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Subspecialties Other, Retina

A Brief History of the Power List

The 2018 Power List is our fifth Power List, and it’s the third time we’ve produced a ranking of the Top 100 influencers in ophthalmology today. There have been a few misconceptions – and many people end up asking me the same questions. So let’s review the concept, its processes, and its periodicity.

The Power List isn’t a novel concept. The Ophthalmologist isn’t even the first title within our publishing company, Texere, to have run one; that honor goes to our sister title, The Analytical Scientist. Our Editorial Director back then was driving and listening to BBC Radio 4, when he heard one of their programs, Woman’s Hour, introduce the “Woman’s Hour Power List”, in which a panel of seven female judges got together to decide (and rank) which women exhibited the most influence on society, under themes such as “Influencers” and “Game-changers”.

We took a slightly different approach by asking our readers to nominate the people who they felt were the most influential in ophthalmology today. But they didn’t necessarily have to be ophthalmologists; engineers, scientists and businesspeople have all made the Top 100 in the past (and have again this year). Early on, we recognized that there were definite attempts to “game" the system, so we turned to a judging panel that could act, in effect, as a quality filter.

We decided to change the theme for the next year, and looked to list ophthalmology’s up-and-coming influencers – “The Top 40 Under 40.” Given that these are the people likely to lead the field in the future, it was great to recognize and celebrate their hard work to date. But 40 years is rather young for an ophthalmologist – so the next time (in 2017), we relaxed the criteria slightly, and decided upon our “Rising Stars” theme.

So we’ve settled into a pattern of alternately ranking the Top 100 and the Rising Stars… or have we? We’ve been toying with ideas of what to do next – and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Would a women-only Power List work in our field – or would it be considered patronizing, as some people have suggested? Another option is to break the list down into subspecialties and other categories – pioneered by another sister magazine – this time, The Medicine Maker. Or is our current formula – alternate Top 100/Rising Stars – ticking all your boxes?

In any case, enjoy our – or rather, your – 2018 Power List!

Mark Hillen

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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.

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