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Young Ophthalmologists
A Few Good Resolutions: YO Info's Editorial Board Members Share Their Plans for a Better 2009

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With the new year in full swing, we wondered what the new YO Info editorial board members had on their resolution list. Meet the new board and compare their diverse goals for 2009 with your own, then check out our list of recommended resources.

Lauren Eckstein, MDLauren A. Eckstein, MD
I am completing my oculoplastics fellowship at the Scheie Eye Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. I made the decision to join the Academy when I was a resident, because as a resident, membership fees are deferred; as are registration fees for the Annual Meeting. Securing membership seemed a natural extension of my training pathway.

However, membership should not be taken for granted. The Academy is the single greatest advocacy organization for our profession. In particular, it is instrumental in the effort to protect the welfare of patients by leading the fight to prevent the expansion of optometric scope of practice.

The Academy has also served a critical role in efforts to preserve and expand physician reimbursement. Participation in the Academy allows us to work together on these and other important issues. Membership focuses our energies. It allows us to move and act in a coordinated effort, and it enables us to speak with a single, forceful voice. Thus, joining the young ophthalmologist editorial board was also a simple decision. I was compelled by my desire to personally support the mission and advocacy of the Academy.

My resolution: As I continue in my fellowship in the next year, my professional resolution is to maximize my remaining opportunities for learning and to prepare for my next career move. To this end, I will leverage the Academy’s resources for networking and job opportunities, as well as explore the resources available to learn more about practice management.

Related resources: YOs like Dr. Eckstein can use Professional Choices to find job opportunities, the YO Info practice management archive and resources from the American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives (AAOE).

Pedram Hamrah, MDPedram Hamrah, MD
I started my professional career by completing a fellowship in ocular and transplantation immunology at the Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School. During my residency in ophthalmology at the University of Louisville, I was elected chief resident during my last year, followed by a two-year advanced clinical fellowship in cornea, external diseases and refractive surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard.

I recently joined the full-time Harvard faculty as an instructor in ophthalmology. I am particularly interested in live imaging and its use to elucidate molecular and cellular mechanisms in corneal immunology, neuro-immunology and inflammation. I am also full-time staff of the Cornea and Refractive Surgery Service at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, as well as visiting instructor at the Immune Disease Institute of the Harvard Medical School and a member of the Harvard-Vision Clinical Scientist Development Program.

Currently, I serve as cornea section editor of the journal Eye, assistant editor of Ocular Immunology and Inflammation and serve on the editorial boards of Graefe's Archives of Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology and The Ocular Surface. In 2008, I was appointed chair of ARVO's Members-in-Training Committee, and I am proud to have recently joined the Academy’s young ophthalmologist editorial committee. In this role, I hope to share the insights I’ve gained from my academic and research experiences with others who are considering similar career decisions.

My resolution: As I start my exciting career as a clinician-scientist in academia, my professional resolution is try to balance my research and clinical time while securing funding and continuing to publish. Further, by chairing ARVO's members-in-training committee for the next two years, and by getting involved in the Academy's YO Committee, I would like to contribute to closing the gap between clinical and basic science in ophthalmology.

Related resources: YOs like Dr. Hamrah can use the newly redesigned Ophthalmic News & Education (ONE®) Network to share cases and stay up on the latest news and research.

Natasha Herz, MDNatasha L. Herz, MD
I completed my residency and fellowship in cataract, refractive and anterior segment surgery at Baylor Ophthalmology in Houston. I bought a practice from a retiring cataract specialist in the Washington, D.C., area, and since then have discovered both the joys and challenges of running a business. I joined this YO Info subcommittee because I want to share my experiences with others and hopefully help them through the tough and disorienting transition from training to the real world.

My resolution: As I take over my new practice, I resolve to use the Academy’s practice management articles and advice to make my office run smoothly and efficiently.

Related resources: YOs like Dr. Herz can use the YO Info practice management archive and other Academy and AAOE resources, such as practice efficiency white papers on the needs of three specific practice types.

Lance Kugler, MDLance J. Kugler, MD
I have been privileged to be involved with my Nebraska state ophthalmology society for several years. My involvement with the Nebraska Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons led to the opportunity to become involved with the Academy’s Leadership Development Program.

This program has been a tremendous experience, both professionally and personally, and has given me broad exposure to the Academy and the support it provides. I have learned the value of the Academy’s member benefits, particularly for young ophthalmologists.

Becoming involved at the committee level within the Academy, specifically the YO Info subcommittee, is a way to contribute to the organization. The future of ophthalmology is in the hands of young ophthalmologists, and strengthening their involvement in the Academy will lead to a stronger future.

My resolution: After working for four years as a comprehensive ophthalmologist in private practice, I have decided to take a year to complete a cornea/refractive fellowship. My professional goals are to learn as much as I can about refractive surgery and marketing, and also to enhance my business skills. I will be using the Academy’s extensive business and marketing resources, as well as networking with colleagues all over the world.

Related resources: YOs like Dr. Kugler can use the YO Info practice management archive and marketing resources from AAOE.

Lisa Nijm, MD, JDLisa M. Nijm, MD, JD
I am currently completing my fellowship in cornea and external disease at the University of California at Davis, under the guidance of Mark J. Mannis, MD, and Ivan Schwab, MD. I graduated from the dual MD/JD program at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and School of Law and completed my ophthalmology residency training at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary in June 2008. I have been privileged to serve as a board member of the Illinois Association of Ophthalmology, Women in Ophthalmology and as the Academy's representative to the Resident and Fellow section of the AMA.

I joined the Academy to serve as an advocate for my patients and the profession for improvement of eye health care. I accepted the position on the editorial board of YO Info because I believe it is a great opportunity to help serve the needs of young ophthalmologists as they transition from residency to practice. I look forward to interacting with other YO members to make YO Info an invaluable resource for future leaders in ophthalmology.

My resolution: As I am transitioning from fellowship to practice, my professional resolution is to find a great job! Therefore, I will be reviewing the Academy’s resources available to YOs on interviewing, negotiating a first contract and checking out business aspects of a prospective practice.

Related resources: YOs like Dr. Nijm can get job-search advice from the YO Info features archive, negotiation tips in the practice management archive and search for open positions on Professional Choices.

Manju Subramanian, MDManju Subramanian, MD
I recently joined the YO editorial committee this year. I completed my residency at the University of Kansas Medical Center, followed by a vitreoretinal fellowship at Tufts/Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, which I completed in 2004. I am currently an assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine, where I enjoy all the benefits as well as the tribulations that come with an academically focused practice.

My resolution: I enjoy a varied day-to-day work life that includes research, teaching and clinical care of patients. I currently have four years of experience in an academic setting as a junior faculty member. My plan is to bring that perspective to the YO editorial subcommittee.

Related resources: YOs like Dr. Subramanian can take advantage of the Academy's many Preferred Practice Patterns™ and other clinical guidelines and the advice in the YO Info clinical pearls archive. Also check out YO Info's profiles of Academy leaders like David W. Parke II, MD, and Cynthia Bradford, MD, both of whom have chosen careers in academia.

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