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Young Ophthalmologists
Yo info

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April 2009

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).

Editor's Note
This month we continue our series on big decisions faced by many YOs with two stories: one on choosing private practice or academics, one on U.S. fellowship opportunities for internationals. Let us know what you think of the series or would like to see us cover in the future by e-mailing

Practice Management
Who Fits the Bill? 12 Questions to Ask When Filling a Billing Vacancy
Ophthalmologists rely on the knowledge and skills of their billing staff to help keep the office compliant and assist in appropriately maximizing reimbursement. When recruiting billing staff, some practices look for applicants with little or no billing experience — if they are then trained in-house, they won’t bring any noncompliant ideas to the practice. However, if you would prefer someone who can hit the ground running, here are 12 questions to test an applicant’s coding savvy. /p>

Big Decisions, Part 2: Private Practice or Academics?
You’ve graduated from medical school, gone through your rotations, settled on ophthalmology, and possibly even made your decision about whether or not to do a fellowship. And, even with all of these decisions, you have yet another to make: do you go into private practice or enter the academic arena?

Getting a U.S. Fellowship: Requirements for Foreign Medical Graduates
Once you’ve decided to do a fellowship, the next question becomes where to do it. Fortunately, there are many wonderful learning opportunities and teaching hospitals in the United States — so many, in fact, that the United States has become a destination point for many international ophthalmologists looking to expand their knowledge base.

Transitioning from Supervised Cataract Surgery to Independent Cataract Surgeon: 12 Clinical Pearls
1. Do not underestimate the transition. In your final year of training, surgery often becomes less challenging as your comfort level rises. Surgeons often assume the same comfort level will follow them to the real world. The reality is that operating on your own in a new environment can generate significant anxiety, and you suddenly miss having an attending surgeon by your side. Do not underestimate this transition and make every effort to prepare for it.

Events and Resources

Join the Sixth-Annual Eye Injury Snapshot!
As you know, spring’s warmer weather brings the return of many outdoor activities, which can also lead more patients to your office with eye injuries. From May 17 to 23, you can help the Academy by participating in the sixth-annual Eye Injury Snapshot. Data submitted is used to educate the media and the public about the causes of eye injuries. Learn more at

Look Up Drug, Disease Information for Free
Thanks to a new partnership with Epocrates, Academy members can now look up drug and disease information for free. Members also qualify for special discounts on premium Epocrates products. Try it out. Not an Academy member? Learn about the benefits of membership.

Preferred Practice Patterns: Comprehensive Adult Medical Eye Evaluation
As a service to its members and the public, the Academy has developed a series of guidelines called Preferred Practice Patterns™ (PPP) that identify characteristics and components of quality eye care. The YO Info newsletter provides a link to a PPP to help familiarize young ophthalmologists with this important resource.