BMJ is a partially open-access peer-reviewed medical journal. Originally called the British Medical Journal, the title was officially shortened to BMJ in 1988. The journal is published by the BMJ Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association. The editor in chief of BMJ is Fiona Godlee, who was appointed in February 2005.
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. 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.
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.