• Academy Notebook

    News, Tips, Resources

    NOTES:

    • The write-up below titled “Goal Achieved! Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye Opening Soon”  has been updated with additional information since the print publication. The write-up below includes mention of the commitment from the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to the museum. It also acknowledges the participation of Drs. Truhlsen and Marmor in the short video with Dr. Parke. 
    • The write-up below titled “Volunteer Opportunity: Help Diversify Ophthalmology”  has been updated since print publication. In the original write-up, EyeNet incorrectly stated that the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program deadline is July 15. The write-up below states the correct deadline, June 15, with an opportunity for an early decision deadline on April 12.

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    WHAT’S HAPPENING

    Goal Achieved! Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye Opening Soon

    In late 2018, the Academy Foundation announced a goal to raise $12 million to build the first publicly accessible mu­seum on the eye, vision, and ophthalmic heritage at Academy headquarters in San Francisco. The Academy is thrilled to report that it has reached that target.

    Member generosity. The fundraising campaign kicked off with two major donations from Stanley M. Truhlsen, MD, and Michael F. Marmor, MD, for whom the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye is named. Their benevolence set other gifts in motion. Almost 400 other donors generously gave an additional nearly $5.5 million to the museum and its endowment to provide for its future. A third of donors gave $1,000 or more; see the list at aao.org/museum-supporters. Bringing the formal campaign to a close, the Academy has surpassed its $12 million goal, thanks to a generous commitment from the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

    Ophthalmic practices, societies, and corporations around the world were also among those who supported the museum. Exhibits on the history of glaucoma and strabismus came to life thanks to the American Glaucoma Society and American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabis­mus. Galleries have been sponsored by Alcon; Allergan, an AbbVie company; and Johnson & Johnson Vision.

    What you’ll see. With the orig­inal 2020 opening date delayed by COVID-19, staff spent extra time on the final touches in the four galler­ies (The Amazing Eye, Power of the Retina, Discoveries, and Innovating for Sight). Visitors will see rotating selections from the 38,000-object collection—previously only viewable online or by appointment. Exhibits will feature items such as antiquarian medical books, glasses made of whale baleen, and Egyptian eye amulets, as well as cutting-edge technology that allows visitors to take a “walking tour” through the eye or visualize the effects of blinding eye diseases.

    Part of the high-tech experience is made possible by an in-kind donation from Alcon. The company’s NGENUITY 3D Visualization System includes a 3D monitor and a tabletop microscope with a 3D camera. The system will allow visitors to witness what the future of surgical visualization looks like, with amplified magnification, extended depth of field, and finer depth resolution.

    View a short video from Dr. Truhlsen, Dr. Marmor, and Academy CEO David W. Parke, MD, and take a video tour at aao.org/museumcampaign.

    You can still contribute. The Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye is a celebration of science and innova­tion as well as the rich heritage of oph­thalmology. Academy members’ belief in the dream of bringing the science of sight to the world is a testament to their commitment to education and com­munity. Likewise, it is a gift to inspire future ophthalmologists. But it’s not over. Though the campaign to establish the museum is finished, there will be an ongoing need for funds for future exhibits and programs. If you haven’t contributed to your museum, consider doing so now at aao.org/donate.

    Opening dates. The Academy intends to open the Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye to the public in early 2021 as COVID-19 restrictions allow. The health and safety of staff and visitors are of the highest priority. Please check aao.org/museum for news of the exact opening date.

    Meet the Minority Ophthal­mology Mentoring Class of 2020

    The Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring class of 2020 convened last fall for an intensive Student Engagement program. The new class includes 50 students and has been broken into two groups: Team Alpha and Team Omega. Each group participated in four days of lectures, breakout discussions, and skills workshops that took place on Oct. 25, Nov. 8, Nov. 14, and Nov. 22. The class learned about research as a medical student, virtual interviews, be­ing a competitive residency candidate, and more.

    The students will connect with their mentors on a quarterly basis as they progress toward residencey. Addition­ally, each member of the class will be given a full suite of study materials for the USMLE Step 1 exam and will have the opportunity to take part in monthly Zoom meetings to explore topics such as research and medical ethics.

    A partnership between the Academy and the Association of University Pro­fessors of Ophthalmology, the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program was created to increase diversity in ophthalmology by helping qualified medical students who are underrep­resented in medicine (URiM) become competitive ophthalmology residency applicants. Through the dedication of volunteer ophthalmologists, the pro­gram has helped nearly 100 students since its start in 2018.

    Want to help out? See the “Volun­teer Opportunity” notice, below.

    Learn more about the program at aao.org/minority-mentoring.

    TAKE NOTICE

    Academy Year in Review

    2020 was a year like no other. Members recalibrated, reorganized, and reinvent­ed, all while looking forward to a “new normal.” Read the 2020 Year in Review to learn about the Academy’s many achievements this year, including the following:

    • Introduced daily emails and other resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
    • Pivoted to a highly successful, inter­active, all-virtual AAO 2020
    • Launched Eyecelerator, an ophthal­mic innovation business accelerator that was launched in partnership with the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
    • Doubled the cohort size of the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program
    • Completed construction and meet­ing the $12 million fundraising goal for the new Truhlsen-Marmor Museum of the Eye

    Learn about these and other suc­cesses at aao.org/yearinreview.

