IT always feels like a relief moving towards the end of the year, doesn’t it? Like somehow viruses and other global players will take a break just because the calendar is counting down. But if 2021 has taught us anything, it’s that pandemics don’t have much respect for summer holidays.

This is the last issue of InSight+ for 2021, and for us it’s been a productive year: 630 000 pageviews for the year to date, 251 000 unique users, and 52 000 subscribers to our weekly newsletter. Thank you for being part of those numbers and for your support through the year.

It’s unsurprising that COVID-19, vaccinations and the state of Australian hospitals have dominated our most popular articles in 2021:

  1. ED overcrowding, under-resourcing “worst in 30 years”
  2. Sydney avoids 4000 cases, but lockdown must be broadened
  3. Drug-related liver injury: call for better regulation of supplements
  4. Emergency physicians call for whole-of-system reform
  5. COVID-19 and vaccination in children
  6. Yumiko Kadota: quotas, unaccredited registrars and cultural shift
  7. Before you judge unvaccinated patients, read this
  8. Vaccination alone not enough to control COVID-19
  9. Rapid antigen testing key for asymptomatic screening
  10. COVID-19: vaccination or natural selection. Pick one!

We also produced 50 podcasts through the year on topics ranging from acute coronary syndromes through to wood heater pollution and everything in between. Here are our five most popular podcasts for you to revisit or discover:

  1. Brace for major COVID-19 outbreak, with Professor Nick Talley
  2. Cardiac complications of pre-Delta COVID-19, with Dr Kunwardeep Bhatia
  3. Quotas, unaccredited registrars and cultural shift, with Dr Yumiko Kadota
  4. Health for all by 2030, with Dr Sandro Demaio
  5. Sudden cardiac death in athletes, with Dr Jessica Orchard

My dream would be to record a podcast with Dr Anthony Fauci – if anyone out there has his phone number, send it my way!

Of course, InSight+ thrives on content from our parent journal, the MJA, and also from articles by a wide range of academics, clinicians, policymakers, and pundits. We don’t agree with them all, but it’s our brief to provide a forum for discussion and debate, and we’ve certainly done that through 2021.

To my journalists, Sarah Colyer and Caitlin Wright, a big thanks. Through lockdowns, home-schooling and lost toddler pants, they have produced consistently high-quality work, on deadline, and with a smile (usually!).

To the medical editors – Dr Alisha Dorrigan, Dr Francis Geronimo, Dr Tania Janusic, Dr Wendy Morgan, and Dr Liz Zuccala – goes much credit and thanks for their patience, perseverance, and insistence on evidence, in the face of their normal MJA workloads and COVID-19 pile-ons. Thanks go too, to my fabulous structural editor, Laura Teruel, who catches all those last-minute things that inevitably slip through as a deadline hurtles towards us.

Our regular contributors – Jane McCredie, Dr Will Cairns, Dr Sarah White, the good folk of Doctors for the Environment Australia, Dr Seb Rosenberg and colleagues at the Brain and Mind Centre, Associate Professor Vicki Kotsirilos, Dr Simon Judkins, Dr Aniello Iannuzzi – have been stalwarts, and touchstones for the issues that are of importance to the medical community. Dr Judkins in particular highlighted the dire state of emergency departments around the country, and clearly touched a nerve.

We’ve had many first-time contributors bringing a wide variety of topics and views. Long may that continue.

We’re pooped! But we’ll be back refreshed and ready to crack on from our first issue of 2022, on 17 January. If you have a moment over summer, feel free to drop me a line at and let us know which topics you’d like to see us focus on. We’re always happy for constructive feedback.

From all of us here at InSight+, thank you for continued support, and we wish you a happy, safe summer celebrating whichever festival is your tradition.

Cate Swannell is a journalist with 33 years’ experience. She has been the editor of InSight+ since 2015, and is also the news and online editor of the Medical Journal of Australia.



The statements or opinions expressed in this article reflect the views of the authors and do not represent the official policy of the AMA, the MJA or InSight+ unless so stated.

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