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November/December 2004

Academy Notebook

What’s Happening


Meeting Matters

Washington Report

Members at Large

What’s Happening

Transforming Health Care Delivery With IT
Aging Baby Boomers are on the cusp of overwhelming health care providers, and their use of the Web and e-mail is extraordinary, said John E. Mattison, MD, during the Fall Symposium of the Academy’s Corporate Advisory Council. Patients are requesting better access to their own health records, and they want to participate in clinical decision making, he said. Increasingly, they will be able to go online to schedule appointments, order refills, receive preventive reminders, review reliable information, e-mail their provider and access their personal health record.

This move toward a more consumercentric model of health care delivery is one of four major shifts that will take place as providers harness the potential of information technology, said Dr. Mattison, chief medical information officer for Kaiser Permanente Southern California. In a second shift, patients, researchers and regulators will enjoy greater access to medical information once computer systems become highly integrated within and across institutions—though questions of privacy and data ownership must first be resolved. Third, physicians will enjoy advanced real-time support for their decisions based on evidence-based population analysis. When such applications have a high degree of specificity—in other words, doctors can zero in on what they need with just a couple of clicks—the universe of knowledge will shift from what an individual can recall to what’s on the network, he said. Fourth, information technology will reduce the time that is wasted on ICD-9 and CPT coding.

Dr. Mattison pointed out that some major challenges still exist, but he predicted that in a few years’ time, providers “will reach a tipping point where the advantage of not being automated will come crashing down.”

Residency Programs Gear Up for ACGME’s New Requirements
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has mandated that all residency programs teach and assess six core competencies: medical knowledge, patient care, professionalism, interpersonal and communication skills, practice-based learning and systems-based learning. The American Board of Ophthalmology has added a seventh: surgery.

To develop a strategy for complying with these new requirements, almost 100 medical educators in ophthalmology attended two national meetings: Educating the Educators 1 in Iowa City, Iowa, and Educating the Educators 2 in Cincinnati.

“As a national forum for identifying and developing an interested cadre of resident educators, this was a useful first step in managing the ACGME mandate,” said Andrew G. Lee, MD, professor of ophthalmology, neurology and neurosurgery at the University of Iowa. “Several of the ideas discussed at the meetings are now undergoing field testing for validity, reliability and feasibility.”

Dr. Lee urges all of the stakeholders in the ACGME competency project to be involved in further developing a compliance strategy. A third national meeting, Educating the Educators 3, will take place in 2006 prior to the Association of University Professors in Ophthalmology’s annual meeting. It will be directed by Anthony C. Arnold, MD. The first two meetings were directed by Dr. Lee and Karl C. Golnik, MD, respectively.

For more information on the new competencies, read the following articles:

  1. Golnik KC, Goldenhar LM, Gittinger JW Jr, Lustbader JM. The Ophthalmic Clinical Evaluation Exercise (OCEX) Ophthalmology 2004;111:1271–1274.
  2. Lee AG, Carter KD. Managing the new mandate in resident education: a blueprint for translating a national mandate into local compliance. Ophthalmology 2004;111:1807–1812.
  3. Lee AG, Volpe N. The impact of the new competencies on resident education in ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2004;111:1269–1270.
  4. Lee AG. Using the American Journal of Ophthalmology's website for assessing residency subcompetencies in practice-based learning. Am J Ophthalmol 2004;137:206–207.
  5. Lee AG. The new competencies and their impact on resident training in ophthalmology. Surv Ophthalmol 2003;48:651–6.

BCSC Boosts Training in Developing Countries
The Academy has entered an agreement with humanitarian organization Orbis International to provide the Academy’s Basic and Clinical Science Course to qualified ophthalmic training programs in developing countries. As part of this agreement, the Academy will provide the book to Orbis at cost. This will complement the work of the Academy’s Foundation, which distributes free materials as part of its international assistance program.

Three Industry Leaders Join the Foundation’s Advisory Board
Neil Levine, senior director of U.S. Ophthalmics and Endocrine Business for Pfizer Ophthalmics, James V. Mazzo, AMO’s president, chief executive officer and board member, and Sushil K. Premchand, managing director at Preroy AG of Switzerland, have accepted invitations to join the Academy Foundation’s advisory board of directors.

The Foundation expects that their business expertise will be a tremendous asset.

Patient Education DVD Wins a Freddie Award
On Nov. 5, the Academy’s “Understanding Refractive Surgery” DVD was named a winner at the 2004 International Health and Medical Media Awards—also known as the Freddies—in the health education category.

This is the Academy’s second Freddie for patient education. The “Understanding Age-Related Macular Degeneration” patient education video won the award in 2001.

To view clips of this year’s winning DVD, visit


Go Online for Results of Academy Election
Elections were held to determine four positions on the 2005 board of trustees and proposed amendments to the Academy’s articles of incorporation, bylaws and procedural rules. The results will be posted at by Nov. 29.

Want to suggest a candidate? Read January’s EyeNet to find out how you can participate in the nomination process for the Academy’s 2006 board of trustees.