    This Valentine’s Day, Show Some Love for Your Favorite Academy Programs

    Chocolate doesn’t last long. Put your money toward something impactful instead. Many Academy programs need your support this year. Donate to the Minority Ophthalmology Men­toring program, EyeCare America, and Global Outreach. Or, if you’ve benefited from the ONE Network, IRIS Registry research, or the Academy-OMIC joint risk management programs, make a dona­tion to ensure the continued production of those invaluable resources.

    Give a gift in honor of someone you love at aao.org/donate.

    Volunteer Opportunity: Help Diversify Ophthalmology

    The Academy and the Association of University Professors of Ophthalmology created the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program to increase diver­sity in the field of ophthalmology by helping underrepresented in medicine (URiM) students become competitive ophthalmology residency applicants. Medical students receive one-on-one mentorship and other guidance as they navigate the pathway to ophthalmology residency.

    Volunteers are needed to promote both the benefits of a career in ophthal­mology and the value of the program to URiM students and diversity officers at medical schools in their area. Now is an optimal time to sign up, because the deadline for students to apply is June 15, with an opportunity for an early decision deadline on April 12.

    Learn more by visiting aao.org/volunteering and choosing “Connect.” (This is just one of many Academy volunteer opportunities.)

    Ask the Ethicist: Rx for Tinted Auto Windows

    Q: A 23-year-old man was referred to me for photosensitivity when driving. He has no demonstrable ocular pathol­ogy, is complaining of light sensitivity while driving, and wants a prescription for densely tinted car windows.

    I’m concerned that extreme levels of tinting may limit his ability to see at night and potentially cause an accident. Is it ethical to diagnose idiopathic pho­tophobia and give him a prescription for tinted car windows?

    A: Your actions in this situation should be guided by your judgment as to whether tinted car windows are appropriate for your patient’s medical needs. It is suspicious that the patient’s photophobia exists only while driving, especially if the patient can calmly endure a complete eye exam.

    After eliminating physiological causes of photophobia, including neurologic or medication-based causes, it might be prudent to suggest tinted prescription lenses, which can be just as effective as tinted car windows and are far less expensive. In addition, certain lens tints are better for photophobia (they cause less dark adaptation), and they are not available in window tinting material.

    State laws may differ about win­dow tinting. If you decide to offer a prescription, you should familiarize yourself with state laws and/or consult with your liability carrier; most state guidelines use wording like “a genuine medical need” or “legitimate medical diagnosis.”

    Additionally, your concern that tint­ed windows could impair your patient’s ability to adequately see when driving at night, and potentially cause an acci­dent, is legitimate and speaks to your societal responsibility as a physician. Remember, it’s up to you to safeguard your professional reputation. You will always find yourself on strong ethical ground if you limit prescriptions like these to patients with overt findings.  

    To read the Code of Ethics in full, visit aao.org/ethics-detail/code-of-ethics.

    To submit a question, email ethics@aao.org.

    D.C. REPORT

    Ophthalmologist Engagement Is Critical for the Academy’s Advocacy Efforts

    Laws passed by the U.S. Congress have a tremendous impact on our nation’s health care system, including determining which types of services are available to patients, how physicians can treat patients, how innovative products are developed, and how it is all paid for. Most lawmakers do not have a health care background. In fact, only a handful of physicians and other health care providers serve among the 535 members of the 117th Congress, which convened in January. These lawmakers include only 17 physicians, five dentists, and three nurses. This is why it is so critical that your representatives hear from you about issues that impact the practice of ophthalmology and your patients.

    Nearly 70 new members of the 117th Congress will need to be edu­cated on ophthalmology’s priorities. In addition, the Academy antic­ipates that the new Biden administration will look at key issues, such as reforming the Medicare physician payment system and addressing Medicare Part B drugs costs, which could significantly impact ophthal­mology practices. The Academy will need to engage with its congres­sional champions to advance physicians’ priorities.

    The Academy Congressional Advocacy program plays a critical role in driving a pro-ophthalmology legislative agenda forward. Through the program, a national network of ophthalmologists is matched to and develops relationships with its members of Congress.

    Congressional advocates:

    • represent the Academy’s position on important issues through direct, personal communication with a member of Congress or con­gressional staffers;
    • develop a relationship with their lawmaker’s office by meeting lo­cally with the lawmaker or serving as a trusted source of information for their staff; and
    • deliver OphthPAC contributions to members of Congress, when requested.

    The Academy provides volunteer-advocates with background materials, training, and other one-on-one support to assist them in building strong congressional relationships.

    To learn more about the Academy’s advocacy program or sign up to become a Congressional Advocate, visit aao.org/advocacy/action/need_advocate.cfm or contact the Academy’s Governmental Affairs office at 202-737-6662.

