In March 2001, I left my position as publisher of Review of Ophthalmology and Review of Optometry to form Bryn Mawr Communications LLC with my business partner, Adam Krafczek. I convinced Adam that launching a magazine focused on cataract and refractive surgery was a great idea, and off we went to the 2001 ASCRS in San Diego to promote our new publication and build an editorial board. Finances were tight, so we shared a room in the least expensive hotel we could find and got into the meeting with two badges supplied by a friend at a large company. We were officially entrepreneurs, and it was exciting!
Inside the exhibit hall, we visited the booths of many companies I knew from my years in publishing as we sought business support for the launch of Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today. One of the questions we asked at each encounter was, "Whom would you suggest for the Chief Medical Editor position?" We wanted someone who was commercially unbiased, a great communicator, and not necessarily a key opinion leader but an up-and-comer. One name was mentioned over and over?one I did not know at the time. The more we heard his name, however, the less we could ignore the suggestion.
After a day and a half, Adam and I agreed that we had to meet this 37-year old surgeon from Kansas City, Missouri, to see if he could possibly be our guy. Unbelievably, we were a step behind him the entire meeting, and we left San Diego without speaking with him. When we got back to our modest offices (700 square feet and four employees located atop the Mattress Giant store in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania), I called him. I introduced myself, told him about the concept behind the publication, and asked him what he thought. He replied, "If you steer the editorial product toward practicing cataract and refractive surgeons, get the brightest minds to contribute, and do your best to present unbiased, honest, and at times controversial subject matter, you will have a winner." It was clear that this doctor shared our vision, and I impulsively asked him if he wanted to be Chief Medical Editor. There was a very slight pause followed by a question about what the position would entail. Once I described the duties, his response was an enthusiastic "I'll do it. It will be a kick!"
Thus we entered the John Doane era at CRSToday. During his tenure, John has done a stellar job of directing CRSToday and helping it grow. Also, he has become a great friend. There are not many guys like John. Although pretty much the same person I met over 5 years ago, John is now an established big-name ophthalmologist, he has helped build a first-class ophthalmic practice with Discover Vision, he has conducted investigational and training work for some of the top companies in the field, and he has traveled all over the world. Despite these achievements, however, John Doane is the same principled physician, devoted family man, loyal friend, big personality, and exemplary human being whose energy and intelligence struck me 5 years ago. I am lucky to know and to have worked with this unique individual.
Being the Chief Medical Editor of a publication like CRSToday is an extremely demanding job. There are constant deadlines and large amounts of material to review. John has played an integral role in setting CRSToday's road map. Three years ago, he graciously welcomed David Chang, MD, as his Co-Chief Medical Editor, and together they helped make CRSToday a "must read" for cutting-edge surgeons. Now, John has pledged to stay highly involved but is ready to pass the baton to a colleague he respects greatly and served his fellowship under. Starting with the January 2007 issue, Stephen G. Slade, MD, of Houston will assume the position of Chief Medical Editor of Refractive Surgery. The publication is again lucky to benefit from the vast knowledge and experience of one of ophthalmology's most recognized and respected names. We welcome Stephen wholeheartedly.
John, we thank you sincerely for the last 5 years. They have been a kick!