• Opinion

    Please Allow Me to Unintroduce Myself

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    Richard P. Mills, MD, MPH

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


    It’s almost impossible to believe that it has been 14 years since I wrote “Please allow me to introduce myself” as the title for my very first EyeNet Opinion. And I’ve been writing a monthly column since then, focusing on the social, professional, and political issues that confront ophthalmologists. I hope what I have written has resonated with you and that occasionally you remarked, “I was thinking the same thing just a few days ago.” In any event, it is time for me to move on. There are many good reasons for stepping down, including the inauguration of a new look for EyeNet in January (we need somebody better looking in the photo) and my unstable and declining health (wouldn’t want to die with my boots on). And then there is the matter of my flagrant abuse of term limits that the Academy has in place for all of its leadership positions except this one. My bet is that one will be put in place for my successor. As I write this, the search for a new Chief Medical Editor is on. I hesitate to use the word “replacement,” since the new editor will have a different set of skills, a different demeanor, and—who knows?—a different political affiliation or gender from me.

    I am passing on an inheritance of which I am extremely proud. Matter of fact, the whole Academy membership should be proud of their magazine, EyeNet. Permit me to crow a little on its behalf. Kantar Media, Inc., surveys a random sample of ophthalmologists each year to determine readership attributes of 20 magazines in our group of competitors (who compete for limited advertising dollars). They include:

    Non–peer-reviewed

    • EyeWorld
    • Ocular Surgery News
    • Ophthalmology Management
    • Ophthalmology Times
    • Review of Ophthalmology

    Peer-reviewed

    • American Journal of Ophthalmology
    • JAMA Ophthalmology
    • Ophthalmology

    For 7 years straight, EyeNet has been #1 in high readership, which means those subscribers who read at least 75% of the magazine. (Source: Kantar Media 2015 Eyecare Readership study.) We’ve expanded our reach. The monthly magazine now appears 12 times a year, rather than 10, as when I started. We have become more advertiser-friendly without jeopardizing clinical content, including publishing industry-sponsored supplements and a supplement aimed at young ophthalmologists. We have started to sponsor corporate lunches at annual meetings, figuring that we would rather eat our own lunch than have another publication eat ours for us. Finally, we are developing “Best of EyeNet” article collections for international audiences.

    Such a record of success means that we’ve kept focused on our mission of being the trusted source for clinical insights. The fabulous EyeNet team includes our publisher, Jane Aguirre; executive editor Patty Ames; senior editors Peggy Denny and Chris McDonagh; art director Carey Ballard; advertising manager Cat Morris; and a bevy of contributing medical writers whose bylines you see in the magazine.

    I’d be lying if I claimed I wasn’t going to miss being Chief Medical Editor. It’s been my favorite thing I’ve done professionally. But don’t say good-bye just yet; I still have 2 more monthly editorials to crank out. It reminds me of the 100-year-old Vermonter who, when asked by a young reporter if he’d lived in Vermont all his life, croaked “Not yet.”