Efforts to understand, detect, and treat diabetic eye disease continue to improve.
At various points in life you may have heard someone use the phrase “shoot for the stars.” Perhaps as a small child full of promise and wonder, as a new med student, or even more recently as you have identified new personal or professional goals. Shoot for the stars. In other words, set those sights high, do not sell yourself short, and, most important, do not give up. Some embrace the sentiment, some almost seem to protest it by putting in the least effort acceptable. And then there are those who fall somewhere in between
I like to believe that, as humans, we are all ever-evolving works in progress, and I take pride in pushing myself to do the best that I can at any task and to occasionally take things a step further than the average person. About a decade ago I bought my first road bike, and I daydreamed about the miles I would cover on it. Every year, just before spring, I drop my bike off at the bike shop for a tune-up, and I make a promise to myself to spend more time in the saddle this season than I did the previous year. My ultimate goal is to complete a century ride (100 miles, or 160.9 km). I hope to cross this off my bucket list by summer 2018. Only time will tell if I will be satisfied with that achievement or if it will inspire me to work toward yet another milestone.
Of course, logging miles on a bike is a far cry from making strides in understanding the genetics of diabetic eye disease, developing new screening methods, or coming up with new techniques to manage proliferative diabetic retinopathy. But it is an example of challenging oneself to accomplish great things. Until a safe and effective treatment for diabetes is developed and it is possible to prevent and even reverse vision loss caused by this pervasive disease, researchers, inventors, surgeons, and other health care professionals must continue to shoot for the stars and work toward these important goals.
—Karen Roman, Editor-in-Chief