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- Spencer B. King III, MD, MACC∗ ()
- ↵∗Address for correspondence:
Dr. Spencer B. King III, Saint Joseph’s Heart and Vascular Institute, 5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30342.
Since this is my last Editor’s Page, I will take a moment to reflect on change. Change is often a good thing, even when we have been satisfied with where we are. My tenure of 10 years has come to a close, and we now will move forward with a new editor-in-chief and a new team of associate editors for JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions. I am a firm believer in term limits. Some terms should be shorter than others (read what you will into that). In my case, 10 years is enough, and though I will miss the action, there is merit in changing the guard and bringing on new ideas. David Moliterno is the perfect person to take on this responsibility. David is Chairman of Medicine at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine. Do not let that high-sounding title fool you. David has been in the trenches and continues to be immersed in interventional cardiology; as associate editor for the past 10 years, he understands what works and what can benefit from new innovations. He has garnered an outstanding group of associate editors to freshen up the review process. They will be great. In with the new!
There are other old things that have undergone change from the very beginning. This year marks the 40th anniversary of interventional cardiology. Why 40 is a magic number, I do not know, but because I have been asked to reflect on the history of interventional cardiology in multiple forums this year, maybe 40 is the right number of years when some of us can still remember the beginning and celebrate with those who cannot the dramatic changes that our subspecialty has gone through. There will be a lot of that celebration leading up to the 40th anniversary of the September 17, 1977, birth of angioplasty. The changes never stop, and the excitement of a new discovery is still being experienced by many of you in 2017. I recently watched the transcaval approach to transcatheter aortic valve replacement and more recently the interventional splitting of the anterior leaflet of the mitral valve to prevent outflow obstruction after percutaneous mitral valve replacement. But the excitement and anxiety around the first angioplasty in Zurich was something, Bernie Meier excepted, most of us can only imagine. I recently was looking over some old correspondence Andreas had with my colleague, Peter Block, 40 years ago. Figure 1 is an excerpt of that letter.
Note the date of this letter. Three days later, Bernie Meier had identified Mr. Bachman, and Andreas was performing the procedure we celebrate as the beginning of interventional cardiology. The many stories of those days will be recounted at a 40th anniversary celebration in Zurich and elsewhere. This beginning was essential, but the subsequent changes were necessary, as will be those yet to come. Many of those changes will come from investigators not yet born when interventional cardiology first began but whose “firsts” will be necessary for progress to occur.
I cannot leave this page without remembering 2 of my close friends who are no longer with us but who played major roles in the changes in interventional cardiology. John H.K. “Jack” Vogel of Santa Barbara, California, defined an era of post-graduate education in cardiology from the first Snowmass American College of Cardiology course he initiated in 1969 through the more than 45 that followed. Jack always looked for the new things in cardiology and invited speakers from all over the world to bring their unique ideas. Later in the “new device era” of interventional cardiology, he asked me to codirect with him a course in Santa Barbara bringing together all the new and crazy ideas in interventional cardiology. Those of you involved in the many types of atherectomy, lasers, and the early stents who traveled from all over the world to advocate for change will remember those exciting years. Allan Ross, Chief of Cardiology at George Washington School of Medicine in Washington, DC, was a major driver in the change to effective treatment of myocardial infarction. The trials Allan ably directed and his presentations, absolute works of art, that he presented throughout the world will always be remembered as agents for change for our profession and for the patients we care for. Allan and Jack were advisors for me when launching JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions, and indelible memories of their friendship remain (Figure 2).
Change is good. Greet it with great enthusiasm, but to paraphrase the old Chinese proverb—“Those of us who drink the water should not forget the ones who dug the well.”
- 2017 American College of Cardiology Foundation