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Young Ophthalmologists
Yo info

Support provided by Allergan

July 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).

Practice Management
The Technician’s Role in Obtaining the Advance Beneficiary Notice
Who has the responsibility to inform patients about the possibility that the test or surgical procedure they are to undergo may or may not be covered by Medicare? Quite often, it is the ophthalmic assistant or technician. The new and improved Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) — renamed the Advance Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage — became effective March 1. This Medicare form replaces the former ABN-G and the Notice of Exclusion of Medicare Benefits.

EHR: Where Are You on the Continuum of Adoption?
Momentum has been building toward the adoption of electronic health record (EHR) technology. The Academy conducted a survey in 2006, which indicated that about half of the membership had or were planning the implementation of an EHR system within two years. EHR adoption was more common in larger group practices, but was also on the rise in small practices. It was greatest in multi-subspecialty groups, with 71 percent planning EHR implementation in the next two years. The latest Academy/AAOE member survey indicated that 31 percent had converted to an EHR system and 25 percent planned to convert within two years.

Clinical Trials 101
Every year, thousands of physicians participate in their first clinical trial. This is not only an educational experience, but also a humbling one. A clinical trial is an experiment performed on humans to compare the efficacy of two or more therapeutic options. The multi-center, randomized, masked, controlled trial is the gold standard of clinical research and produces the most reliable comparison of treatment modalities. Another essential aspect of a well-designed clinical trial is the random allocation of subjects to the experimental and control groups.

Volunteering Made Easy: Three Ways to Use Your Passions and Skills for Good
I know that volunteering and a recession seem to make about as much sense as peanut butter and pickles (sorry Elvis), but this tenuous economic environment is the perfect time to get involved in volunteer work. And there are so many options for young ophthalmologists. No matter what your interests or specialty, there are programs that need your help at the local, national and international level. Let’s look at each of these opportunities in more detail.

YO Spotlight: John P. Berdahl, MD
For this month’s YO Spotlight, we talked to John P. Berdahl, MD, who just completed a fellowship in cornea, refractive surgery and glaucoma at Minnesota Eye Consultants. He came to our attention because of his work with EyeCare America and told us about a life-changing trip to Myanmar that he took right after finishing medical school.

Events and Resources

Join Us in San Francisco for the YO Program and YO Lounge
Back by popular demand, the YO Lounge returns at this year’s Joint Meeting (Twitter hashtag: #aaosf09), along with another great YO Program, more Breakfasts with the Experts and a special joint symposium with the European Society of Ophthalmology and the Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology. Register for the meeting, reserve your housing, and join us for another exciting year of YO programming at the meeting!

Best of the Joint Meeting Courses: The YO Committee’s Picks
YO Course iconWondering how to plan your Joint Meeting schedule? The YO Committee has culled the best of this year’s program, identified with the icon. Restrict your Online Program search to their selections by choosing “Endorsed by Young Ophthalmologist Committee” from the Special Interests drop-down.

New Video from PBS’ Norm Abram Stresses Eye Safety at Home
He’s been informally spreading the word for years, but with a new public service announcement recorded for radio and TV, PBS’ Norm Abram is officially an advocate for eye safety. In spots recorded for use by the Academy’s EyeSmart™ public awareness campaign, Abram reiterates the message he’s included in broadcasts of The New Yankee Workshop for years: when working in the shop or doing other activities with an injury risk, don eye protection first. Raise awareness of injuries in your community using template news releases from EyeSmart. Get more free resources at

Identity Theft and You: Andy Doan’s Latest Tech Column for Scope
In this issue of Scope, the Academy newsletter for active members age 60 and older, YO Committee Chair Andrew Doan, MD, PhD, covers identity theft. Are you vulnerable or are you protected? Read column.

Preferred Practice Patterns: Diabetic Retinopathy (updated September 2008)
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.