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50 Top Medical Journals by Medical Specialty

June 18, 2018

Physician reading a medical journal

Updated June 7, 2023

Do doctors still read medical journals? Yes, they do. But they may not be reading a printed journal from cover to cover like in years past. Just as medical science and practice continue to evolve, so has the delivery of clinical research and other medical content.

Physicians now have more choices to access peer-reviewed research than ever before. Many medical journals have become specialized, while publishing houses and medical societies have expanded their notion of what a journal can and should be. 

In addition to print issues, today’s top medical journals include comprehensive websites with digital storehouses and downloadable apps for easier access to the information. Videos, webinars, podcasts and other elements have also been added to illuminate the research findings or focus on key topics.

So, with thousands of medical journals continuing to pump out original research, reviews and opinions, which journals should physicians be reading?

The following lists highlight some of best medical journals across specialties, based on impact factor, citations and other measurements of influence.

50 Leading Journals Across Medical Specialties

5 Top Medical Journals - General/Multiple Specialties

These prestigious journals have been publishing clinical research and practice articles for decades—or even centuries. Many now have “spin-off” journals on specific topics relating to medical specialties, with some highlighted in the lists below.

New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) (since 1812) – The flagship of the NEJM Group, owned and published by the Massachusetts Medical Society.

JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association (since 1883) – Published by the American Medical Association, and headlining the JAMA Network of journals.

The Lancet (since 1823) – Celebrating its 200th year of publication in 2023. Published by Elsevier, with 24 journals across The Lancet Group.

The BMJ - British Medical Journal (since 1840) – Published by BMJ, a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Medical Association. 

Nature Medicine (since 1995) – Part of the Nature Portfolio, published by Nature Publishing Group.

5 Top Internal Medicine Journals

Annals of Internal Medicine – American College of Physicians 

The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology – Elsevier 

JAMA Internal Medicine – American Medical Association 

Journal of Internal Medicine – Wiley, on behalf of the Association for Publication of JIM 

Hypertension – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, on behalf of the American Heart Association

5 Top Family Practice Journals

Annals of Family Medicine – Annals of Family Medicine, Inc. 

BMC Primary Care – BioMed Central 

Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine – American Board of Family Medicine 

BJGP - British Journal of General Practice – Royal College of General Practitioners

Family Medicine – Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (Official Journal)

5 Top Pediatrics Journals

JAMA Pediatrics – American Medical Association 

The Lancet: Child and Adolescent Health – Elsevier

Pediatrics – American Academy of Pediatrics (Official Journal) 

Journal of Adolescent Health – Elsevier, Official Journal of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine 

The Journal of Pediatrics – Elsevier

5 Top OB/GYN Journals

Human Reproduction Update  – Oxford University Press 

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology – Elsevier

Human Reproduction – Oxford University Press 

Obstetrics & Gynecology – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; Official Journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 

Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology – Wiley; Official Journal of the International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology 

5 Top Gastroenterology Journals

Gut – BMJ Publishing Group 

Gastroenterology – W.B. Saunders, Official Journal of the AGA Institute 

American Journal of Gastroenterology – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, on behalf of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) 

Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology – Nature Publishing Group 

Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology – Elsevier, on behalf of the American Gastroenterological Association

5 Top Oncology Journals

CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians – Wiley, for the American Cancer Society

The Lancet Oncology – Elsevier 

Journal of Clinical Oncology – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, for the American Society of Clinical Oncology 

Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology – Nature Publishing Group

JAMA Oncology – American Medical Association

5 Top Psychiatry Journals

JAMA Psychiatry – American Medical Association 

World Psychiatry – Wiley; Official Journal of the World Psychiatric Association

American Journal of Psychiatry - American Psychiatric Association Publishing, Inc. 

The Lancet Psychiatry – Elsevier 

Alzheimer’s & Dementia – Wiley, Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association

5 Top Cardiology Journals

Journal of the American College of Cardiology – Elsevier, for the American College of Cardiology

Circulation – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, for the American Heart Association

JAMA Cardiology – American Medical Association

Nature Reviews Cardiology – Nature Publishing Group

European Journal of Heart Failure – Wiley, for the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology

5 Top Surgery Journals

Annals of Surgery – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

JAMA Surgery – American Medical Association

International Journal of Surgery – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Journal of Vascular Surgery – Mosby, for the Society for Vascular Surgery

Journal of the American College of Surgeons – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, for ACS

1Source: SJR (Scimago Journal and Country Rank)

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