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Yo info

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Fall 2007

YO Info™ is the American Academy of Ophthalmology's newsletter for young ophthalmologists (YOs) — those in training as well as in their first few years in practice.

This newsletter provides 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).

Practice Management
Common Partnership Mistakes
As a practice management consultant, I have been involved in many aspects of a partnership buy-in, starting them from scratch, modifying existing buy-ins/partnerships and representing those selling as well as those buying-in. My involvement in all of these phases of a partnership has led me to the conclusion that there are a few basic mistakes often made in a number of areas.

The Art of Patient Communication
Patients may not be able to judge the quality of their treatment, but they can and do judge how well they are treated. The role of ophthalmic medical personnel (OMP) is to assist the physician in effectively communicating all aspects of the encounter so that the patient leaves the office confident in the care that is received. While perfecting technical skills, don’t forget that communication matters. Too often it is ignored. It is often poor communication in the face of a bad outcome that initiates legal action by a patient.

Ophthalmology Practice Benchmarks
As the business of ophthalmology becomes more and more difficult due to rising expenses and declining reimbursements, it will become more critical to understand and manage practice finances and patient flow. Benchmarks can help us do that — if used appropriately.

Help Raise the Profile of Eye M.D.s — Get EyeSmart!
As you are probably aware, the American Academy of Ophthalmology launched the EyeSmartTM Campaign this past July. This new initiative is intended to raise public awareness about eye diseases and their risk factors, as well as the role ophthalmologists play in treating illness and injury

2007 Annual Meeting
Navigating the Annual Meeting
The American Academy of Ophthalmology holds one of the largest annual medical meetings in the world. There are subspecialty day activities, more than 2,000 hours of scientific programs, hundreds of exhibitors, and advocacy and business courses offered by the AAOE. For a young ophthalmologist, this can sometimes be overwhelming. It is easy to go to the Annual Meeting, then realize after the fact that you missed something important. So, in an attempt to guide you through this meeting, the following recommendations are provided with the young ophthalmologist in mind.

YOur Annual Meeting
Join us at the Academy's Annual Meeting, Nov. 10 to 13 in the alluring Big Easy, for several events and courses specifically geared to ophthalmologists in their first few years of practice. Among the many courses designed with the young ophthalmologist in mind, there are also several YO-endorsed Academy courses.

Mix Business with Pleasure at the Orbital Gala — For Half Price!
Join your friends and colleagues for a night of fine dining, great entertainment and dancing at the Fourth Annual Orbital Gala — and receive 50% off the regular member price! This is a special offer for Young Ophthalmologists. This Black Tie (optional) event will feature feisty political pundits James Carville and Mary Matalin as they present “All’s Fair in Love and War.” Both will make individual remarks, followed by a question and answer session open to all guests — a lineup to ensure a rather spirited event.

Top 10 New Orleans Hot Spots
All work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull doctor. Thankfully, New Orleans offers lots of respites and recreation to keep your work-to-play ratio in the right balance. While there are literally hundreds of restaurants, clubs, museums, and attractions to choose from, the following top 10 list hones those choices down to the best of the best.

The AMA Leadership Award
Every year, the American Medical Association gives an award to medical students, resident physicians and fellows. Young physicians who have demonstrated strong, non-clinical leadership skills in medicine or community affairs, and have an interest in further developing these skills within organized medicine are eligible. The objective of the award program is to encourage involvement in organized medicine and continue leadership development among the country's brightest and most energetic medical students, residents, young physicians and international medical school graduates.

One to One: Charles P. Wilkinson, MD
Charles P. Wilkinson, MD, is the current president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is the chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center, which is part of an integrated residency program with Wilmer Eye Institute. Dr. Wilkinson is also a professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

YO Spotlight: Christopher Thiagarajah, MD
For this issue of YO Info, Leslie Jones, MD, nominated a very driven and enthusiastic fellow by the name of Christopher Thiagarajah, MD. Dr. Thiagarajah graduated from New York University and received his medical degree from and did his residency at Howard University. He completed his first fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology at the University of Cincinnati with Karl Golnick, MD, and is currently working on fellowship in ophthalmic plastics with Robert Kersten, MD, also at the University of Cincinnati.

Statistically Speaking
Using data obtained from the Academy's Bi-Annual Member Survey, we’ve compiled a fantastic look at the viewpoints of young ophthalmologists. Here’s what you and your colleagues had to say about the profession and practice of ophthalmology.