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Business & Profession Professional Development, Business and Innovation, Education and Training, Other

2022 – A Year in Review

Can you believe another year is at its end already? For many, 2022 has been a year of both rebuilding and growth – and the same is true for us here at The Ophthalmologist. At the start of the year, the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic was waning and, facing the blank slate of a brand-new year, we couldn’t help but wonder what new trials and tribulations we, and the ophthalmology world at large, would face. How would practising ophthalmology work in the “new normal?” Would in-person conferences and events be back on the calendar? How would the past few years affect ophthalmic research and innovation going forward? And, quite possibly the most important – and exciting – question for us: what exactly would we be covering over the next year?

Well, we have reached the end of the year and it has been our pleasure to deliver over 250 articles and 50 newsletters to your virtual (and for some, physical) doors. Now seems like the perfect time for us to look back at our highlights from the past 12 months and our prospects for the future.

What have been your highlights of 2022?
 

Aleksandra Jones – Editor

With The Ophthalmologist, I got to visit two American cities for the first time this year: Washington, DC, for ASCRS and New York City for ASRS. I was also able to return to Chicago for the Academy meeting. Meeting my favorite ophthalmic experts and catching great presentations at those events (as well as some extreme sightseeing!) made those trips very special, especially after two years of very limited travel opportunities.

Jon Greenaway – Incoming Editor

It might sound cliché, but a highlight has been starting work here at The Ophthalmologist – getting to know the amazing team and the endlessly fascinating field in which we specialize.

Jed Boye – Associate Editor

Oh, there have been so many! Writing and having my first article published early in the year was definitely the first. Since then, I’ve enjoyed writing newsletter introductions because they give me the opportunity to research more niche areas and ideas and then start a discussion with our audience. It’s always really interesting and informative to hear and learn from those within the field and to see where the conversations end up.

Sarah Healey – Associate Editor

Graduating from university and securing a job at Texere Publishing have undoubtedly been my biggest highlights of the year. It is great to step out of an academic environment into a career where I can work alongside like-minded individuals and express my creativity. I am proud of myself for getting to this point in my life and I am excited to see how I progress in the new year.

What is your favourite article from the past year?
 

Jed: There are so many articles I’ve enjoyed writing this year but, if I had to pick, I think my favourite piece from 2022 has to be Sitting Down With… Marc Safran. I love trying my hand at filmmaking and photography whenever I get the chance – which is what led to my writing the newsletter intro that set off the article cascade in the first place – so hearing from Marc and seeing his photography was a dream come true for me. The story of how he developed and cultivated his dual careers is fascinating and, to make things even better, every time he emailed me, he sent over a new selection of his work!

Jon: Call me self-interested, but I think it’s my first-ever article for The Ophthalmologist – combining my two interests, eyes and horror movies!

Sarah: It has to be our Halloween special, “Eye’ll Make You Scream,” written by our Editor, Jon Greenaway. I had great fun learning (and squirming) at all the ophthalmic horrors that have been documented throughout cinema history.

Aleksandra: It has to be Sitting Down With… Gladys Atto. That article is based on one of the most inspiring interviews of my career, so writing it up was pure pleasure. I spent quite a bit of time trying to find the right headline for it, but when I looked up the population of Uganda and the number of ophthalmologists practising in the country, it came to me instantly: Atto is literally “one in a million.”

What area of ophthalmology have you found the most interesting?
 

Sarah: I enjoy reporting on the socioeconomic side of ophthalmology – for example, the factors that may hinder or improve a country’s access to sufficient eye care. One such article was written for us by Syeda Asma Rashida, who reports on advocating for equal access to healthcare in Bangladesh. I think it is imperative that we continue to address these issues, because they affect millions of people worldwide.

