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Young Ophthalmologists
Yo info

Support provided by Allergan

Summer 2007

Welcome to your premier issue of YO Info™, the American Academy of Ophthalmology's online newsletter for young ophthalmologists (YOs). The Young Ophthalmologist Committee at the Academy has been working with Academy leadership for several months to create a quarterly online newsletter designed specifically for ophthalmologists-in-training, as well as in their first few years in practice.

This newsletter will provide YOs with information about practice management, coding and insurance questions, balancing work and family, and many other issues relevant to YOs. You'll also learn more about resources and services that are already available to you from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE).

On behalf of the entire YO Committee, I'd like to thank Allergan for its three-year grant in support of this project. Please enjoy this first issue of the Academy's exciting new publication. We look forward to the months and years to come!

- Jennifer H. Smith, MD
Chair of the Academy's Young Ophthalmologist Committee

Practice Management
Billing 101
Ophthalmologists and administrators rely on the knowledge and skills of their billing staff to help keep the office compliant and to assist in appropriately maximizing reimbursement.

Winning Patients and Keeping Them for Life
"I'm thinking about doing some television advertising to attract new patients," the ophthalmologist told me as we sat down to eat lunch at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "I feel that I need to get the word out about my offices. I'm just not getting enough new patients and we are suffering financially." "Tell me about your offices," I said, and I sat back to listen.

The Buy-In: Transitioning from Employee to Partner
Whether you have just completed your residency or fellowship training or have already been in private practice for a few years, it is never too early to begin thinking about becoming a partner-owner in a practice. Partnership in a practice is a logical evolution, which likely was discussed (and possibly memorialized, at least to some degree) by the negotiating parties during the initial recruitment/hiring process. Now is the time to understand the key elements involved in a buy-in.

What is AAOE?
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is committed to providing you with the information you need to be successful in practice, both the clinical and business aspects. A free membership in the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE) - the practice management arm of the Academy - is provided to you throughout your residency, fellowship and first year in practice.

Clinical Pearls
10 Clinical Pearls for Your First 10 Phaco Cases After Residency
You are the new kid on the block, and yet you are - and must be - the boss. Communicate your needs and expectations to your staff, but remember that a calm and confident demeanor is necessary to avoid ruffling feathers during your first surgical days. How you shoulder this burden demonstrates your character. Remember that arrogance is often the mask of insecurity. If something is not going the way you want, look within yourself to find the fault. That's probably where it is.

Balance is Overrated
Balance is the word that most people use to describe the challenge of blending work with everything else we do. Balance is an overused word, and a metaphor that is too simplistic. Any presentation about Work/Life Balance includes a slide with an old-fashioned balance, a tool to measure weight. It is a bar with a fulcrum and a basket at either end. Work weighs down on one side, while family, leisure or anything personal counterbalances on the other side.

What Does Your State Society Do?
For a young ophthalmologist or member-in-training, all of the opportunities and responsibilities you face can be quite overwhelming. Add to that navigating the options the Academy has to offer and you very likely don't know where to begin. One great place to start is your state ophthalmology society.

Drastic Medicare Physician Pay Cuts Looming
According to the Congressional Budget Office, Medicare physician payment rates will drop significantly in the foreseeable future, starting with an alarming 10 percent cut in 2008 if Congress does not intervene. The cuts are expected to total 40 percent by the year 2015 due to a flawed statutory formula, states the 2006 Medicare Trustees report.

One to One: H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr.
Academy Executive Vice President H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr., MD, recounts his own personal journey through the world of ophthalmology. In this piece, he shares many of the highlights, sheds some light on lessons learned, and imparts invaluable advice for his fellow physicians just starting out. 

YO Spotlight: Christopher Chambers
For the premier issue of YO Info, it was strongly suggested by several of our colleagues to profile Christopher Chambers, MD. Dr. Chambers attended the University of Notre Dame and received his medical degree from Ohio State University. He is currently a first-year ophthalmology resident at Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit.

Go YO at the Annual Meeting
New ophthalmologists are faced with a myriad of choices in the transition from training to practice. The Young Ophthalmologist Committee, along with select practice management consultants, will share their own experience and expertise at the Young Ophthalmologists' Program on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2007, at the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Statistically Speaking
Test your Academy knowledge. Did you know…

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