Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

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The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (JP&S; called the Medical Sentinel until 2003) is the journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a politically conservative association of physicians, medical professionals and students, patients and others. While it claims to meet all the standards for a legitimate academic journal, it does not in fact appear to be one.


The Medical Sentinel (and presumably the JP&S, as they don't seem to have a separate mission statement) is, according to its web site:

  • the official, peer-reviewed journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)
  • committed to publishing scholarly articles in defense of the practice of private medicine, the tenets and principles set forth in the Oath of Hippocrates, individually-based medical ethics, and the sanctity of the patient-doctor relationship.
  • dedicated to the pursuit of liberty, free markets, and integrity in medical research, particularly research impacting on current socio-economic and political issues affecting public policy in general and health care in particular. Political correctness, dogmatism and orthodoxy will be challenged with logical reasoning, valid data, and the scientific method (when applicable) in the pursuit of free inquiry, the free exchange of ideas, and the eternal quest for truth.
  • The Medical Sentinel will strive to counteract misinformation, correct errors of fact and logic in the medical literature, and to aptly defend patient-oriented, individually-based, free market medical care.

Scientific Validity

Articles in the journal are subject to a double-blind peer-review process, according to ambiguously-referenced text in Wikipedia, but the journal does not appear to be considered respectable by the scientific establishment (see Wikipedia for missing sources):

  • The journal is not listed in the major literature databases of MEDLINE/PubMed nor the Web of Science.
  • The World Health Organization found that a 2003 article on vaccination published in the journal had "a number of limitations which undermine the conclusions drawn by the authors." [1]
  • Quackwatch lists JP&S as an untrustworthy, non-recommended periodical. [2]
  • Investigative journalist Brian Deer described JP&S thusly:

[JP&S is the] house magazine of a right-wing American fringe group, the Arizona-based Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which campaigns against US vaccination policies. The association is also vocal in opposing moves to combat fraud by private doctors, and medical professional efforts to reduce deaths from domestic firearms. In 2005, Time Magazine reported that the association had only 4,000 members. Although cited by Private Eye in stories attacking MMR, the association's journal - recently renamed from the Medical Sentinel, presumably for the purpose of attempting to give its ideologically slanted material the aura of science - is barely credible as an independent forum for such material. No objective medical scientist with important information of any standard would submit it to such a publication, unless they couldn't get it published anywhere else.

from Bitter Heather Mills defends credibility as Wakefield anti-MMR campaign crumbles