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February 2005

 
Letters
 
 

Cell Phone Syndrome

Risk Management Strategy?

A Perinatal Predicament

Volunteerism Is Fulfilling


Cell Phone Syndrome
I read with interest and amusement “Cell Phone Syndrome” by Richard P. Mills, MD, MPH (Opinion, September). This reminds me of myself and my colleagues in the early years of medical school, when it was thought to be so cool to carry a beeper. This signified that you were important and a person to be reckoned with. But we all experienced the lack of joy that a beeper eventually brings and got over it. The cell phone may be playing a similar role in today’s society.

Randolph L. Johnston, MD
Cheyenne, Wyo.

Risk Management Strategy?
I like the concept of malpractice premiums going up with the increased risk of surgery. I would like to [know about] the malpractice carriers for the optometrists—is there going to be an automatic increase because of Oklahoma? 

In the past 20 years there has been tremendous expansion of optometric scope of practice, but it has not been accompanied by large increases in malpractice premiums—why? Do they spread the risk to keep the premiums low? Is it too soon to see malpractice cases which would force increases?

Maybe they have found a risk management strategy that we could use in medicine!

Donald J. Cinotti, MD
Jersey City, N.J.

A Perinatal Predicament
In response to “A Perinatal Predicament” (Morning Rounds, March 2004), written by Chandak Ghosh, MD, an ophthalmoplegic migraine should be an exclusion diagnosis. 

The patient’s MRI should have ruled out a small hemorrhage around the third nerve nucleus and orbital involvement, since ophthalmoplegia developed after Valsalva.

A course of steroids may be useful, especially to rule out Tolosa-Hunt syndrome (superior orbital fissure syndrome).

Heskel M. Haddad, MD
New York

Volunteerism Is Fulfilling
Ten years ago, I made a personal decision to find ways in which I could give back to my community. It was at that time that I heard about EyeCare America (what was then called the National Eye Care Project) and the opportunity to become a volunteer ophthalmologist. Since then I have seen approximately 20 patients who were in need of ophthalmic care.

It has been my pleasure to provide a valuable service and help more people in my community. Each patient I’ve seen through the program is truly grateful for the care that they would otherwise not have received. For some patients, it had been more than 10 years since they had had an eye exam. These patients also inform their family and friends about the importance of taking care of their eyes.

EyeCare America not only provides access to medical eye care, but also raises awareness about eye disease and provides those that call with free information about eye disease. Volunteering for EyeCare America has been very easy. I never have to leave my office, and there are a limited number of patients referred to me through this program. In 2003, volunteers saw an average of only two patients.

This is not only a way for me to give back, but also an opportunity for my entire staff to share in the experience. In addition to helping our community, volunteering enhances the reputation of ophthalmology and that is reason enough in itself to volunteer.

I encourage any available ophthalmologist who is not already an EyeCare America volunteer to enroll today. There are nearly 7,500 active volunteers. EyeCare America is always in need of new volunteers, particularly as active volunteers begin to retire. This is one small way for us as ophthalmologists to unite and help stem the tide of preventable blindness here in the United States. 

David J. Palmer, MD
Chicago

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To become an EyeCare America volunteer, please visit www.eyecareamerica.org and click on “How to Volunteer,” or call EyeCare America staff at 877-887-6327.


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