Harry W. Flynn Jr, MD: “We Have a Different View” With Commentary by Charles C. Wykoff, MD, PhD
"WE HAVE A DIFFERENT VIEW"
While I was a resident and retina fellow at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Harry W. Flynn Jr, MD, was a key mentor and friend. Among countless stories that illustrate his incredible character, one stands out as exemplary of his resolve and dedication to high quality research. We worked on many projects together, and I credit him with instilling in me a desire to pursue clinical research. Our first project was a summary of endophthalmitis cases at Bascom Palmer over the previous decade. I invested many nights and weekends combing through patient charts for my first submission to an ophthalmic journal. Dr. Flynn suggested we submit it to Ophthalmology.
About a month after submission, I received a letter from the editor outright rejecting the manuscript with multiple comments on why the manuscript was not appropriate for the “blue” journal. Dr. Flynn was characteristically unfazed. “Well,” he said, “we have a different view. Let’s see what we can do about this.” We polished and repolished, edited and reedited. After 9 months’ and three rounds’ worth of submission and resubmission, our paper was featured on the cover of Ophthalmology.
What I learned from Dr. Flynn during that process as a first-year resident had nothing to do with endophthalmitis—he taught me the value of teamwork, setting goals, and perseverance. Dr. Flynn is a giant among retina giants.
—Charles C. Wykoff, MD, PhD