    ACADEMY RESOURCES

    NOW SHIPPING: 2021 Coding Books

    It’s never been more important for practices to code claims correctly. Order your newly updated edition of Ophthalmic Coding Coach (the one-stop resource practices use every day), plus the essential training manual, Fundamentals of Ophthalmic Coding, Academy-developed resources forretina coding and ICD-10, and the popular CPT Complete Pocket Ophthal­mic Reference.

    Trust the Academy’s coding resourc­es for the accurate information you need to avoid audit triggers and appro­priately maximize reimbursements.

    Save 10% when you order four or more books today at aao.org/codingtools.

    Residents: Prepare for OKAP With BCSC

    The BCSC Self-Assessment Program is the only study tool tied directly to Basic and Clinical Science Course con­tent. Gauge your clinical understanding with 3,300+ high-yield questions and increase your knowledge retention with BCSC excerpts included with each question. BCSC Self-Assessment Program users earned higher scores on the 2020 OKAP Exam than nonusers (p < 0.001).

    To access, residents must subscribe at aao.org/bcsc.

    See Where You Stand on the Physician Well-Being Index

    It’s time to give yourself a checkup. The Academy’s wellness resources (aao.org/wellness) include free access to the Phy­sician Well-Being Index, a brief online assessment developed by Mayo Clinic in partnership with MedEd Solutions that evaluates multiple dimensions of distress and burnout with just seven to nine questions. Then you will get immediate individualized feedback.

    Goal. This tool is intended to help you better understand your overall well-being and areas of risk compared with other physicians all across the nation.

    Free member benefit. To take the assessment, Academy members will need to create an account at https://app.mywellbeingindex.org/landing-page/aao.

    MEETING MATTERS

    You Can Still Access AAO 2020 Virtual 

    Did you register for AAO 2020 Virtual? If so, you can still watch sessions that you may have missed and relive the ones you enjoyed. They are available in the virtual meeting platform through Feb. 15.

    After that, visit Meeting Archives (aao.org/aao-archives) for informa­tion about how to continue to access AAO 2020 Virtual content, including sessions, Subspecialty Day meetings, and the AAOE Practice Management program.

    Learn more at aao.org/2020

    Mark Your Calendar for AAO 2021

    It’s time to start planning for next fall’s annual meeting! AAO 2021 will take place Nov. 12-15 in New Orleans in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, and it will be preceded by Subspecialty Day, Nov. 12-13.

    The meeting will include more networking opportunities, standardized session times, a revitalized opening session (now on Friday evening), and a new closing session on Monday.  

    Learn more at aao.org/2021.

    Submit an AAO 2021 Abstract

    Contribute your expertise to the world’s most comprehensive ophthalmology meeting. The online submitter for AAO 2021 paper/poster and video abstracts opens March 11 and closes April 13.

    The online abstract submitter for instruction courses and Skills Transfer labs closed on Jan. 12.

    Learn more at aao.org/presentercentral.

    Register for Virtual Code­quest 2021

    Join the most knowledgeable coding experts in ophthalmology for an all-new four-hour program. Speakers will map out the latest coding updates, review key competencies, test your knowledge of the critical new E/M requirements affecting every prac­tice, and steer you toward successful solutions for preventing claim denials. Attend via a live Zoom event or order the recording to watch on-demand at your convenience.

    Learn more at aao.org/codequest.

    PASSAGES

    Dr. Jakobiec, International Leader in Eye Pathology, Dies at 78

    Frederick A. Jakobiec, MD, former chair of Harvard ophthalmology and chief of Mass Eye and Ear department of ophthalmology, died Nov. 14, 2020. He was 78.

    During his 52-year career, Dr. Jako­biec published more than 500 peer-re­viewed scientific articles and 60 book chapters devoted to eye tumors and eye pathology. His awards from the Academy include the Lorenz Zim­merman Lecture and Medal and the Senior Achieve­ment Award. He generously gifted $5.5 million to Mass Eye and Ear in his will, which will support four named endowments and library renovations.

    “Dr. Jakobiec felt that each one of us has a responsibility to help make the world a better place. There is no doubt that he lived up to this ideal,” said Joan Miller, MD. “Dr. Jakobiec’s enduring dedication to the department was un­paralleled, and his foresight, leadership, and generosity have helped ensure the strength and success of the department of ophthalmology for many years to come. We are eternally grateful to him.”

    Dr. Jampel, Past Director of the Kresge Eye Institute, Dies at 94

    Robert S. Jampel, MD, PhD, an Acade­my Life Fellow, died Nov. 26, 2020. He was 94.

    He served as chair of the ophthalmology de­partment at Wayne State University School of Medicine and director of the Kresge Eye Institute from 1970 to 1994. Dr. Jampel grew the institute substantially during his tenure, leading the institute to name an auditorium, endowed chair, endowed prize and lectureship in his honor.

    “Dr. Jampel was my chairman as a medical student and resident,” said Mark Juzych, MD. “He was a humble and kind person who treated everyone with deep respect.”

    Dr. Jampel is survived by his wife, three children, and many grandchildren. One of his sons, Henry D. Jampel, MD, MHS, is also an ophthalmologist and editor-in-chief of Ophthalmology Glaucoma.