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Features Archive from YO Info

YOs at Work: The First-Ever YO Program at the Nordic Congress of Ophthalmology 09/17/2014
Every other year, hundreds of ophthalmologists and ophthalmic nurses from all over northern Europe converge for the Nordic Congress of Ophthalmology to learn the latest in everything from allied health to vitreoretinal surgery. Last month’s meeting in Stockholm had something new. For the first time in the meeting’s 41 years, young ophthalmologists from the European Society of Ophthalmology collaborated to present an educational program strictly for their own peers.
‘Really Listen’: My Father’s Lessons on Treating Patients 08/12/2014
In ophthalmology, we use the principle of total internal reflection to peer through our gonioscopy lens and take a look at those angles of the eye that we don’t routinely examine. At the start of this academic year, I encourage each of us to take a moment and look within. And when you look, really look.
Invest in Yourself: How to Survive as a Solo Practice Ophthalmologist 06/17/2014
You’ve finished your training, passed the boards and gotten your license. And after surveying your practice options, you’ve decided to try your hand at being your own boss. But how do you survive as a solo practitioner? Last month, YO Info looked at some of the first steps to entering solo practice. This month we’ll look at how you collect a paycheck.
Is Solo Practice for You? 05/13/2014
Starting a solo ophthalmology practice can be intimidating even in the healthiest of economies — especially for young ophthalmologists. But while private practice might be daunting, it’s an option ophthalmologists continue to choose. If you have the skills of an entrepreneur and the willingness to devote 100 percent of your time and effort into the investment, solo practice could be for you. This month, YO Info talks with several experts about how to take the leap and practice ophthalmology as a small business person.
Mission Work from the Comfort of Your Own Office: Join EyeCare America Today 04/17/2014
The 25-year-old college student suffered from debilitating bilateral cataracts that developed due to excessive teenage steroid use. For years, finances kept him from getting proper medical care. He finally found a volunteer ophthalmologist in his area who could perform the necessary cataract surgery — young ophthalmologist Sebastian B. Heersink, MD, an Alabama-based cataract and refractive surgeon. Each day, doctors like him provide care to eligible patients through EyeCare America.
Education Without Borders: A Video Report from YOs at WOC 2014 04/15/2014
What would education without borders look like? That was the focus of discussion in Tokyo April 3, when young ophthalmologists from around the world gathered for an interactive session at the World Ophthalmology Congress. YOs Grace Sun, MD, and Brad Feldman, MD, report from the meeting in a series of short video interviews. Drs. Feldman and Sun serve as chair and member, respectively, of the Academy’s YO international committee.
Match Day: Inside Ophthalmologists’ Unique, Often Wee Hours Experience 02/10/2014
The days surrounding Jan. 15 might hold little calendar importance for most physicians, but for ophthalmologists, mid-January will forever be remembered for the Ophthalmology Residency Match Day. Unlike the majority of medical students, who find out where they will train in a singular dramatic celebration surrounded by classmates, friends and family, our match experience is a much different affair.
How to Provide Great Patient Care in the Digital Age 12/04/2013
Consider this scenario. During the middle of a busy, 80-patient day, you sit down in your office to take a break and glance at your iPad to find emails from a new patient who tracked down your private contact information to explain why WebMD assures him that he’s somehow contracted the rarest, deadliest eye disease on the planet. What happened to the house call?
The IRIS Registry: Bringing the Power of Big Data to Your Fingertips 09/17/2013
For ophthalmologists interested in measuring quality outcomes and identifying gaps in quality of care, it usually takes months, if not longer, to procure and process the necessary data. Now imagine a scenario where those months and years become minutes, a scenario where you can instantly access cataract-complication rates — crossed with prescription drug use — from practices in your region and compare them with others around the country. With more than 20 million patient records soon to be available at the push of a button, the Academy’s IRIS™ Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight) promises to make this a reality.
Journal Clubbing and Peer Reviewing: Make an Impact on Your Profession 07/15/2013
Most ophthalmologists would agree that young physicians interested in participating in the advancement of clinical research have an obligation to understand, if not actively participate in, the review process. Two possible ways to do that include hosting a journal club and becoming a peer reviewer.
