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Who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks?

By Richard Hoey

OK, so Pulse is 50 this year, but we're using our middle age to find new ways of serving general practice

Pulse, as I wrote in this blog last week, is a venerable old lady of 50 this year – we've been around nearly as long as the NHS.

But just as general practice has undergone some pretty dramatic changes over the last half-century, so medical journalism is also fairly unrecognisable from back then, and if anything the pace of change is accelerating.

These days, GPs don't always want to wait for the next paper issue to be posted through their door to find out about the latest pay squeeze or swine flu row.

And they are unlikely to remain satisfied solely with the static horizons of a print product when out there is the chaotically flexible world of the internet.

All that, and the fact that print advertising is no longer the cash cow it once was, have prompted us to have a think about how best to deliver Pulse's news, views, clinical and financial content.

The print magazine is of course here to stay, and we're actually rather proud here that it is has provided a service to GPs for so long.

But we're keen to take the next step, as the Guardian for instance very successfully has, from being a print product with a website to being a publication that exists on paper and in pixels.

The first issue, out this week, is still very recognisably an issue of Pulse, complete with big blue banner and with all the usual sections present and correct.

But it's also very explicit about the fact that plenty of this week's content isn't in the issue in its entirety (the New Year review by GP leaders for example), or in some cases doesn't appear in print at all (such as the additional In Practice content).

Interactive stuff – quizzes, forums, fancy maps and the like - just seems to work better online, and we're particularly keen to use the site to provide CPD in the run-up to revalidation.

So in this issue, you'll find clinical features as normal, but a couple of them have CPD questions online, and if you answer them, we'll send you a certificate for your revalidation folder.

That's the plan, but it's very much a work in progress and I'm really keen to hear what you think. What do you reckon about the tweaks we've made to the magazine?

And as for the site… well if you're reading this you've obviously explored it at least, but what do you make of it?

Let me know in the comment box at the bottom of this blog, or email

By Richard Hoey, Pulse editor