I write this editorial with mixed emotions. I am saddened by the departure of a highly valued member from the AJO-DO ‘s Editorial Board, but I am gratified because this person has picked his own time to leave the service of the Journal . Gerald Nelson has served as associate editor of the “Clinician’s Corner” section for nearly 2 decades. Tom Graber, editor-in-chief from 1985 to 2000, established this special section of the Journal in late 1996. At that time, AAO members were pleading for more clinically related articles in the Journal . So Tom established a new section called “Clinician’s Corner.” He invited Jerry Nelson to join the AJO-DO ‘s Editorial Board as editor of the Clinical Section and to develop “Clinician’s Corner.” Nearly 2 decades later, this section has consistently been among the most popular parts of the Journal , as determined by surveys of AAO members of all ages.
However, Jerry Nelson has decided that it is time to step down from his associate editorship to focus on his teaching responsibilities. He has been either a student or a faculty member at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), for over 50 years. He received his predental training in its system at both the Santa Barbara and the Berkeley campuses between 1959 and 1961. He then attended dental school at the UCSF from 1961 to 1965. During this time, he was part of the Curriculum II orthodontic training program and received his specialty certificate in orthodontics in 1965.
After spending 3 years at the US Air Force dental clinic in Athens, Greece, as a captain, he returned to the San Francisco Bay area in 1968 and joined Michael Meyer in an orthodontic practice partnership that lasted for 40 years. Jerry’s interest in journalism surfaced in the 1980s, when Dave Turpin was editor-in-chief of the Bulletin of the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists (PCSO). Dave invited Jerry to join the editorial board of the Bulletin ; eventually, in 1991, Jerry became its editor-in-chief. Over the past 20 years, Jerry has developed the Bulletin into arguably the finest constituent publication in the AAO.
After being in private practice for several years, Jerry decided to get back into orthodontic education, and he joined the faculty of his alma mater, the UCSF, as an associate clinical professor in 1994. He has continued his teaching commitment to that orthodontic program since then. He was promoted to clinical professor in 2000, became coclinic director of the orthodontic program in 2002, and vice chair of orthodontics in 2004. Currently, Jerry holds the title of health sciences clinical professor at the UCSF.
Jerry has also served the PCSO in several other positions over the years. In addition his editorship of the Bulletin , he has been a board member of the PCSO for the past 20 years and a regular delegate from the PCSO to the AAO House of Delegates since 2005.
Jerry has been recognized for his teaching and service by both the UCSF and PCSO. He received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1999 and the Outstanding Faculty Award from UCSF in 2000. He also received PCSO’s Award of Merit in 2002 and was the PCSO Session Honoree in 2007.
Jerry Nelson has dedicated his life to orthodontic education and journalism. He has admirably served the AJO-DO under 3 editors-in-chief over the past 2 decades. I will definitely miss him. He is a clinician’s clinician. He is well respected and deserves our thanks for the marvelous job he has done as associate editor of “Clinician’s Corner.” I wish Jerry the best in his future teaching endeavors. It is always difficult when a great one steps down.