How to Write Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles 06/10/2013
One of the more valuable, if not overlooked, elements of resident education is the intellectual challenge associated with critically evaluating published research. Typically, peer-reviewed journal articles center on evidence-based clinical ophthalmology that has been screened for errors in method, misuse of statistical analysis and overgeneralization of results. And the more that residents are a part of this process — actively participating in expressing critiques, offering alternating opinions and correcting colleagues — the better they will be equipped to engage in the larger professional conversation and thus advance the field of ophthalmology.
Doctors in Dialogue: The Resident-Fellow Relationship 06/10/2013
Ophthalmology fellowships serve a unique role in the hierarchy of learning and teaching. Previously YO Info covered whether pursuing fellowship is right for residents. Now, turn that question around: “As a resident, do I want a fellow?” How residents and fellows interact surfaces frequently in medical student interviews, perhaps as a courtesy question or a genuine inquiry into the educational process for a specific department. Though the pros and cons depend on perspective, a review of the evidence shows that fellowships undoubtedly can enhance the reputation of a program and the education of its residents.
Going Abroad: How YOs Are Taking the Lead in Global Blindness Prevention 05/14/2013
According to the World Health organization (WHO), more than 285 million people, or 4 percent of the world’s population, are visually impaired. Of these, 39 million are blind and 246 million suffer from low vision. Faced with this global burden, the WHO and organized medicine have launched initiatives such as Vision 2020 over the past decade to help stem the tide. Young ophthalmologists, however, are not sitting on the sidelines. A small but growing number of institutions around the country have created international fellowship programs to help YOs put their training at home into practice abroad.
What to Do When the Job Doesn’t Work Out 03/11/2013
The morning before you start a new job, your employer shows up on the front page, embroiled in scandal. What do you do? Or maybe it’s not the job that changes, but your circumstances. How do you decide when and if your situation merits the search for a new position?
Smartphoneography — Take Journal-Quality Photographs with Your iPhone 09/11/2012
You can obtain high-quality anterior segment photographs with your iPhone. All you need is an iPhone 4 (5-megapixel camera) or iPhone 4S (8-megapixel camera); a slit lamp; an iPhone slit lamp adapter; and the ProCamera or Camera Awesome app.
How Physicians Benefit From Being ‘Social’ 08/14/2012
The adoption of social media tools — such as Facebook and Twitter — has profoundly altered the communications landscape in all industries, including health care. Television and radio commercials regularly direct consumers to their Facebook page rather than their website. Moreover, companies post contests that encourage consumers to associate themselves with corporate Twitter accounts and Facebook pages.
Against All Odds: Lessons from Three Heroically Persistent Ophthalmologists 03/12/2012
Have you ever considered asking yourself, “What would keep me from practicing ophthalmology?” Take a moment to reflect on this. Very few would contest that obtaining a residency in ophthalmology is highly competitive, requiring approximately a decade of your time, and placing demands on your personal life. In addition to excellent grades, superb board exam scores and influential letters of reference, there exists a prerequisite of good fortune in order to succeed. Now, introduce into this equation an international catastrophe spanning six years of active warfare and genocide preceded by decades of economic hardships, political imprisonment and forced migrations. At what cost would you still become an ophthalmologist?
From Femtosecond to Registries, Mid-Year Forum Provides Glimpse into Your Future 02/13/2012
Are you concerned about the effect CMS will have on how you practice ophthalmology? Do you wonder if a femtosecond laser would be a good addition to your practice? Do you have a clear picture of how your future as an ophthalmologist should and will differ from your optometrist colleagues in five years? To gain answers and clarity on all these questions and more, you need to attend this year’s Mid-Year Forum.
Do the OKAPs Matter? 01/18/2012
If you’re starting to make time in your already busy schedule to study for the upcoming Ophthalmic Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) examination, you may be wondering what your performance will mean. To help answer that question, we talked to a few experts to help put the exam – and your preparation for it – in context. Next month our editorial board will share their tips for doing your best on the OKAP.
YOs Are Taking Over the World 01/18/2012
There is no question that our world is getting smaller and smaller. Thanks to the Internet and global news coverage, we are all closer than ever. For ophthalmology, this means new opportunities to learn, grow, and support colleagues in other countries — and for young ophthalmologists, it means new ways to address the different challenges YOs have compared to more-established ophthalmologists. Two international meetings this spring will provide opportunities to do just that.
