A New Addition
JASON S. SLAKTER, MD
I have always considered it important that, to be an active member of one's society, you should be well informed of the events and issues going on around you. For me, this means listening to the news on my daily commute, reading through the New York Times (at least the weekend edition), and watching the various cable news networks over dinner or while working from home. One of the fascinating aspects of trying to keep informed is the difference in the so-called facts reported for a particular story among these various media outlets. Inevitably, each source puts their own particular spin on the issue being reported, and without having been exposed to other viewpoints, one's take on the situation might well be biased. It requires a concerted effort to wade through the news of the day and try to come to some conclusion as to what might be the reality behind the stories.
Unfortunately, efforts to keep up to date on the latest in the retinal and general ophthalmic literature are fraught with similar problems. We are faced with an onslaught of high-level peer-reviewed journals on a monthly basis presenting articles on a variety of topics in the vitreoretinal space, as well as outside our subspecialty. I find that as I read through the various articles, I often read papers, typically case reports or small uncontrolled trials, that present data that are clearly in conflict with each other despite similar treatment approaches in similar disease states. In addition, there are often key pieces of information that may be lacking in these reports or in follow-up data that are never presented that would help to clarify the true benefits of the diagnostic or therapeutic modalities. Trying to synthesize all of this information becomes an ongoing battle that I personally feel I am often losing.
Recognizing this difficulty, we have attempted to rise to the challenge of making life a little bit easier for the retinal community by instituting a new column in Retinal Physician entitled "Journal Club." This new section provides concise summaries of recent journal articles worthy of further discussion. Eventually, we hope to see this column expand into an interactive element on our Web site, so that it could have some of the same dynamics of an actual journal club, where people comment and debate the significance of study results. We feel that it is through this type of synthesis of information and interactive discussion that we will best be able to appreciate the current literature and fulfill our obligations to keep up to date in this rapidly evolving community of retinal specialists. We welcome your thoughts and feedback and, of course, your active participation in this exciting new addition.
But that's not the only new addition we welcome this month. It gives me great pleasure to announce that Pravin U. Dugel, MD, joins our Editorial Advisory Board effective this issue. Pravin's enthusiasm for and devotion to our field is evident in all his professional endeavors, and we're proud to feature him often in these pages. He contributes twice this month alone — an auspicious debut to a long and fruitful association with this publication.