It's a Big Deal
A fresh take on our Power List brings a five-fold increase in the number of votes – and many new faces
Aleksandra Jones | | Opinion
As a relatively new addition to The Ophthalmologist team, I have been trying to pinpoint the exact moment when I realized how big our annual Power List really was in the ophthalmic field. Was it when both the chief executive and the director of one of the largest eye hospitals in the world mentioned how eager they were to see this year’s list? Was it when I looked at the previously published lists, which contained the biggest and best-known names in the field? Or perhaps when I sat at my desk hour after hour, going through close to 2,000 votes sent to us in just a few weeks?
Surely, by the time I started reading the hundreds of heartfelt nominations, I had a pretty good idea of just how big a deal it was. Nevertheless, it was yet another eye-opening moment when the acceptance emails started coming in, expressing how honored people felt. One person told us that chills ran down their spine on realizing that they would be appearing on the 2019 Power List.
All of this makes it utterly thrilling – but also utterly terrifying – to be part of this year’s process. Ahead of nominations, we had already decided to divide the list into five separate areas, asking voters to recognize the most important figures in each. The bold move proved to be extremely popular with our readers, but – and here comes the cruel twist – we only have 50 spots, cutting last year’s number in half. The result? Some well-known and worthy names did not make it into our five Top Tens. The Power List has never claimed to be definitive – but rest assured that the names included were submitted by our readers and ranked by a highly esteemed and independent panel.
The diversity of the categories – and the huge influx of votes – have brought in many new names. In fact, half of this year’s Power Listers have not been featured before. And sixteen of the front-runners are women – an increase from 13 to 32 percent since last year. There are so many reasons to be proud of ophthalmology, let us present you with 50 of them.