• Opinion

    14 Years: Was It as Good for You as It Was for Me?

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    Richard P. Mills, MD, MPH

    By Richard P. Mills, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Editor, EyeNet


    I used to think that I would just fade away gracefully from my role as EyeNet Chief Medical Editor, because writing a farewell Opinion seemed horribly vain. Maybe it still is, but the outpouring of support I received after my announcement that I’d be retiring has emboldened me. I do have a few thoughts to share if you can spare me another moment.

    There are men and women of letters, of numbers, of papers, and of books. I’m a word guy. I’ve always adored the sounds of words, and the way pairs of words fit together, alliteratively or oxymoronically. And spelling. I turned off spell check as soon as I discovered I could spell better than it could. But I came by that skill honestly; my wife said that my father was the only man she knew who could correct anyone’s spelling as they spoke.

    My previous Opinions have all fit exactly on 1 printed page, by design and not accident. I figured if I couldn’t say it in 1 page, it wasn’t worth saying. Or at least not remembering. It used to be 571 words, give or take a dozen. Now, with the new EyeNet format, it’s almost up to 800. Whew! My successor is going to have to be 40% more creative than I. Anyhow, I am going to leave plenty of white space at the end of this one, to signify all the possibilities to come. ...

    A Word From the Staff Editors

    Nature abhors a vacuum, and rather than letting all of this valuable real estate go vacant, we thought we’d put it to good use by thanking the inimitable Richard P. Mills, MD, MPH, for all of the wisdom, humor, and verbal art he has brought to the Opinion column in EyeNet since 2002. Who else could have so deftly combined medicine, music, philosophy, lexicography, and mythology with pop culture references to Wile E. Coyote and Alice’s Restaurant—all the while shedding light on important issues facing ophthalmology.

    Thanks to the magic of the Internet, you are now able to revisit all of Dr. Mills’ columns at www.aao.org/eyenet/archive-dr-mills-opinions. The Opinions are listed by title in chronological order. As a lagniappe, we offer you a sampling of a few of our favorites here:

    Procrastinating? No, It’s Just My Circling Time,” February 2004

    On the Professional Road, Are You a Hitchhiker?” June 2006

    Hospital Diversification and Alice’s Restaurant?” May 2013

    Musings About Muses: How EyeNet Opinions Are Born,” December 2013

    Does It Seem Too Slick? It Could Be Health Insurance Jargon,” August 2014

    Selfie-Refraction—Really?” January 2015

    Finally, in answer to the question posed at the top of the page: Yes, Dr. Mills, it was. EyeNet has been enriched by your presence, and we thank you for it.