My first thoughts were of journalism and writing, not medicine. In college, I was a news editor and eventually became the Publisher of The Dartmouth, which claims to be the oldest college newspaper in America. That claim is contested. What isn’t in question is that it was the smallest campus to host a daily paper – so finding news and, even more challenging, turning the goings-on at a very small place into compelling reading – every day – wasn’t always easy. The recipe we used there, though, remains a good one: Innovation, high-quality content, one eye on the bottom line, and an inclusive approach to leadership. The best ideas do not always reside at the head of the table, but rather all around it.
Happily, it’s much easier to get great content for Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research® than it was for The Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire – orthopaedic surgery is a rich, vibrant, and fast-moving specialty, and CORR® is recognized as a great place to send good papers.
As I alluded to, my undergraduate degree was from Dartmouth College, and I graduated with honors in research from Cornell Medical School. I took my orthopaedic training in Chicago (residency at the U of C, fellowship at Rush-Presbyterian) and then went into the military, where I spent 3 years on active duty as an Army surgeon and as a faculty member of one of their teaching programs. Following that, Rick Matsen, now the emeritus chair at University of Washington, recruited me to Seattle. I’ve been here since. I did a short stint (3 years) as chief of the orthopaedic surgery service at the University hospital and as a vice chair of the department, but found I much prefer science to administration.
More pertinent to my role at CORR® is my interest in understanding and improving peer review. I’ve focused most of my research in the last 10 years on trying to figure out how (or whether) we know what we think know, and how best to get the “good stuff” out. We’ve taken a particular interest in and developed some (we think) innovative research approaches to evaluate some of the larger sources of bias that affect peer review.
I’ve had editorial roles at CORR® and JBJS, and I worked with JBJS on rolling out an innovative, fast-paced on-line newsletter for developments in hip surgery, of which I was the first editor-in-chief.
As mentioned, I see my first job – after maintaining the content quality of the original discoveries we publish – to be the service of the journal’s diverse constituencies. As a general-interest journal, CORR® will bring scientists and clinicians together around the subjects that affect the future of the specialty. Another goal is to optimize peer review along evidence-based lines. I’m hopeful evidence-based orthopaedic templates will help us train new peer reviewers (who come to the task with a variety of backgrounds), make the process more efficient for reviewers and authors, and, most importantly, increase the overall quality of what we turn out. Finally, I think we can — really, we must — make more of each journal’s pages comprehensible and interesting to more readers.