I would like to begin my term as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Prosthetics and Orthotics by acknowledging the significant contribution made by Thomas M. Gavin, CO, during his term as Editor-in-Chief. I wish to thank Tom for his support, good wishes, and help during this transition period. It is also appropriate to acknowledge the contributions made to the Journal by Nitza Portell, Thomas Lunsford, MSE, CO, and Donald Shurr, CPO, PT.
The appearance and layout of the JPO has changed, and there is a new Editor-in-Chief and a new Managing Editor. Additionally, the Editorial Board has three new members:Geza Kogler, PhD, CO, Director of the Biomechanics Laboratory at Southern Illinois University;James Sferra, MD, Head of the Section of Foot and Ankle Surgery in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation; and Caroline Nielsen, PhD, consultant with Health Care Research in Bonita Springs, FL, and former Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Allied Health at the University of Connecticut. I am personally delighted that Drs. Kogler, Sferra, and Nielsen have agreed to join the Editorial Board. They each have records of excellence in research, clinical practice, education, and scholastic writing, and I am confident that their contribution to the JPO will be significant.
In this, my first edition as Editor-in-Chief, I am honored to include a Guest Editorial simply and appropriately titled “We Can Do Better,” written by the late Ernest M. Burgess, MD, Director of the Prosthetics Research Study, Seattle, WA. Although I never had the privilege of meeting Dr Burgess, nor of hearing him lecture, I was recently able to review—and learn from—61 published manuscripts authored by Dr. Burgess between 1965 and 1999. By publishing his research and clinical observations, Dr Burgess chose to share and disseminate his knowledge of prosthetics and amputation surgery. It is difficult to overstate the value of that contribution.
The JPO will continue to develop and change. We will routinely include Book Reviews and review relevant manuscripts and selected abstracts from other journals. To promote and encourage writing by new practitioners, we will develop a Residents’ Forum. We will also attempt to attract manuscripts and solicit Editorials from acknowledged national and international experts who are currently involved in formal research relating to prosthetics and orthotics. However, for the JPO to be of even more value to you and to the people you serve, many more practitioners need to use the Journal as a means of sharing acquired knowledge. I recognize that, as busy practitioners, you have little discretionary time for research and that, within a hectic clinical schedule, it is difficult to find time to author a manuscript, but please do not underestimate the importance and value of sharing clinical, technical, and experimental observation. Consider the positive effect that Dr. Burgess will have on future generations of surgeons and prosthetists. If you are a first-time author, please do not be intimidated by the process. Contact me or Ellen Haight, the new Managing Editor, and we will make every effort to help and guide you through the process.
On a personal note, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity that I have been given by the Board of the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists to serve as Editor-in-Chief of the JPO. Although many changes are occurring in your Journal, you have my assurance that its primary mission to promote and disseminate scientific and technical advances in prosthetics and orthotics, established by my predecessors, will not change.