Peter J. McDonnell, MD
He is director of The Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and chief medical editor of Ophthalmology Times.
The doctor’s doctor
A few months into my residency, a patient and her husband came to see me in clinic. The history revealed they had already sought the opinions of two internationally acknowledged giants in the field of retinal disease, one of whom was a department chairman. The answers they received on those visits had differed somewhat, so they were now coming to get the tie-breaking third opinion. “Thank goodness they have no idea I am just a first-year resident,” I thought to myself.
Have we dodged another Zika bullet?
Now with mosquito season past in most parts of North America, it seems we can be confident the predicted spread will not come to pass—at least in this year.
Evidence-based ophthalmology
Why it is that ophthalmologists who read the same papers in the same journals have such widely varying approaches?
Knives, gunfights, pituitaries
Knives, gunfights, pituitaries
The idiom “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight” is meant to convey the importance of not entering a challenging situation without the proper equipment at hand. The concept that one must come properly prepared and equipped to any important task or confrontation is well-appreciated by ophthalmic surgeons, but this particular expression is rarely used by ophthalmologists teaching eye surgery to residents.
May the force be with you, too
May the force be with you, too
Tomasso, a vitreoretinal surgeon, recently shared a blog by someone who calls him/herself “Neuroskeptic”.Neuroskeptic penned a spoof “scientific” article about midichlorians, which are the little organisms inside cells that give Jedi Knights (the good guys in the “Star Wars” movies) their powers (and unfortunately, confer those same powers to certain bad guys, like Darth Vader).
Something we may be missing
Something we may be missing
My friend, Dave, an oculoplastic surgeon, trained the same time I did. He was extremely intelligent and possessed a great sense of humor. A real jokester, he provided free cosmetic services to his office staff, and claimed in their presence that his treatments prevented them from frowning at him.
Harnessing laziness to do good
Many maintain that rising early, getting to work, accomplishing a lot during the day, and getting to bed at a reasonable hour is the route to success in life. But a body of evidence suggests that human behavioral tendencies to do too much, in some cases, can reduce the likelihood of a good result. At the same time, laziness can produce outcomes that are either negative or positive.
Spectacles saved our republic
Sometimes, we ophthalmologists—accustomed as we are to high-success rates with our therapeutic interventions—become inured to the impact our efforts can have on patients’ lives.
A wake-up call for physicians
Everyone knows the name of Warren Buffett, the famous octogenarian-billionaire businessman and investor. His folksy persona and investment insights/elevated returns have earned him the appellation of “The Oracle of Omaha.” His estimated net worth of more than $74 billion makes him one of the wealthiest people on the planet.
Fired by the 'captain of industry'
Fired by the 'captain of industry'
No doubt, you, dear reader, have experienced the unpleasant situation of terminating an employee for one reason or another (poor performance, financial exigencies, etc.). But I would hope that we ophthalmologists perform this task in a more professional manner than that exemplified by The Captain of Industry.

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