ophthalmology

We have entered dangerous times in my beloved medical profession. Non-doctor health professionals, backed by powerful lobbies, are increasingly interested in the easing of certain practice restrictions. New titles like “clinician” or “advanced practitioner” or “provider” are masking a stark reality - people will be able to practice medicine without ever having to attend medical school, perform rigorous residencies or be comprehensively and extensively trained as physicians.

This is not to diminish the powerful benefits of nurses. Far from it. But nurses are not doctors and the people most likely to get medical treatment from people who are not doctors are among the poorest that health care reform was supposed to improve. We shouldn't cave into it. From an ethics perspective...

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) just published distressing accounts of three patients who endured irreparable damage to their vision after seeking treatment at the same unnamed “stem cell” clinic in Broward, Florida.

Shortly, we will address where things went very, very wrong and how such situations can be avoided. But, first, let’s discuss what happened.

The women aged 72-88 years old suffered blindness to near blindness as a direct result of untested “stem cell” therapies being injected into their eyes while being fleeced $5000 for the procedures. Promised “revolutionary” therapy, they were left with catastrophic reminders of the unfortunate and unnecessary ordeal.

Each patient had age-...

I was blind, but now I see.  

I read an article by an economics student where the author suggests Johnson & Johnson and new contact lens legislation are teaming up to deprive consumers of choice and the ability to get their contact lenses.

Relax, the free market is safe and optometrists are also not in cahoots with ophthalmologists (nor are they the same). 

Let’s break it down, as I underscore the importance of not being so readily convinced by everything you read.  In 2004, The Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act passed.  In summary, it insisted prescribers give patients copies of their contact lens prescriptions so they can...

  “What is that you express in your eyes?  It seems to me more than all the print I have read in my life.”  Well envisioned, Walt.  Whitman, that is.  

  I won’t claim the follow-up to my first piece on foreign bodies in the body will be as eloquent, but it will affirm this sentiment: Preservation of vision should be a cherished, lifetime goal.  So, let’s talk high velocity projectiles -or, their avoidance -chemical splashes, particle fragments, and creepy crawlers.  

  Whether occupationally, recreationally, or run-of-the-mill induced, ocular insult by inanimate objects can be catastrophic.  Unlike other organs, periorbital damage has a critical cost. Our eyes subsume memories, capture still life and moving images, enhance our other senses, and absorb our stories.  Our...