This issue of Yale Medicine marks my last as editor. I have retired, effective September 29 of this year, almost 20 years after I started working as Yale Medicine’s first staff writer. When I started in 1998, only three other people worked on the magazine. Michael Fitzsousa, who was then the editor, now works in development. Cheryl Violante and Claire Bessinger have job titles that don’t do justice to all they do that makes it possible to publish Yale Medicine.

My first big assignment was a feature article about the newly formed Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. My reporting took me from the streets of Hartford, where I shadowed outreach workers who were trying to penetrate drug networks, to laboratories at Yale, where scientists were seeking treatments for AIDS. Since then I’ve traveled to Russia and Uganda to cover international collaborations, reported on student efforts to save the Affordable Care Act, and overseen our special bicentennial edition, a photo-essay by six photographers who documented a week in the life of the School of Medicine.

Over these years, I’ve indulged in what makes journalism such a rewarding calling—the ability to approach remarkable people and talk to them about what they’re doing. It’s taken me into the labs, clinics, and classrooms here at Yale, and opened doors in New Haven and beyond.

As editor, I’ve had the pleasure—indeed, the joy—of working with talented writers and photographers who took on myriad assignments with energy and enthusiasm. Their efforts have made the magazine shine, and we’ve had the honor of winning silver and gold medals from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Along the way, the magazine and its writers and designers have garnered multiple individual awards, not only from CASE, but also from the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Medical Writers Association.

In my mind, however, the greatest accolades have come from the people who make up the School of Medicine community—the students who told me an article in the magazine tipped the scales and made them decide to study medicine here; the physician who asked that I put him in touch with students who had formed a clinic in Nepal so that he could learn from them how to make alumni service trips more sustainable; a request from Yale’s Office of New Haven and State Affairs for 100 copies of our Spring issue on the medical school’s relationship with the city.

It’s been a glorious ride, and I thank all of those—too many to name—who have worked with me and from whom I have learned so much. The magazine has long played an important role in engaging and uniting the medical school community, and I am grateful and honored to have had a part to play.

Finally, I welcome Adrian Bonenberger as the new editor of Yale Medicine. Adrian, a Yale College graduate, comes to us from Ukraine, where he’s been working as a freelance journalist. Previously, he served in the U.S. Army, leaving as a captain after two tours in Afghanistan. He’s also a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. I wish him well as he takes the reins of the magazine that has long served the School of Medicine community.

John Curtis, Yale Medicine,
1998-2017