The field of medicine is vast and there is a huge amount of research and clinical trials being carried out all over the world. The best way to stay abreast of cutting edge research is by sifting through scientific journals which are readily available in print and online. Most medical journals are peer reviewed, thus maintaining the standard and quality of the content.

We bring you the top medical journals with the highest impact factor in medical decision making. They are journals which have decades of history backing them and have become the gold standard in medicine.

But for physicians and medical students it’s not just quality, cost also comes into the picture. It is equally important to know how much these journals cost, since some of them do cost a lot.

Here are the top 5 medical journals in the world:


Published by the Massachusetts Medical Society, it is one of the oldest and most widely read medical journals. This is a peer reviewed journal which was first published in 1821 and is one of the most influential journals. This journal has the highest impact factor in clinical medicine. The impact factor was 54.42 in 2013 according to Journal Citations Reports, and this is the first journal to cross the 50 mark. It is a weekly periodical that helps healthcare professionals bridge the gap between clinical science and clinical practice, thereby improving medical knowledge. The journal is known for reporting breakthroughs in medications that have cured many significant diseases. The aim is to broadcast correct and accurate medical information. This journal is now available online for subscription as well.

The subscription rates for doctors in India are US $239 which includes 52 issues in print, online and the iPad version for a year. The subscription rate for online and IPad version only is US $149 which also includes 52 issues.


This is the oldest peer reviewed medical journal in the world. It is almost considered as the Bible of medical practice and science! The Lancet, as the name suggests, was founded by an British surgeon in the year 1823. The Lancet itself has become a standard against which other journals are measured. The impact factor of this journal is 39.201 making it only second in the Journal Citation Reports in 2013.

The subscription rates for The Lancet are US $ 293 for a year for Indian physicians.


This journal is being continually published since 1883. It is an international, peer reviewed medical journal that aims at promoting better public health and keeping a check on medical standards and quality. It is a weekly medical journal that comes out in Spanish, French, and English language editions. The impact factor according to Journal Citation Reports in 2013 is 30.38 making it third out of 150 journals in the category of Medicine, General and Health.

JAMA comes out every year with 48 issues which cost £166 for print and online issues and £78 for only online issues.

4. The BMJ

Initially called as the British Medical Journal and later shortened to BMJ in 1988, it was recently rechristened as The BMJ in 2014. It is a weekly, peer reviewed medical journal. They are known for publishing unique authentic research articles and case studies. The BMJ strongly supports evidence based medicine and publishes clinical reviews and editor’s perspectives among others. They have a unique feature of releasing many theme issues every year, wherein they bring out the best articles and researches in context with the theme. The BMJ also publishes a monthly Student BMJ specially aimed for medical students and junior doctors. In 2013, Journal Citation Reports placed BMJ’s impact factor at 16.378 placing it fourth amongst the world’s top 5 medical journals.

A year’s subscription of this weekly periodical costs £265 and this subscription includes free online access.


Published by the American College of Physicians (ACP), the periodical publishes medical articles, research and reviews in the field of internal medicine. It is ranked 5th out of 150 with an impact factor of 16.04 according to the Journal Citation Reports. It is essentially an academic journal published monthly. It is also widely read which publishes breakthrough procedures and medications for a wide number of conditions. The articles prove to be very useful for medical professionals.

The subscription rates which include print cum online access are US $483 and for online access alone is US $250 for a year’s access for Indian medical professionals.

So there you have it. These are the top 5 medical journals in the world and must be a staple in every physician and medical student’s armoury. How many have you subscribed to?


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