In the early days of my career as a private practitioner in the field if ophthalmology, armed with just a slit lamp and a trial frame, the challenge was only the appropriate care of the patient. Improving your skills as an ophthalmologist implied being updated with medical protocols and improving your skills as a surgeon. If you were successful in your career, you could even hire an assistant in order to streamline your numerous patients.
If you had glaucoma patients, an automated visual field analyser was a must, and for a cataract surgeon, a good biometry device was a unavoidable need. In addition, an argon laser would be invaluable in retina cases. For high-volume practitioners, the costs incurred from such expensive machinery were easily absorbed by one’s practice.
With time, though, more and more sophisticated pieces of diagnostic machines became available and as such, became necessary to obtain for those who wished to keep up with advancements in their field. These days, my old diagnostics friends are armed with a topographer, a tomographer, an endothelial microscope, miRNA mimics and inhibitors, a third-generation optical coherence tomography (OCT) instrument, a non-contact tonometer and an optical biometer. Not forgetting the assistant who has been hired with the sole task of running all of these tests.