“You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave.”
—Hotel California, the Eagles
It is with a heavy heart that I write my final editorial for the JCRS. We are in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic with the COVID-19 outbreak. Ophthalmologists are no longer providing any treatment other than urgent or emergent care. None of us could ever imagine a scenario where we must cease performing potentially life-changing cataract procedures. As I stated in my member advisory as ASCRS President, “However, these are exceptional times that require extraordinary measures. This is an extremely complex problem we are facing, and we need as a society to put the safety of ourselves, our staff, and most importantly our patients as the highest priority. With time, commitment, and perseverance, we will get through this together.” ESCRS President Prof. Rudy MMA Nuijts has expressed similar sentiments.
With that said, I also have a heavy heart to say that after 13 years as an editor of the JCRS and 5 years as an associate editor, I will be stepping down this month. First and foremost, I would like to thank all the other editors, the editorial staff, the JCRS Editorial Board, and all the reviewers who have contributed to the success of the journal over the years. These years have truly been a labor of love for me. I started reviewing papers for the predecessor of the JCRS, the AIOIS Journal (American Intraocular Implant Society), as a pre-residency fellow in 1983. I was privileged to join the Editorial Board of the journal and see the evolution to the JCRS and then the merger with the European Journal of Implant and Refractive Surgery. I have seen major changes with the journal over the years. This includes the expansion from cataract surgery and intraocular lenses to refractive surgery. There has been an explosion of submissions from all over the world over this time, and the quality of the papers has improved immensely. Unfortunately, we can now only accept the top 25% to 30% of papers submitted. The editor's job has become much more difficult because we now must reject many good papers that would have been accepted in the past.
Sir Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” It has been my great pleasure to work with such giants over the years. This includes Steve Obstbaum, who helped grow and shape the journal from a quarterly publication to one of the premier ophthalmic journals worldwide. He was followed by Doug Koch whose tenure was marked by a further expansion of the journal into all areas of anterior segment surgery. Emanuel Rosen blended the European journal into the JCRS and provided steady stewardship for many years. It was also my pleasure to work with Christine Ford, our managing editor for 25 years, followed by Wendy Pacheco.
It is a great comfort to know that the JCRS is in exceptionally capable hands. My European co-editor, Thomas Kohnen, is not only an excellent editor but an accomplished researcher, author, and department chairman. Sathish Srinivasan, our European associate editor, is also an outstanding contributor to the journal. B.J. Dupps will step up into the role of the U.S. editor. He has been an excellent associate editor and is more than ready to move up to the editor's position. He is a respected researcher and has a deep understanding of refractive surgery and corneal dynamics. It is my pleasure to welcome my colleague, Liliana Werner, as the new U.S. associate editor of the JCRS. Her extensive knowledge of cataract surgery, IOL materials and designs, posterior capsule opacification, and ocular inflammation and calcification will be an invaluable addition to the journal. Genie Bailey is the new managing editor of the JCRS. She has helped to shepherd the journal through the difficult transition to a new publisher and has extensive experience in medical publishing. As well, the JCRS could not function without its Editorial Office staff: Jacquelyn A. Garcia in the U.S. office, and Alison Jefferson, Louise Brennan, and Caroline Anderson in the European office. I also want to acknowledge the contribution of support staff in the U.S. and Europe who provide excellent assistance to the day-to-day operations of the JCRS and the editors.
I am excited about the future of the JCRS. This is now the premier journal for all anterior segment ophthalmic surgeons. This includes not only cataract surgery and IOLs and refractive surgery but also glaucoma and corneal surgery. This is not farewell, but au revoir, goodbye, until we meet again.