I know very few ophthalmologists who are more respected or admired than my friend, Richard Lewis. Rick is a leading glaucoma specialist from Sacramento, California. He has contributed to Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today, was chief medical editor of Glaucoma Today and is currently the president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, to name a few of his accomplishments. Rick has been at the forefront of bringing microinvasive glaucoma surgery to glaucoma and cataract surgeons, and he has been a key opinion leader for decades.
In April, while riding his bicycle, he was struck by a car and severely injured. Friends, family, and colleagues held our breath for months as we received regular bulletins on his recuperation. One thing we never heard from Rick was a complaint. He remained upbeat during his convalescence despite several setbacks.
A week before writing this editorial, I attended a meeting at which Rick was scheduled to make his first public appearance. Frankly, I wondered whether or not he would be there, and I did not know what to expect if he was. To my delight, his recovery has exceeded expectations. Seeing Rick was exhilarating, and it has crystalized my belief that we all regularly need to recognize the people who are important to us. Family members are at the head of this list, but I would also include the mentors, colleagues, and staff who make our lives more rewarding and our profession better. I would like to give special recognition to the people who train residents, a calling that requires nerves of steel, dedication, and extraordinary patience. In general, the surgeons training residents are inadequately compensated monetarily for their time and effort, but they derive inner satisfaction from performing a vital service. They are the unsung heroes of our specialty.
This issue of CRST focuses on laser cataract surgery. Improvements to this procedure and its associated technology are exponential, and there is no better place to stay up to date than CRST. Modern cataract surgery depends on the adoption and refinement of new technology, which means that the next generation must be given access to the newest and most innovative equipment and procedures. For this reason, I particularly enjoyed the article on teaching laser cataract surgery to residents by Mark Blecher, MD—one of the good guys about whom I have been writing.
I close this editorial with heartfelt thanks to all of my colleagues who write, research, speak, and educate others, and I ask CRST's readers to consider doing the same for the important people in their lives and on behalf of all of us. Welcome back, Rick!
Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD
Chief Medical Editor