Aleksandra: Artificial intelligence (AI) applications! It may be a cliché but, having heard a lot of empty talk around AI over the past few years, I’m happy to see concrete developments in this field. “The Algorithms of Power” (did anyone notice my nod to the recent ring-themed television series in the headline?) – the October issue cover feature I put together with my compatriot, Andrzej Grzybowski – explores this topic in depth and doesn’t just repeat worn-out statements about AI, which is why I’m proud to have worked on it.

Jed: So much has happened in the retinal subspecialty over the past year. It has been incredible to see each stride forward in this area. One study I found particularly striking was researchers’ reviving retinal neurons from a human eye hours after death, which we covered in Second Sight. The implications the research may have for vision sciences, neurosciences, and beyond could be vast.

Jon: As someone new to the field, I could say all of it! But I think the role of AI in ophthalmology is extremely interesting, both in its clinical utility and the ethical and moral questions it raises. The conversations with some of the gurus of ophthalmic AI were fascinating.

Is there an article from the past year that you feel deserves more attention?
 

Jed: I think the sustainability series, in particular John Hovanesian’s piece about how industry and sustainability don’t have to be at odds with each other, is something I keep coming back to. Many of the statistics and examples he gave were truly staggering; they really showed the scale of the problem of OR waste, especially when it comes to cataract surgery. It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though. Hearing about initiatives and policies that have already been implemented gives the sense that, though things may seem dire right now, there is still hope.

Sarah: Is it bad to say one of my own? My first article, “WHO Can Change Things?” focuses on the disparate treatment coverage for refractive error worldwide. The report addresses gendered imbalances, socioeconomic disparities, and the steps the WHO is taking to improve global access to quality healthcare. I think it is an important topic and one that reflects the amount of work still to be done.

Aleksandra: Ergonomics is a hot topic in ophthalmology and medicine in general. Abha Amin’s personal story (“Muscle Memory Re-Education”) invites surgeons to consider it early in their careers. I can’t wait for part two!

Jon: I have to mention the Ophthalmologist’s Time Machine, an incredible series of columns from Andrzej Grzybowski showing that ophthalmology has a far longer and more complex history than you might think!

What about 2023 excites you most?
 

Jon: I am really looking forward to the return of the Power List – our celebration of the excellence and impact that’s happening in the field. We’ve got some special plans to make the next version of the Power List the biggest and best yet, so watch this space!

Aleksandra: 2023 will bring a lot of change to my professional life and I very much look forward to meeting new people, visiting new places, and learning a lot!

Sarah: I am excited to venture into new ophthalmic territories, communicate with wider audiences and contributors, and continue to generate exciting and engaging content. In the world of ophthalmology, learning never stops. I am excited to see what new breakthroughs are made next year, whether it’s new technologies and innovations or global developments.

Jed: I think 2023 is going to be an exciting year for The Ophthalmologist; we’re on track to hit a number of key milestones throughout the course of the year, which is awesome and something I’m looking forward to celebrating. In general, I’m just excited to keep delivering content to our readership. I’m not sure what we’ll be covering, but that’s all part of the fun!

Looking to the Future
 

As 2023 approaches, we want to extend our thanks to all of you for engaging with us and our publication. It truly is our honor to bring the latest in ophthalmic stories, news, research, and innovation to each and every one of you. Whether you’re a long-time reader or this is the first article of ours that you’ve come across, thank you!
Though we may not know exactly what the next 12 months will hold – and it’s likely that 2023 will come with changes and challenges of its own – what we do know is this: we will continue to work as hard as we can to keep The Ophthalmologist your premier source of information on the ins and outs of ophthalmology world.

That said, bring on 2023!

What have been your 2022 highlights? Let us know in the comments section below or by emailing[email protected].

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About the Author
Jed Boye

Associate Editor, The Ophthalmologist

I have always been fascinated by stories. During my biomedical sciences degree, though I enjoyed wet lab sessions, I was truly in my element when sitting down to write up my results and find the stories within the data. Working at Texere gives me the opportunity to delve into a plethora of interesting stories, sharing them with a wide audience as I go.

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