Editor’s Note: Ophthalmology Times introduces “Eye Catching: Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs will be an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Zack Oakey, MD, an ophthalmology resident at the University of California, Irvine. The viewpoints expressed in these blogs do not represent the viewpoints of Ophthalmology Times and UBM Advanstar.
When the idea of becoming an ophthalmologist first came to my naïve self, I made the right decision to seek a relationship with my medical school’s department. I met a number of prominent ophthalmologists, and all of them imparted great advice on application, on why ophthalmology is a good discipline, etc.
One of my eventual mentors said something I still remember: “When interviewing, don’t ruffle feathers; ophthalmologists are careful people who don’t want controversy.”
I now believe in this observation from my own interactions. I’ve found that many traditions and conservative ways of thinking are preserved in the subspecialty more so than other surgical subspecialties. Withholding the expression of deeper and controversial thoughts and management plans has served me well.
What’s more, we seem to be the only game in town where, for example, superior alternating hemiplegia is known by its eponym (Weber’s Syndrome)—sometimes to the derision of our neurology colleagues.
We are most likely to believe that burnout results from bureaucratic tasks1, arguably a conservative notion contrary to the progressive ideas surrounding electronic medical records. In my personal experience, I have heard and seen that we seem to be the last in adopting changes in medical documentation. I’ve been in clinics where the Haag-Streit slit lamp dates back to the 1960s and the whole clinic note is an alphabet soup of “PDR d/t NIDDMII,” etc.