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MedicalBrief passes 50,000 subscribers mark…

After starting with all of 132 subscribers to its first free weekly e-newsletter seven years ago, MedicalBrief this week broke the magical 50,000 figure.

Now the highest-circulation health sector publication in South Africa, MedicalBrief welcomed as its 50,000th subscriber Dr Florence Tleane, a GP in Katlehong, Gauteng. Dr Tleane, who qualified in 1984 and first worked in an East Rand public hospital before going into private practice, told MedicalBrief in an interview that practitioners are “operating in a medically, socially and emotionally hostile environment”.

After seeing the occasional forwarded copy, she decided to subscribe because “MedicalBrief is a quick, efficient way of keeping up to date with developments in the sector”. “As a GP, under huge time and work pressure, anything that helps relieve the pressure of keeping informed is a blessing.”

“What I really like, also, is that MedicalBrief gives not just one view on a topic. It gives several opinions and links to the original articles, so that we can check the source material.”

A rough analysis — the provision of occupational and geographical information on the subscription form is voluntary — of the last few hundred most recent subscribers, shows that 90% were South Africa resident, with 8% from elsewhere in Africa. There were subscriptions also from Mexico, United States, Canada, Fiji, Belarus, Poland and the US Outlying Islands.

Around 30% of these new subscribers were medical or allied health practitioners (as well as four traditional healers); 20% were in the legal field; 15% were in private health sector management; 12% were working at hospitals or clinics; 12% were working for government ministries or state entities; and 10% were academics or worked for research organisations.

Of MedicalBrief’s 50,000 subscribers, just over 37,000 are identifiable as medical doctors, in both the state and private sectors and 5,000 are allied health professionals. The MedicalBrief website draws around 135,000 visitors a month. Its sponsored webinars last year last year were attended by up to 3,200 practitioners at a time.

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