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Young Ophthalmologists
Yo Info

Support provided by Allergan

May 2010

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
We’re doing our first-ever reader survey this month, so whether you’re a first-time or long-time YO Info reader, would you answer seven questions for us? It should only take a couple minutes, but will help us tailor coverage to the needs and interests of our readers. Thanks! Take the survey.

Practice Management
Ophthalmology Coding, Pt. 1: A-Scans to Foreign Body
Remember the pirate’s often-lost wooden eye in Pirates of the Caribbean? Or Tom Cruise’s eye transplant in Minority Report? Movies showing eye injuries intrigue us. Although it is a challenge to code these incidents, an even greater challenge lies in correctly coding the ophthalmic procedures we see daily. Our focus is to begin highlighting key points in coding the services most frequently performed in ophthalmology.

Editor’s note: Every year, the Academy’s Advocacy Ambassador program brings young ophthalmologists to the Mid-Year Forum through a partnership with state and subspecialty societies and training programs. Two of this year’s 123 participants, Azadeh Khatibi, MD, and George Scarlatis, MD, PhD, report on their experiences at Mid-Year Forum and Advocacy Day. Dr. Scarlatis was a unique ambassador, in that he chose to participate on his own accord and his own dime – without the sponsorship of a state or subspecialty society.

YO Perspective: The Forces that Brought Me to Mid-Year Forum and Advocacy Day
Sitting in California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office on Congressional Advocacy Day, I was surrounded by up-and-coming residents and fellows, as well as venerable ophthalmologists whose names I’d read in articles but never met until now. And as I sat there, I couldn’t help but wonder about the force that compelled me to come to the Mid-Year Forum in Washington, D.C.

YO Perspective: Change Will Happen Whether or Not You Speak Up
Being a non-sponsored Advocacy Ambassador (the designation given to members-in-training who participate in Advocacy Day), and given Baltimore’s proximity to Washington D.C., I elected to commute to the Hill from home on Advocacy Day. My day started bright and early as I caught the 7:40 a.m. MARC train to ensure that I would be on time for our 9:30 a.m. meeting at the office of Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.

Seven Things to Take with You When Leaving Residency or Fellowship
As you enter your last two months of residency or fellowship, let me take a moment to pass on some words of wisdom that my mentor gave me, which saved me many hours of work and possibly adverse outcomes in the OR because I listened. You are at an academic institution that has many support systems and information that you take for granted, and will not likely be there in the next phase of your career. So, take some notes, and gather the following items during the month of May, before June hits and you are overwhelmed with your final research project being due, endless parties and good-bye functions and moving preparations.

Reading an OCT 101: Six Pearls for Reading an Image), MRCOphth
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) has revolutionized the diagnostic field of retina in many different ways. Here is a quick primer on how to read an OCT. (This example involves the Stratus Time-Domain model by Carl Zeiss Meditec, Inc., Dublin, Calif.)

Events and Resources

Start Your MOC Prep Early
Get an in-depth overview of comprehensive clinical and specialty-specific knowledge in one weekend. Participate in interactive sessions taught by a distinguished faculty of instructors who created the Practicing Ophthalmologists Curriculum (POC), which is used by the ABO to develop questions for the Demonstration of Ophthalmic Cognitive Knowledge (DOCK) examination. Course attendees include ophthalmologists seeking a review and those preparing for successful completion of the DOCK.
MOC Exam Review Course™
July 23 to 25, 2010
Westin O’Hare, Rosemont, Ill.
Special study sessions are held for each practice emphasis area. Sign up for the live MOC Exam Review Course™.

YO-Only Special! Save 50% on Orbital Gala Tickets
While you’re at the Joint Meeting this fall, come celebrate the Academy Foundation’s 30th anniversary at the Orbital Gala on Sunday, Oct. 17, at the historic Palmer House Hilton in Chicago. This annual event is a great opportunity to learn how the Foundation’s philanthropic mission benefits the Academy’s educational programs. Join the festivities for dinner, dancing, a silent auction and networking with Academy leaders. Residents and physicians in their first five years in practice can purchase tickets at a special price of $150 each. Round out your Sunday night plans with two great events – relax and mingle at the Global YO Reception at the Hyatt McCormick Place (5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.), then head over to the Orbital Gala (dinner starts at 7:30 p.m.). Questions? Contact Joanne Neuman at or 415.447.0356.

Featured Academy Resource: Use of Multidose Eyedrop Bottles for Multiple Patients
As a service to its members and the public, the Academy has developed a variety of guidelines and policy statements related to quality eye care. YO Info will regularly include a link to a PPP, policy statement or other resource to help familiarize young ophthalmologists with these important resources.