Renew Your Academy Membership for 2005
By now you should have received your membership renewal packet in the mail. Renew immediately so you can take full advantage of all the benefits of Academy membership. To ensure uninterrupted benefits, your Academy membership dues must be paid by June 20, 2005.

To renew your membership online, please visit You can also renew by mail, fax or phone, as specified in your renewal packet.

If you have any questions, please contact Member Services by phone, 888-393-3671 (toll-free) or 415-561-8581, by fax, 415-561-8575, or by e-mail,

Update Your Listing
You can review and make changes to your Academy membership information online.

To ensure that information printed in the next membership directory and published online at Find an Eye M.D. is complete and accurate, go to, visit the Member Center and choose “Update Your Membership Listing.”

The membership directory and Find an Eye M.D. are valuable resources for patient referrals, as well as an indispensable tool for colleagues who wish to keep in touch with you.

Any questions? Please contact Member Services by phone, 888-393-3671 (toll-free) or 415-561-8581, or e-mail,

Read a Free Appraisal of Vision Exercises
Visual Training for Refractive Errors is a new Complementary Therapy Assessment that reviews the evidence supporting visual training programs to reduce dependence on corrective lenses.
It is available for free online.

To see the CTA, visit, click “Clinical Information” and then select “Complementary Therapy Assessments” from the left navigation bar.

Brighten Your Office With the 2005 I Care for Eye Care Calendar
More than 900 young artists, from preschool through sixth grade, put crayon to paper for the I Care for Eye Care international art contest.

The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus selected 12 of these pictures for its 2005 calendar ($10 each) and note cards ($10 for a 12-pack set). There are discounts for orders of 50 or more.

To place your order, visit where you can download an order form, view the calendar’s 12 pictures or read the rules for next year’s calendar contest.

Meeting Matters

New Orleans 2004. Subspecialty Day.
Caption: New Orleans 2004. Eye M.D.s enjoyed a high-energy Subspecialty Day, with record-breaking attendance for the retina (approximately 2,400 attendees), refractive (1,600), and glaucoma (1,600) meetings. The Joint Meeting itself had its highest number of attendees since 1999.

Save the Dates
Join your colleagues in Chicago from Oct. 15 to 18 for next year’s Annual Meeting. Further meeting locations and dates are: Las Vegas (Nov. 11 to 14, 2006); New Orleans (Nov. 10 to 13, 2007) and Atlanta (Nov. 8 to 11, 2008).

Report Your New Orleans CME
You can now go online to report the CME credits that you earned at Subspecialty Day and/or the Joint Meeting at CME credits must be reported by December 31.

As a service to members only, the Academy maintains a transcript of Academy sponsored CME credits earned, provided the member reports those credits to the Academy. Members may also report credit earned through other CME providers, so that a record of all CME credits earned is available on a single transcript.

Abstracts Deadlines
If you would like to be a presenter at the 2005 Annual Meeting in Chicago, abstracts must be submitted online at

  • For Instruction Courses and Skills Transfer Courses, the online submitter opens on Wednesday, Dec. 15 and closes on Tuesday, Jan. 11.
  • For scientific exhibits, paper/posters and videos, the online submitter opens on Wednesday, March 16 and closes on Tuesday, April 12.
  • If you plan to submit a video, the Academy also must have your actual video no later than Friday, April 29 in order for it to be reviewed.

Be sure to download the guidelines before making your submission.

Any questions? E-mail or fax 415-561-8576.

Enjoy Highlights of New Orleans 2004
If you missed a particular session from the 2004 Subspecialty Day or Joint Meeting, you can catch the following highlights:

  • Posters online. Visit and select “Past Meetings” to view scientific posters
  • Session audiotapes. Review a New Orleans course by ordering an audiotape online at
  • CD-ROMs. All three Subspecialty Day programs—Glaucoma, Refractive Surgery and Retina—and the AAOE practice management program can be ordered online at

Washington Report

State Victories: 2004 in Review
The Academy celebrated big wins in 2004 as it advanced the cause for quality eye care in state legislatures across the nation.

Scope of Practice Successes. Ophthalmology scored nine state legislative and regulatory scope of practice victories in Puerto Rico, New York, Massachusetts, Florida, Alaska, Mississippi, Maryland, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Most important was the Puerto Rico Ophthalmological Society’s defeat of a bill to authorize optometrists to perform surgery and prescribe all systemic drugs. This bill would have provided the broadest scope of practice anywhere in the United States.

Since the Oklahoma laser billed passed in the early 1990s, the Academy has helped 14 states reject optometric surgery language. Also during this time period, the Academy and state societies in Arizona, Montana, Texas and Washington have worked with legislators to enact legislation clarifying that optometrists are not authorized to perform surgery. These statutes represent a major victory for patient quality care. The Academy’s secretary for state affairs Cynthia A. Bradford, MD, applauds society leadership for state successes. “Several factors are making our pro-health and safety message heard at the state level, including an increase in Eye M.D. contributions to state society political action committees, and an upsurge in involvement by young ophthalmologists,” said Dr. Bradford. “Keep it up!”

