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After 13 years, thanks and farewell

This is my last posting for Second Opinion; I’ve decided to retire from the column.

This is my last posting for Second Opinion. After 13 years, I’ve decided to retire from the column. Writing it for MinnPost has been an incredibly rewarding experience, but I want to put more “space” into my days. If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that we should not take our time with friends and family for granted.

Susan Perry
Susan Perry
When I told my 11-year-old grandson that I would no longer be working every day and could therefore spend more time hanging out with him, he did a little happy dance.

I have lots of people to thank, but I’d like to start with those of you who’ve been regular readers of Second Opinion. Over the years, I’ve had thoughtful e-mail exchanges with many of you, and I’ve also read with interest all the comments that you posted at the end of my articles. Early on, I realized I would not be able to respond to every comment (I simply didn’t have the time), but I did read and learn from them. Many of the points you made helped to inform what I wrote the next time I covered the topic.

From the beginning, I wanted Second Opinion to be an evidence-based column, one that looked at what the actual scientific evidence had to say on issues related to consumer health. That focus on evidence became my lodestar each day as I chose the next topic to write about.

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And just for the record: In all the years I’ve written the column, no editor — nor anyone else — ever told me what to leave in or leave out. I selected the topic of each column. I also decided how I would approach it. Admittedly, I didn’t always make the best decision (some of the research I wrote about didn’t hold up in future studies), but the responsibility lies fully with me.

I have worked with many wonderful, talented people at MinnPost, but I am especially indebted to Susan Albright, my exceptionally skilled and steady long-time editor, and to Corey Anderson, who managed (with a sense of humor) every morning to come up with photos and other images for articles that often didn’t lend themselves to any kind of visuals.

I want to particularly thank, however, Laurie and Joel Kramer, who had the vision and courage to launch a nonprofit online newspaper in 2007, right in the midst of the Great Recession. I am grateful for having been part of this remarkable adventure in journalism. It’s been quite a journey.