Preparing to write my final “Rheumination,” I have had the same sense of anxiety, tension, and even dread that TV screenwriters must have felt as they composed the last episode of Cheers, Seinfeld, or Friends. The temptation is great to be memorable but nevertheless stay true to the character of the show. The Rheumatologist (TR) is a limited circulation publication, not a TV franchise, however, and we do not expect a boost in ratings as readers flock to the newsstand to snatch a copy to learn more about my latest meandering—both literal and figurative.
Unlike the anticipated happenings of final episodes of TV shows, for this column there will be no great revelations to keep readers glued to the page and discover some shocking info about past or future. Rest assured, dear reader, when I retire as editor of TR, I will still attend in clinic and run a lab, continuing with gusto and fascination to study what happens when you annihilate Jurkat T cells by necrosis or apoptosis. Just as there is great satisfaction in exploring the life of cells, so there is in exploring the death of cells. After all, life and death go together, just like love and marriage and a horse and carriage. As Frank Sinatra crooned in Sammy Cahn’s memorable lyrics, you can’t have one without the other.
Nevertheless, a last column is a special occasion and I will start by giving thanks (lots of it!) to the leadership of the ACR for giving me the unique opportunity to create a new publication; to a succession of outstanding ACR presidents who recognized the importance of communicating with members and used TR so effectively in their illuminating and informative columns; to the fantastic staff of the ACR who contributed enormously to TR’s success by developing terrific content relevant to today’s rheumatology practice; to the editorial board, who provided insights, encouragement advice, articles, and commentaries; and to the many authors who submitted articles whose quality rivaled—and even surpassed—that of those in top peer-reviewed journals.
I want to especially acknowledge the great team at Wiley that has a love of medical publication and a deep commitment to the highest standards of journalistic excellence. Dawn Antoline, the Wiley editor of TR, is a brilliant editor who is smart and thoughtful and handles a complicated job with great poise and aplomb. The other key member of the TR team is Lil Estep, who is an inspired and visionary art director. I don’t know how she does it, but Lil is a wizard with PhotoShop and has a keen sense of beauty. She is also very funny. As of the writing of this column, I had never met Lil in person, but our conference calls have always been a rollicking good time and one of the high points of my editorship. Often, my goal in suggesting an illustration for an article is to hear Lil shout gleefully, “I love it!” Dawn and Lil have been incredible and I will miss working with such talented and creative people. I have enjoyed every minute of it.