Handling Negative Comments About Your Practice: How to Respond 08/15/2011
As a YO just starting your career, the last thing you want is a negative online comment or review. So how do you deal with them? I suggest looking at them like a box of lemons. Confused? Read on.
How to Have a Great Year in Residency 08/15/2011
The start of any residency is always a little hectic, to say the least. To help get you off to a good start – whether this is your first year or your third – the YO Info editorial board thought you could use a few tips for a great year in residency. Here’s their advice.
YO Interactions, CATT Results and Advocacy: Highlights of the Abbott Presidency to Date 07/11/2011
In February, we talked with Academy President Richard L. Abbott, MD, about his goals for his presidency. At that time, he pointed to communication and education — especially overseas — as topics that were high on his list of priorities. Now, with six months under his belt, a wholly different area of Academy activities has given him some new insights and perspective on the profession and gained a tremendous amount of respect in his eyes.
Surviving Your Worst Mistake: Handling Surgical Errors 06/13/2011
You’re in the middle of surgery when it happens: a slip of the blade, an unexpected development, and things go wrong. Suddenly your routine procedure involves a complication. Maybe it’s minor, maybe it’s serious. Maybe you’re not sure. What do you do?
RSS 101: How to Stay Up on the News that Matters to You 02/14/2011
In the modern era of the technological superhighway, we are bombarded with a constant drum of digital information. The task of sifting out information that may personally affect you or your profession is daunting. But imagine you have a personal assistant who summarizes all the new information in the world relevant to you.
Stakeholders from the Start: How YOs Gained a Voice in the Academy 01/18/2011
Once upon a time, young ophthalmologists had a nice little symposium at the Academy’s Annual Meeting. They met for about 90 minutes and discussed contracts, malpractice, buy-outs and other practice management topics. Then, in 2005, something changed the face of YOs at the Academy forever.
Treating the Neediest: Community Clinics' Expanding Role in Primary, Vision Care 01/18/2011
When you think of the first place a patient in need of eye care might get help, what settings come to mind? If your short list didn’t include a community health center, you might be surprised, but these clinics are becoming an increasingly important practice setting for not just general practitioners but also ophthalmologists – and not just for seasoned ophthalmologists, but those new to practice or even still in residency.
Marketing Your Practice in the Social Media Age 12/06/2010
As a young ophthalmologist entering the marketplace, you face many challenges that were not present just a few years ago. To be successful, you must focus your time and energy on developing a business model that will sustain your growth for many years to come. Whether you are a solo practitioner or part of a group, the modern challenges remain: how do you grow your business?
Clinician-Scientists Unite! 12/06/2010
Clinician-scientists play a vital role in filling the gap between patient care and discovery research. Splitting their time and interests between clinical practice and research enables them to translate their research results into the clinic, as well as develop research questions based on clinical issues they encounter in practice. However, over the last three decades, significant concern has been expressed about barriers faced by clinician-scientists and, indeed, their very survival. While the difficulties of this career path, which involves patient care, research and teaching, are evident to most, the motivations, success stories and rewards to those who choose this path would aid the ones considering this path.
EyeWiki and You: YOs Take the Lead on New Online Encyclopedia 07/13/2010
While most people are familiar with Wikipedia, many are not aware that it is but one of many “wikis” — online encyclopedias open to anyone to create, add to and edit reference work. As of this month, those ranks are joined by the EyeWiki [], a new ophthalmologic wiki project sponsored by the Academy, in close collaboration with several subspecialty and specialized interest societies. What makes the EyeWiki unique is that the material created within it is entirely produced by ophthalmologists. And at the helm of that project are a number of young ophthalmologists.
Registries are the Wave of the Future 06/14/2010
Everywhere you turn, more and more functions are being done online. Whether it is research, contacting friends, maintaining your calendar, or even meeting your future spouse, it seems that we all turn to the Internet to manage our lives. And now, the business of medicine has jumped on board, using the Internet to make the profession, and compensation, flow a bit more smoothly with the use of online registries. The Academy has answered with the Ophthalmic Patient Outcomes Database, commonly referred to as the outcomes registry, created in partnership with the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS).