Pre-K Screenings. The Academy helped Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nebraska and New York beat back attempts to mandate pre-kindergarten comprehensive eye exams only by ophthalmologists or optometrists and strip pediatricians, family physicians and lay screeners of their traditional roles. Instead, the Academy helped pass much more fiscally responsible children’s vision legislation in Connecticut and Massachusetts, calling for vision screenings in children performed by laypeople and others.

What You Can Do: The Surgical Scope Fund is the Academy’s most powerful state-level weapon against the optometry lobby’s surgery initiatives. Your donation does make a difference. It is not a political action committee, and contributions are confidential.

To learn more, contact the State Governmental Affairs office at 202-737-6662.

Members at Large

State-to-State: MDs in the Volunteer State Screen Veterans
At the American Legion’s national convention in Nashville, leaders and members of the Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology collaborated with the Academy to conduct vision screenings and educate veterans on quality patient care.

Educating veterans is an important part of ophthalmology’s “Surgery by Surgeons” battle, noted Erich B. Groos, MD, TAO president-elect and a graduate of the Academy’s 2003–2004 Leadership Development Program. “The TAO felt it was imperative to take the time to talk to veteran patients about ophthalmology’s concerns with the recent directive from the Department of Veterans Affairs that allows optometric surgery in all VA facilities under the supervision of an ophthalmologist.”

TAO executive director Sue Carson-Chasteen led the charge in arranging for TAO members to join Dr. Groos in the exhibit booth provided by the Academy to provide visual acuity tests, visual field tests, slit-lamp examinations and nerve fiber analyses to more than 275 veterans over the course of three days.

TAO president William M. Goodman, MD, stated that “this was a valuable experience for the TAO and veterans alike. In a one-on-one environment, we were able to educate our country’s veterans on the quality health care that they so richly deserve and in the process also discovered a number of previously undiagnosed pathologies. This was a win-win situation.”

Participants included C. Patrick Fitch, MD, James C. Loden, MD, Richard P. Gannaway, MD, Denis M. O’Day, MD, David J. Harris Jr., MD, Daryl D. Kaswinkel, MD, Michael E. Green, MD, David O. Ranz, MD, Robert W. Ridley, MD, M. Terry Burkhalter, MD, Rebecca J. Taylor, MD, and Arthur H. Woods, MD.

States Help EyeCare America in National Health Campaign
EyeCare America would like to thank the state ophthalmological societies for their participation in this year’s Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day (Tuesday, Sept. 21), a nationwide health campaign that encourages people to help their friends, neighbors and family members to visit a health care professional.

State societies partnered with ECA to raise awareness for the Seniors EyeCare Program through a nationwide media outreach campaign that obtained coverage in dozens of publications across the country.

To find out more about EyeCare America, and to volunteer in the seniors, glaucoma or diabetes programs, phone 877-887-6327 or visit

Who’s in the News
In August, Minnesota Physician named Abdhish R. Bhavsar, MD, as one of the “100 most influential health care leaders in Minnesota.” And on Aug. 27, the Star Tribune, a Minneapolis newspaper, highlighted  Dr. Bhavsar’s entry at the fine art competition of this year’s Minnesota State Fair.

The New York Times interviewed Lawrence J. Singerman, MD, about a drug based on RNA interference. The article, “Method to Turn Off Bad Genes Is Set for Tests on Human Eyes,” appeared on the front page of the newspaper’s Sept. 14 edition.

Mark I. Freedman, MD, Norman E. Cohen, MD, Judith B. Coran, MD, and Robert A. Sucher, MD, were quoted in the July 29 issue of the East Troy News, an East Troy, Wis., newspaper, on eye exams, eye problems and eye safety among children

John J. Alpar, MD,
was presented with the Distinguished Service Gold Medal in Ophthalmology at the Eye Advance 2004 meeting in Mumbai, India.

At an international symposium in Venice, Italy, Robert B. Nussenblatt, MD, was presented with the International Uveitis Study Group’s Gold Medal, a quadrennial award. Bahram Bodaghi, MD, received the IUSG Prize for his contributions in molecular biology and improvements of diagnostic tests in the field of uveitis.

The Retina Section of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology nominated Paul Sternberg Jr., MD, and Yasuo Tano, MD, as candidates to stand for election as ARVO trustees in 2005.

ARVO announced the recipients of its 2005 Friedenwald Award: Ronald Klein, MD, MPH, and Barbara E. K. Klein, MD; Weisenfeld Award: C. Stephen Foster, MD; and Cogan Award: J. William Harbour, MD.

The Glaucoma Foundation announced a new addition to its board of directors: Paul L. Kaufman, MD.

In Academy News, the Joint Meeting’s convention center tabloid, a photograph of Robert Bruce Bergmann, MD, was wrongly identified as Arnall Patz, MD.

Dr. Bergmann was the 2004 recipient of the New York State Ophthalmological Societies Hobie Award for outstanding commitment to the profession, patients and community.

Dr. Patz was one of 13 individuals who received this year’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.