ARHP and SFP Salute Dr. Daniel R. Mishell, Jr., and His Editorial Team for Four Decades of Leadership
Susan Higginbotham, Wayne Shields
Dr. Daniel R. Mishell, Jr., M.D., officially retires this December after 42 years as editor-in-chief of Contraception: An International Reproductive Health Journal. Adequately expressing our thanks to an individual so personally instrumental in the growth and recognition of our journal is truly a daunting task, but we will try nonetheless.
Since his early years at Stanford medical school and his research fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology at Uppsala, Sweden, Dr. Mishell has developed what by any measure is an extraordinarily productive career. In fact, he has authored more than 360 scientific papers, with nearly 300 of those published in peer-reviewed journals, and he’s written more than 175 textbook chapters, mostly on topics related to contraception, reproductive endocrinology and infertility. In addition, he has edited or co-edited at least 45 medical textbooks and serves as an editorial board member for several other medical journals.
Dr. Mishell is a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and served as chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California (1978–2005), and chief of professional services at the Women’s and Children’s hospital. He is also a member of numerous medical societies including the Society for Gynecologic Investigation (president 1985–1988), the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, the American Federation for Clinical Research, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and the Society of Family Planning (founding member). Furthermore, he is a consulting scientist for the Population Council and a member of its International Committee for Contraception Research and helped the organization develop the copper intrauterine device (IUD), the levonorgestrel-releasing IUD system and the Norplant.
As a result of Dr. Mishell’s research, publication and editorial activities, he has been honored by our two organizations, among several others. In 1994, he received the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Gynecologic Investigation, and in 1999, he was awarded the Guttmacher Lectureship by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Furthermore, in 2003, he was elected a fellow ad eundem of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, and in 2007, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Family Planning.
Yet it is not for these accomplishments alone that we wish to recognize and sincerely thank Dr. Mishell. We are most grateful for his visionary leadership and exceptional work ethic that have made Contraception the journal that it is today. Known for accomplishing much detailed work in a days’ time, as of January of this year he practically had enough articles reviewed and accepted to fill several editions. While we exaggerate only slightly, it is difficult to find many who share Dr. Mishell’s drive and work ethic.
Shirley Davenport, Dan’s trusted editorial assistant since 1991, says what amazes her most is how he can remember articles from 20 years ago and in which journals they were published. It is exactly that level of hands-on management of the journal and his knowledge of the research in reproductive health and family planning that have made him exactly the right editor for the journal’s formative years. Frances Nakamura, who has been the journal’s copy editor since the first issue, has the distinction of having reviewed every article ever published in Contraception.
Finally, while it is difficult to imagine Contraception without Dr. Mishell’s personal influence, transition and change are natural elements of both life and science. Nonetheless, his personal and professional legacy will endure through the journal that he has so aptly led through its development, growth and this transition to a new editor. On behalf of our constituencies and those who rely on the journal for the most up-to-date evidence and clinical guidance, we are sincerely grateful for his leadership and vision
Used with permission from Elsevier, Inc.