Both of us live in the densely populated Northeast. You can imagine the light pollution. Even on a clear night, we usually see only garden-variety constellations. Orion over here, Ursa Major over there, maybe a planet if we’re lucky. Those stars are but white pinpricks in a black hemispheric canvas that spans the horizons.
When we find ourselves in a part of the world away from streetlights and neon signs, we tend to be amazed by our view of the Milky Way. Despite its distance, this band of stars fosters an understanding of the universe that is as harmonious as it is incongruent: that we simultaneously inch closer to understanding the cosmic universal order while recognizing that our role in it is less important than we thought.
And so we return to those constellations to make sense of the chaos. There is Draco, wending his way through the sky. There is Cassiopeia, jutting forward and back, keeping an eye on her daughter Andromeda. These constellations orient us in an otherwise confusing sky.
In this issue of New Retina MD, we honor a few of the constellations in retina that keep us fixed on our paths. Just as the constellations we recognize in the sky serve as fixtures, the retina surgeons we feature in this issue serve as buoys in the maelstrom of retina practice.
Finding their faces on the convention hall floor or hearing their voices during a Q&A session may seem routine at this point, but that is the consequence of their dedication and passion—the same passion we seek when we need inspiration, support, or candid advice.
We thank Kevin Caldwell for the pictures in this issue. Kevin has dedicated a large portion of his career to photographing retina surgeons at meetings, serving as the artistic historian for the proceedings of several professional groups. Kevin’s portfolio maintains the balance of professionalism and fun that we all strive for, and his photographs capture the charm of retina debates, whether at the podium or over gin martinis. As you will see, the portraits he took of our honorees show them as professionals whose expressions recall Mona Lisa smiles.
Personal vignettes accompany each portrait layout. We asked mentees and colleagues to limn what makes each of our subjects so important. Although these commentaries offer intimate views of our subjects, their stories can be extrapolated to suggest each one’s overall character.
Two of our commenters describe their respective colleagues as “giants of retina.” We think of them as constellations of retina. Maybe we’ll meet in the middle and start calling them the Orions of retina.
Co-Chief Medical Editor Jonathan Prenner, MD
• associate clinical professor, department of ophthalmology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, N.J.
• @jlprenner; email@example.com
Co-Chief Medical Editor Richard Kaiser, MD
• professor of ophthalmology, Jefferson Medical College; co-director, retina fellowship, Wills Eye Hospital; both in Philadelphia
• @Retinadoc44; firstname.lastname@example.org