Subscribe to Newsletter
Business & Profession Professional Development, Other

The Value of The List

How do you build a Power List? Many years ago, I worked on a project that attempted to map the great and the good of asthma physicians. It was (ostensibly) a wholly objective exercise: examine people’s PubMed-listed publication records, their number of podium presentations, editorial board memberships… and so on, and use them as a surrogate marker of a doctor’s influence. We actually do something like this almost every month in our benchmarking articles, and it’s satisfying to produce, and interesting to read and interpret.

But it’s never wholly objective. You have multiple sources of information, which all have to be weighted – and if this can’t be validated against something, the best that the weighting can be is a best-guess. It’s hard to validate against Zeitgeist when all you have is the contents of some tables in a database.

In my opinion the Power List is fantastic. It’s the (subjective) Yang to this sort of mapping exercise’s (semi-objective) Yin. How better to capture the feelings of a community towards its brightest and best, and celebrate them accordingly? We’re not doing it to validate anyone’s KOL mapping projects either – this is a project from and for the ophthalmology community, published in the open for all to see. In other words, it’s for the people.

The subjective nature of the Power List is also why I think it has been so controversial. Everyone has their own opinions, and across a group of highly educated, intelligent people, there will be a lot of differing ones – and not everyone will be pleased with what they see. It’s the nature of the best – a side-effect of the exercise. But believe me, it’s not my intention to be controversial. We don’t run the Power List to be divisive. We just want to reflect the opinions of our readers, and celebrate those people that our readership feel deserve it.

We know the Power List isn’t perfect. Just like almost all epidemiological studies, not all of our 18,000 print audience (and 22,000 online) will vote, so it’s an approximation of the true feelings of our readership. Nonetheless, I think we’ve produced something worthwhile, and worthy of your interest and consideration. So if you are interested, turn to page 21 to see this year’s list.

Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Ophthalmologist and its sponsors.

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

About the Author
Mark Hillen

I spent seven years as a medical writer, writing primary and review manuscripts, congress presentations and marketing materials for numerous – and mostly German – pharmaceutical companies. Prior to my adventures in medical communications, I was a Wellcome Trust PhD student at the University of Edinburgh.

Register to The Ophthalmologist

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Ophthalmologist magazine



The Ophthalmologist website is intended solely for the eyes of healthcare professionals. Please confirm below: