The BMJ  
Recent front cover of The BMJ.jpg
Edited byFiona Godlee
Publication details
Former name(s)
Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal, British Medical Journal, BMJ
BMJ (United Kingdom)
Immediate, research articles only
LicenseCreative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License
alt· alt Paid subscription required)
1756-1833 (web)

The BMJ is a weekly peer-reviewed medical journal. It is one of the world's oldest general medical journals. Originally called the British Medical Journal, the title was officially shortened to BMJ in 1988, and then changed to The BMJ in 2014.[1] The journal is published by the global knowledge provider BMJ, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association. The editor-in-chief of The BMJ is Fiona Godlee, who was appointed in February 2005.[2]


The journal began publishing on 3 October 1840 as the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal and quickly attracted the attention of physicians around the world through its publication of high-impact original research articles and unique case reports.[3] The BMJ's first editors were P. Hennis Green, lecturer on the diseases of children at the Hunterian School of Medicine, who also was its founder and Robert Streeten of Worcester, a member of the PMSA council.[citation needed]

Image of the cover of 1st issue of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal
Cover of the 1st issue of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal

The first issue of the British Medical Journal was 16 pages long and contained three simple woodcut illustrations. The longest items were the editors' introductory editorial and a report of the Provincial Medical and Surgical Association's Eastern Branch. Other pages included a condensed version of Henry Warburton's medical reform bill, book reviews, clinical papers, and case notes. There were ​2 12 columns of advertisements. Inclusive of stamp duty it cost 7d, a price which remained until 1844. In their main article, Green and Streeten noted that they had "received as many advertisements (in proportion to the quantity of letter press) for our first number, as the most popular Medical Journal, (The Lancet) after seventeen years of existence."[3]

In their introductory editorial and later statements, Green and Streeten defined "the main objects of promotion of which the Provincial Medical and Surgical Journal is established". Summarised, there were two clear main objectives: the advancement of the profession, especially in the provinces and the dissemination of medical knowledge. Green and Streeten also expressed interest in promoting public well-being as well as maintaining 'medical practitioners, as a class in that rank of society which, by their intellectual acquirements, by their general moral character, and by the importance of the duties entrusted to them, they are justly entitled to hold'.[3]

The BMJ published the first centrally randomised controlled trial.[4] The journal also carried the seminal papers on the causal effects of smoking on health[5][6] and lung cancer and other causes of death in relation to smoking.[7]

For a long time, the journal's sole competitor was The Lancet, also based in the UK, but with increasing globalisation, The BMJ has faced tough competition from other medical journals, particularly The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.[8]

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български: BMJ
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فارسی: بی‌ام‌جی
Bahasa Indonesia: BMJ
Nederlands: BMJ
norsk: The BMJ
polski: The BMJ
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русский: BMJ
Simple English: British Medical Journal
suomi: BMJ
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