Seven Things to Take with You When Leaving Residency or Fellowship 05/26/2010
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.
Improving Connections with Peers: One Resolution Made Easy 01/11/2010
If one of your resolutions for this year was to do a better job of connecting with colleagues, you’re in luck. As we told you in the November/December issue of YO Info, the Academy has launched a new set of tools to help you do that – and come February, the means of sharing cases, problems, solutions and more get even better.
Are Your Patient Education Tools Putting You at Risk for Malpractice? 11/16/2009
When Jo Dewhirst came to the first ophthalmologist’s office in need of cataract removal and lens implant, she was immediately impressed by the thoroughness of the explanations he and his staff gave her. “I was given detailed instruction on how to prepare myself prior to surgery, the necessary arrangements that needed to be made and what I would need to have on hand at home after surgery,” Dewhirst says. “He also covered ‘what I should expect’ from the surgery and what expectations might be unrealistic.” If she had any additional questions, a surgery coordinator was able to fill in the gaps. While nervous, she felt totally mentally prepared for surgery; in fact, the education she received prior to the procedure was so detailed, she almost felt as if she had already gone through the process before the operation even began.
Volunteering Made Easy: Three Ways to Use Your Passions and Skills for Good 07/13/2009
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.
Do PhRMA Code Revisions Benefit the Patient? 06/15/2009
On Jan. 1, my Alcon pharmaceutical representative informed me that the company was no longer going to provide complimentary kits to patients after cataract surgery. These kits (which contain an eye shield, tape, sunglasses and drug samples of the physician’s choice) help organize patients after their cataract surgery and ensure they have the basic medication necessary to begin a proper recovery.
Resident Perspective: What’s Next for the Academy — Twit-Book? 06/15/2009
What brought you to this article — was it the title? An attention-grabbing link in an email? Something that caught your interest while surfing While you’ve probably already decided if you are going to skim the rest of this article, I ask you to please continue… We live in the Google age, where we are used to having everything we need available to us — right now. Some argue that we are no longer engaged in our surroundings, as we are able to check email and surf the Web with our smartphones at anytime. This is often perceived as a bad thing, but the Academy makes the proposal that this free access to information can actually strengthen the ophthalmology community.
Big Decisions, Part 3: Combining Academics and Private Practice 05/11/2009
Last month, we explored the pros and cons of careers in both private practice and academics. This month, let’s consider a career that blends these two options: the hybrid model.
Big Decisions, Part 2: Private Practice or Academics? 04/13/2009
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 04/13/2009
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.
Big Decisions, Part 1: Is a Fellowship for You? 03/16/2009
The question of getting a fellowship can be a tricky one. Do you need the additional training within the area of ophthalmology you want to practice? Will it give you an edge in a competitive market? Can you command a higher salary with a fellowship? For most people, the two immediate issues are cost and time.
The ABCs of Fellowship Applications 03/16/2009
The first stop for most ophthalmology residents interested in a fellowship is SF Match. The San Francisco-based matching program has been coordinating the processing, distribution and review of post-graduate medical education applicants since 1977 and has processed more than 50,000 registered applicants worldwide.
A Few Good Resolutions: YO Info’s Editorial Board Members Share Their Plans for a Better 2009 01/12/2009
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.
5 Ways to Jumpstart Your Career 10/20/2008
Are you entering practice or looking for a new position? Then the Professional Choices Job Fair — Sunday, Nov. 9, from 2:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. — is for you! Begun in 2003, the job fair returns this year as a convenient forum connecting hundreds of physicians seeking employment opportunities with representatives from more than 100 hiring practices. Best of all, it’s FREE for job seekers. Here’s how to get the most from your experience.
Tricky Decisions: 7 Common Ethical Quandaries 10/15/2008
For young ophthalmologists and members-in-training, a formal discussion of professional ethical responsibilities is not likely to be a high priority. Rather, decisions about buying into a partnership, whether to obtain fellowship subspecialty training and whether or how to co-manage may be primary concerns. However, a successful career requires enhancing your understanding of professionalism and medical ethics. The following snapshots of core ethical issues are critical for ophthalmologists entering practice.
