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Up Front: Chief Medical Editor's Page | Nov 2010

A Busy Week

The 2 weeks before the American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting are typically some of the busiest in the year for me, but my recent experience was exceptional. In late September, I was asked to appear on live TV in defense of LASIK. Morris Waxler, PhD, the former head of the branch of the FDA that approved the procedure in 1999, was on major TV networks to express a critical view of LASIK. He appeared on ABC alone,1 but we appeared together on CNN on September 28, 2010.2 I was lucky and grateful to be ably assisted in my preparation for my interview by the ASCRS, Abbott Medical Optics Inc. (Santa Ana, CA), and Liana Miller of Engaged Communication, a PR/marketing engagement agency. I further relied on excellent prior written defenses of LASIK by Doyle Stulting, MD, and Guy Kezirian, MD. I am deeply appreciative of the many positive comments I received after the CNN coverage from doctors. Of course, I also received negative comments from anti-LASIK people. While the two sides disagree intensely, there is a need for more dialogue between ophthalmologists, the FDA, and patients. I always worry the most when the talking stops. That is why Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today will provide more coverage of this debate in the future.

This edition of CRSToday profiles different ophthalmologists’ practices. When I began my career, the senior physician in the group was a huge proponent of visiting other doctors’ practices. At first, I questioned the value of these trips; I was sure I had learned everything I needed to know during my high-powered residency. In time, I came to understand how much can be learned from colleagues and how these visits can result in excellent friendships that last a lifetime. I believe this series of articles provides an intelligent selection of several different practice styles. Sheri Rowen, MD, has a patient-centric practice yet multiple locations and a wide range of services. At the practice of David Shoemaker, MD, in Florida, 20 physicians and 200 employees provide state-of-the- art cataract care while striving to keep it personal. Vance Thompson, MD, discusses his practice as well. Vance is surely one of the nicest winemakers and best doctors in ophthalmology. I expect it would be a treat to be one of his patients. The series includes articles on two other unique practices, those of Sandy Feldman, MD, and Jeffrey Whitman, MD.

In addition, I would like to highlight the discussion of defocus curves by Robert Cionni, MD; Scott MacRae, MD; and Dr. Kezirian. Evaluations of IOLs’ defocus curves make good sense, and these metrics are an extremely valuable addition to the traditional criteria of UCVA, BCVA, stability, and accuracy.

I hope you enjoy this issue of CRSToday!

Stephen G. Slade, MD
Chief Medical Editor

  1. ABC News 9/22/10 LASIK hindsight 20/20 with Morris Waxler. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jtl9Bj0gskI.Posted September 23,2010.Accessed October 23,2010.
  2. The safety of LASIK surgery questioned.CNN Web site. http://newsroom.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/29/the-safety-of-lasik-surgery-questioned/?iref=allsearch. Added September 28,2010.Accessed October 13,2010.
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