massery challenges us to think of all systems and their effects on our patients. We also have an opinion paper regarding the use of telehealth technology in cardiovascular and pulmonary practice. Associate Editor, Sean Collins reviews the literature regarding occupational factors and risks of cardiovascular disease. In these pieces, I sense a theme that cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy is transcendent of practice setting, body systems, and otherwise, difficult to pigeon-hole.
I think that is one of our strengths—“all patients are cardiopulmonary patients”—as so many of our leaders have stated. We have a unique ability to examine patients, analyze work environments, and educate students through a cardiovascular and pulmonary lens. Perhaps that is our niche. I hope our Journal reflects that perspective to our members, nonmember subscribers, advertisers and others who look our direction. My challenge as Editor-in-Chief is to convey that uniqueness to all comers.
Finally, to emphasize my desire to represent the diversity of cardiovascular and pulmonary physical therapy, I want to call your attention to the announcement (page 36) highlighting our new features categories. If you feel you have something to contribute in any of these areas, please contact Sue Scherer, our Features Editor.
Enjoy the diversity of who we are!