Distribute electrons, not atoms

Alberta Doctors' Digest is going all-digital

June 15, 2017

Marvin Polis | Editor-in-Chief, Alberta Doctors' Digest

Contributed by: Marvin Polis | Editor-in-Chief

In our last readership survey, a majority of Alberta Medical Association (AMA) members indicated they would be interested in digital distribution of Alberta Doctors’ Digest (ADD). We looked into it and, wow, this makes a whole lot of sense! So we’re going to give it a go, starting early next year.

With six printed issues annually, we consume almost three million pages of paper. Not to mention the envelopes, postage and fossil fuels required to ship all these atoms to members’ offices. I’m not sure how many trees that represents, but it’s probably not prudent in the age of digital, especially when our readership surveys report that the vast majority of members cherry-pick articles of interest and then dispose of the publication (hopefully recycled).

With digital distribution, we’ll be able to enhance ADD beyond the printed word. We are exploring the possibilities of rich media such as video, audio and greater use of photography. After all, pictures and sound are often a great way to tell a story!

At the same time, we recognize that some members will always prefer reading, so that option will remain. You will be able to read ADD on screen. If you prefer, you’ll be able to print the entire issue (or just certain stories) if you want a tactile experience. Hey, some people still like the feel and smell of paper. We get it. So, we’ll send you electrons. You can still print the atoms if you want to.

As we plan the transition to a digital format, we are inviting AMA members to assist by participating in small focus groups by phone, video or email. We want your feedback to ensure we get this right. So if you’re interested, please contact Daphne Andrychuk at daphne.andrychuk@albertadoctors.org.

Marvin Polis
Alberta Doctors’ Digest

The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.