Harry W. Flynn Jr, MD: “We Have a Different View” With Commentary by Charles C. Wykoff, MD, PhD

By Charles C. Wykoff, MD, PhD


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.

Harry W. Flynn Jr., MD is the J. Donald M. Gass Chair of Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Dr. Flynn was photographed at the fourth annual meeting of the Vit-Buckle Society, also known as VBS|004, in Miami Beach, Fla., in March 2016.

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


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About New Retina MD

New Retina MD delivers cutting-edge content to retina specialists in their first 15 years of practice. Each issue provides fresh insight from younger physicians plus established mentors on clinical and nonclinical issues affecting ophthalmologists in the earlier stages of their careers. NRMD features surgical pearls, clinical research endeavors, practice management, medical reimbursement and policy, continuing educational requirements, financial planning, innovations, and more.