The last few years have flown by for us as coeditors of the ACS Surgery News. It is often said that the perceived acceleration of time is a phenomenon of age as each year that goes by represents an ever decreasing percentage of one’s remaining time on earth.
As we age, we may come to feel that we have outlived our time and culture. What was certain yesterday is indeterminate today and likely completely wrong tomorrow. Among those things is the economic viability of print media. Some of you may remember the line from the old movie “Ghostbusters” (old: 1984!) in which Egon makes the statement, “Print is dead.” He was a few decades off, but even Gutenberg would have to admit that technology trumps almost everything when it comes to the written word.
So, ACS Surgery News comes to an end with this issue. We would like to believe that the editors past and present – Lazar Greenfield, Bing Rikkers, Karen Deveney, and Tyler Hughes – all aided you as surgeons in some small way. Our intent was always to inform and occasionally to entertain lightly.
The fact that the “Official Newspaper of the American College of Surgeons” is passing from the scene is, we hope, a reflection of technology and economics and not that our efforts were in vain. Behind the scenes were dozens of skilled reporters who did interviews and summarized papers. Our managing editor during our time as coeditors has been Therese Borden, who has been largely responsible for the quality and integrity of what was reported herein. If you have learned something unexpectedly in our newspaper, Therese has actually been the one behind the scenes making that accessible to you. Both of us are deeply grateful for her superb expertise and eternally positive attitude.
Of course, the American College of Surgeons was always the moving force behind this paper. We like to think that the value of the newspaper was largely because the college, with its dedication to surgery with skill and fidelity to all, gave us the credibility other such newspapers just don’t have. As editors, our primary goal has always been to report without concern for anything other than what is useful to the surgeon.
Although ACS has many other publications and products that serve the practicing surgeon, we do feel that ACS Surgery News provided seamless access for surgeons to learn about emerging techniques and ideas. The ACS leadership agrees. After considerable thought and discussion about possible digital replacements, we have agreed to use a platform that is already available to us and easy to use: the ACS Communities. A new Community, named the ACS Emerging News Community, is born.
We will continue as coeditors and offer a commentary every other month. The Editorial Board, the invaluable consultants to ACS Surgery News, will contribute short articles describing the best presentation that they have heard at a recent major surgical meeting and describe why it is important or summarize an article of importance from a recent major journal. Surgeons already on the General Surgery Community will receive the new community monthly unless they choose to unsubscribe. Community members can also respond to or query the authors of the articles and commentaries if they so desire. The ACS Emerging News Community will commence early in 2019, so look for it in your inbox then.
Many thanks to all of you for reading the ACS Surgery News when you had the time and special thanks to those who wrote in the paper or wrote to the paper to tell us how we were doing. As ACS Surgery News sunsets, we have no final words of great import that you can laminate and put in your wallets, purses, or on your computers. Whatever transpires in that as-yet-undiscovered country (the future), surgery will always boil down to those willing to care for a patient enough to cut to the cure with compassion, regardless of all other considerations. Good luck to you all. We’ll see you in the cloud.
is professor of surgery emerita in the department of surgery at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland. She is the coeditor of ACS Surgery News. is a clinical professor in the department of surgery and the director of medical education at the University of Kansas, Salina, and coeditor of ACS Surgery News.