Forecast from your new editor

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I am extremely thrilled to be named the new editor of Vascular Specialist. Uniquely unblemished by commercialism, Vascular Specialist has provided updated information with important commentary from unbiased editors. Much of its popularity is owed to the hard work of the editorial board in particular Dr. George Andros, who has stewarded our news magazine for the last 6 years.

Dr. Andros has ensured that Vascular Specialist has become the premier source for news items pertinent to all vascular surgeons in an entertaining and easily read format. His editorials have been both inspiring and thought provoking, and we are indebted to his enthusiastic support of Vascular Specialist. Dr. Andros is stepping down but I expect he will still be a frequent contributor to future issues. We are also fortunate that Dr. Frank Veith has agreed to continue his uniquely profound opinion pieces in “Veith’s Views.”

Dr. Russell Samson

But as good as it has been we will now endeavor to make our specialty newspaper even more relevant to our membership.

On a global scale vascular disease is increasing exponentially. At an even more rapid pace technology is providing us with new ways to treat vascular conditions. However, these new instruments, equipment, and pharmaceuticals allow other medical specialists to compete for vascular surgeons’ patients. We recognize that only vascular surgeons have the ability to utilize the most appropriate treatment for their individual patients. I have often said that a vascular surgeon “Operates, Dilates, and Medicates.”

However, in order to remain at the forefront vascular surgeons must constantly be up-to-date with advances in their field. With the deluge of data that is constantly pouring out of the various journals and scientific meetings, it is almost impossible for the average surgeon to remain current.

The main purpose, then, for Vascular Specialist will be to bring the most relevant new information to our readers. But news is not only new advances in medicine, it is also the social and economic issues that face us daily.

So Vascular Specialist will continue to include items that will help our membership survive the changing political landscape of medicine. Unfortunately, our news reporters cannot go to every meeting nor read every journal. So we encourage all members to see themselves as “news reporters.” If you come across information that you think our membership would need to know, please notify me by email (rsamson@veinsandarteries.com) or even write a small article yourself. Our editors will do the rest of the work.

In keeping with the spirit of the Society for Vascular Surgery to be free from the influence of industry or self promotion, our news items will be vetted by members of our editorial committee, and, as before, editorial comments will be printed alongside these news items. However, it must be recognized that Vascular Specialist cannot be published without significant costs. Therefore industry support is imperative. Clearly, it would not be appropriate for Vascular Specialist to become another throwaway industry magazine. However, news items about new technologies or pharmaceuticals written by industry itself (branded news items) must become a part of our newspaper and will be included in our upcoming special “What’s New: Products and Clinical Trials” section. Further details will follow.

We understand that members may have conflicting concepts and so we encourage dialogue and request that our readers submit responses to a new “Commentary” section. The most salient of these will be printed acccording to room or published in the electronic companion issue.

We also recognize that valuable “news” comes not only from peer-reviewed journals and scientific meetings. The many approaches to treating vascular disease may be one-of-a-kind methods that could not be published in peer-reviewed journals nor presented at scientific meetings. So we encourage members to send us items to be printed in the new “Tips and Tricks” column.

Perhaps you have a special way of introducing a catheter, preventing retroperitoneal bleeds, entering data into your EMR, or improving efficiency in your office. Any helpful idea may be published. I have added one of mine in this issue and I look forward to learning from all of you. These items don’t have to be written in strict peer reviewed jargon. Think of it like you were telling a colleague about your tip or trick over a beer!

We also want to represent the diversity of our membership as well as our patients so we will from time to time have news from residents and fellows, medical students, allied health professionals, minorities, and women in vascular surgery, and from vascular surgeons in community practice. And since many of us have conflicting views on treating some conditions we will try to have a “Point – Counterpoint” feature whenever possible.

However, Vascular Specialist should not be considered only as a vehicle to provide new information. Rather it should also provide a voice for our specialty. It will be a place where our membership can come to learn about what our Society leadership is doing to promote our specialty. Within the pages devoted to SVS news we will have news from chairpersons of the various committees updating us on the committees’ goals and achievements. Similarly, there will be updates from the regional societies as well as the American Venous Forum and the Society for Clinical Vascular Surgery.

It will also be a venue where we can inform SVS leaders about issues they may be able to improve. It will be a forum for our community where vascular surgeons can write about the problems facing us in our daily lives as practicing surgeons. Our new “Letters to the Editor” will become a venue for discussing all aspects of our specialty, from changing therapies to economic matters. If you have something you need to get off your chest, this is your forum!

We are the smallest recognized specialty in medicine and we are a close knit community. So in the new column “From The Vascular Community,” Vascular Specialist will also offer an opportunity for us to update our colleagues about our comings and goings, our ups and downs, our life events and those of our families.

You are welcome to submit any relevant news item related to your life’s progress or that of a colleague (assuming they agree!). It will be our print answer to Facebook for vascular surgeons. [If you are on Facebook, however, please visit and “like” our Vascular Specialist Facebook page. And we are on Twitter: @VascularTweets.]

As for most newspapers, print is expensive, and electronic media has become increasingly more appealing to publishers and you the reader. Accordingly, we will be redesigning our electronic version so that it can be easily accessed and read on multiple devices including your smart phone, tablet, or computer. News is happening every minute and our goal is to keep up. But print editions cannot.

So the print edition will still come out bimonthly and the electronic edition, which is published on the alternate months, will be sent to you by e-mail and published at www.vascularspecialistonline.com. But “breaking news” and new stories will be updated routinely between these issues in our online Top Stories section.

So join with us as we begin a new collaborative Vascular Specialist where you are reader, reporter, contributor and editorialist – a Vascular Specialist that represents the new breed of vascular surgeon and the new pro-active SVS. And a newspaper that provides news and commentary about all the events and issues that face vascular surgeons in an increasingly competitive yet exciting field of medicine.

Dr. Samson is a clinical associate professor of surgery (vascular), Florida State University Medical School, a member of Sarasota Vascular Specialists, Sarasota, Fl., and the new medical editor of Vascular Specialist.

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