One to One: Wesley Millican 09/15/2008
Wesley D. Millican, MBA, is the founder and CEO of CareerPhysician Advisors L.P., one of the nation’s leading providers of comprehensive career and business education resources to residents, fellows and training program directors. He is also founder and President of MillicanSolutions Inc., an executive search and consulting firm focused on strategic leadership initiatives for children’s hospitals nationally. Millican serves on the boards of the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Texas A&M University, as well as the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church.
YO Spotlight: Diana Shiba, MD 07/17/2008
Diana Shiba, MD, is a resident at the University of California, San Diego, who has already been active in both California politics and the AMA. The following interview highlights Dr. Shiba’s philosophy about the practice of medicine, as well as her drive and dedication to preserve the sanctity of medicine for doctors and patients alike.
Amazing Benefit of the ONE Network: Online Journals 07/14/2008
The benefits of the Ophthalmic News & Education (ONE) Network are numerous. But one of our favorites is the free access to journals online. If you compare the cost of purchasing each individual journal to the cost of an annual membership to the Academy, you will quickly see the benefits of being an Academy member.
From Past to Present: The Changing Demographics of Women in Medicine 06/20/2008
Despite ongoing challenges, there are currently more women in medicine than at any point in history. And, according to Ann M. Renucci, MD (a corneal and external disease specialist in Grand Rapids, Mich.), women continue to gain greater representation in academic medicine and in leadership positions.
Words of Wisdom for New Graduates 06/18/2008
After the confetti has fallen and the congratulations have been extended comes the realization that you just graduated and are now embarking on a life in ophthalmology. It is usually about this time that the panic sets in. What are you supposed to do now?
YOs in the Spotlight 05/21/2008
One of the many ways the Academy works to champion their members is by collaborating with the AMA to ensure ophthalmology’s interests are represented in the big house of medicine. This is key for ophthalmology, as our profession makes up just 3 percent of medicine. Therefore, it is imperative that ophthalmology has a seat at the "AMA table" with powerful voices.
One to One: Cynthia Bradford, MD 03/21/2008
Cynthia Bradford, MD, is the Academy’s current Secretary for State Affairs. She is a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Oklahoma and practices at the Dean McGee Eye Institute.
New Ophthalmic News & Education Network is the O.N.E. for You 02/22/2008
If you are not familiar with the new Ophthalmic News & Education Network (O.N.E.) then you are missing out on a fantastic FREE resource. After years of discussion about what members truly wanted and needed in an education resource center, the Academy has delivered a customized clinical education source that provides all of the functionality, targeted information and cutting-edge search technology any ophthalmologist could hope for.
One to One: David W. Parke II 01/25/2008
Academy President David W. Parke II, MD, recounts his own experiences as a young ophthalmologist and what lead him to choose a life in academia. In addition to sharing his thoughts on the future of ophthalmology and medicine in general, he also talks about his role models and the effect they have had on his life and career.
One to One: Charles P. Wilkinson 10/12/2007
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.
Statistically Speaking 10/12/2007
After several months of intense preparation and gathering of opinions and data, 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.
YO Spotlight: Christopher Thiagarajah 10/12/2007
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.
One to One: H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr. 06/13/2007
When I look back on my first few years in ophthalmology, I realize how many different opportunities there were, and how challenging it could be to navigate one's way through the options. As you embark on this amazing journey, I'd like provide a few beacons to help light your way. I'll share a few of my experiences, offer some insights, and then challenge you to live up to the integrity and responsibility of the degree you hold.
Statistically Speaking 06/13/2007
Test your Academy knowledge. Did you know…
YO Spotlight: Christopher Chambers 06/13/2007
For the premier issue of YO Info, it was strongly suggested by several of our colleagues to profile Christopher Chambers, MD. Dr. Chambers attended the University of Notre Dame and received his medical degree from Ohio State University. He is currently a first-year ophthalmology resident at Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit.
Jumping Into Your First Year of Practice? 07/13/2006
The first year of practice can be an overwhelming experience for even the most well adjusted physician. It can often mean moving to a new community, operating in a new O.R., working with new staff in a setting remarkably different than the typical university training program and making independent clinical judgments alone, perhaps for the first time. All these new experiences can make for a stressful year. However, a logical approach to entering practice may make the experience more pleasant. Here are some ways to help soften the fall.