Thinking about my philosophy of patient care I would have to say that I try to treat patients as I would like to be treated or as I would treat a family member. While we tend to be somewhat informal in the office this does not mean that we do not take our patients and their concerns seriously.
I like to educate patients about the various options open to them without pushing. If someone understands his options he is able to be an educated participant and partner in his eyecare. This is true whether we are discussing new eyeglasses, contact lenses, surgery or medical therapy.
Having a sense of humor is important for me in establishing a rapport with patients and putting them at ease. Having practiced Optometry for over 30 years it still surprises me that patients at times are anxious and nervous about having their eyes examined. We try to always put the patient at ease.
We have no glass walls between us and the patients. We try to eliminate the barriers that create discomfort around examinations and stifle questions.
I attend many continuing classes during the year as there is always something new to learn or review. Optometry is a multifaceted profession and I see myself as an eye generalist with a special interest in contact lenses. Although the eyes are small, they are intimately connected to a large number of body systems and it is impossible to specialize in every facet.
Technological advances in recent years have made examination of the eye structures on a cellular basis a reality. This allows for better diagnosis of many conditions, for example glaucoma and macular degeneration, thus allowing for better treatment as well. This often involves an interdisciplinary approach with other physicians and allied personnel.
All in all it makes for an interesting day because I never know who will show up with what interesting eyes and they can be almost any age with a good story to tell.