Scope, the newsletter of the senior ophthalmologist, was launched in the summer of 1997 and, in the 20 years that followed, we have seen our world change in many ways. We have seen brick-and-mortar retail stores close in large part because shoppers increasingly prefer to make their purchases online. We have seen newspapers fold because readers find it more convenient to get their news on their digital phone, pad or tablet. Many of us no longer manage our financial affairs in banks and on paper, having gone to online banking and submitting our bills and even tax returns electronically. And, of course, our profession has made the quantum leap from bulky patient files to electronic health records.
1997 innagural issue of Scope
In short, our world in the 21st century has moved into the digital age. And now, with this final print issue of Scope, our newsletter too is transitioning to an all-digital publication.
The decision was made by our Academy leadership as part of a larger cost-saving effort. Some of us, who are accustomed to holding paper print in our hands, may greet this change with a bit of melancholy. But none of us are too old to learn new tricks, and the truth is that the new digital format will offer many advantages:
Expanded content: We will continue to enjoy many of the features that we have come to look forward to in past issues, and also find new sections to expand our reading pleasure. Banks Anderson will continue to regale us with his vast range of interests and knowledge. As noted in the last issue, we will also offer a new “Book Review” section, edited by Tom Harbin, a section for “Dialogue” between young ophthalmologists and senior ophthalmologists, also edited by Dr. Harbin, and an “Ophthalmic History” section, edited by Dan Albert and Don Blanchard. In addition, I am pleased to report that Alfredo Sadun will be editing a section on “Ophthalmology and History,” which will describe events in which ocular conditions influenced the course of history, as opposed to the Albert-Blanchard section, which will tell stories of our ophthalmic heritage.
Links to more information: Not only will future digital issues offer all these features, as well as other articles by our editorial board and our readers, the new format will also allow more extensive and referenced articles, which limitation of space prevented in the printed format. The web versions will offer hyperlinks to additional articles for those interested in digging deeper.
Reader engagement: Another advantage will be the opportunity for readers to submit comments and thoughts on the articles. While the content of the newsletter will now be in the public domain, personal comments will only be available to logged-in Academy members.
Printable at home: In addition to the web version of Scope, for at least the first year of our new digital publication, we will continue with quarterly issues in the same PDF format to which you have become accustomed. For those who prefer the feel of paper and have the necessary equipment, these can be printed to be read at your leisure.
There are several ways that you will be able access the electronic version of Scope newsletter, and these are explained in the accompanying box.
So, as we say goodbye to 20 years of printed Scope and welcome it into the digital age, we hope you will not only continue to enjoy your newsletter, but find it even enjoyable with the new sections and enhanced articles and the opportunity for more interaction with your colleagues.
Where to find Scope online: aao.org/so
Where to find the Scope newsletter: The Academy sends the newsletter each quarter to your Academy communications email address. If you don’t see the newsletter, check your spam or junk folders. If you still cannot find this newsletter in your email, contact the Academy’s member services department at firstname.lastname@example.org to make sure we have your proper email address.
How to print Scope: Each newsletter will contain a link to a printable version of Scope in PDF format.
Share your comments about this change: Go to aao.org/so and click on the article titled “Scope Enters the Digital Age.” Logged-in Academy members may comment at the bottom of the article.