From the Editor
Feb 2015


Audiey C. Kao, MD, PhD
AMA J Ethics. 2015;17(2):107. doi: 10.1001/virtualmentor.2015.17.2.fred1-1502.


How many people do you know whose name has five vowels and one consonant? As someone who has such a first name, I have acquired a sincere appreciation for its uncommonness. While there were many times during my childhood when I wished my name was Andy or Steve, I’ve never seriously considered changing my name. Therefore, the decision to change our journal name, Virtual Mentor (VM), did not come easily for me. That said, the VM editors and editorial board believe that this new name more fully captures our subject matter and publishing roots. The new name of our journal is the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics (JOE).

While our name will be different, the editorial mission of our journal remains unchanged. We are committed to helping medical students and physicians make better, more ethical decisions when confronted with challenging circumstances during the everyday course of their professional lives. This commitment is reflected in the core articles of every monthly issue of our journal—ethics cases that focus on difficult situations that a student or physician is likely to face. Each case is accompanied by expert commentaries that offer practical guidance and foster professional reflection.

Like all journal editors, we do not take for granted our independence to freely explore issues of our choosing. It is our duty as editors of this journal to shine a light on topics that sometimes will not reflect positively on the behavior of physicians and the relationship between medicine and society. If we don’t illuminate these matters, we are not doing our jobs.

To VM’s readers, contributors, and reviewers, I appreciate your continuing support of our journal and am eager to engage with all of you as we enter the next chapter in the life of JOE.

As always, I welcome your comments at [email protected].



AMA J Ethics. 2015;17(2):107.



The viewpoints expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.