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The Power of the List

Why generate a Top 100? Of the many reasons, the chief one is to catalog and celebrate progress. I believe that most ophthalmologists would agree that these are among the best of times for the profession; an age of wisdom rather than of foolishness. Your accomplishments include: the development of new surgical techniques, drugs and ophthalmic devices; breakthroughs in the understanding of biology, pathology and epidemiology; improvements (arguably) in health care administration and delivery, and the growth of an industry and infrastructure to meet the complex medical needs of patients.

This progress is driven by people, and those driving this progress deserve recognition. One great way of doing this is to highlight the achievements of ophthalmology’s most influential contributors. And that’s what the Power List is: a celebration, acknowledgement and offer of gratitude to some of the major contributors to ophthalmology today.

I don’t claim that this is definitively the top 100 people in ophthalmology. It’s a subjective list, initially compiled from our readers’ contributions. If it has shocking omissions or inclusions – do let us know and help us by submitting nominations next year.

The list was developed in three stages. In stage 1, we invited readers to nominate people that they thought deserved recognition – only those nominated were considered. In stage 2, a jury of five noted ophthalmologists (who prefer to remain anonymous and were modest enough not to vote for themselves) selected their top 100 from the slate of nominees: the results were consolidated into a list of 100 names. In stage 3, the jury ranked the list from 1 through 100; the average scores provided the final Power List.

To resume the Dickens theme, the list does contain both the season of light and the season of darkness.

One dazzling feature of the list is its geographical scope. Within the Top 20, ten countries are represented, and within the Top 100 as a whole, there are representatives of 21 countries. Ophthalmologists from Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia are included in the list. Who would have imagined that a list of 100 influential ophthalmologists would have been so broad? (For the record, the five judges came from five countries and three continents).

A darker aspect is the gender ratio: the entire list has just 13 women, and all of the Top 20 are men. That’s a depressing statistic.

To those who participated, our thanks. To those who feel aggrieved, let us know and aim for satisfaction in 2015: the list will be an annual event. And to those named in The Ophthalmologist Power List 2014, our congratulations. More power to you!

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About the Author
Richard Gallagher

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