Article Date: 2/1/2013


Another Side of Medical Care

At some point in time, most of us will provide some form of medical care.



The theme of this month’s issue of Optometric Management is creating success through the medical model. Our coverage includes the topics dry eye, allergy, blepharitis, red eye and pediatrics, along with a sizeable dose of marketing information, scripts, coding, eyewear and practice management. In addition, our 2013 coverage of medical eye care began last month with the feature “Add Glaucoma to Your Practice” (p. 26). And looking forward, we’ll feature the posterior segment in the July issue of OM.

Dr. Scot Morris argues convincingly for incorporating the medical model of eye care into your practice (if you still need to) in this month’s “O.D. to O.D.” column on page 4. So I don’t need to go there. But I will add: Regardless of your thoughts on the model in your practice, we all have a role in medicine.

Preparing for your role

That is, at some point in our lives, most of us will find ourselves as a participant in someone else’s medical care, whether it’s through raising a child, helping a friend in need or becoming one of the 44 million caregivers who provide unpaid care for another adult, which can include a 24/7 commitment.

Success in this role depends on preparation, according to countless resources. For instance, while filling out a new patient form during your child’s appointment with a dermatologist, you come across a question about the dates of recent vaccinations. Is the information readily available? If you are like me, you ask your child who shrugs in response. You then reach for your cell phone, only to have other patients point to a sign that requests you don’t use the cell phone in the office. Outside, you phone your spouse, who provides some educated guesses. Back inside, you get sidetracked thinking about your to-do list for the remainder of the day. You forget your spouse’s guesses and repeat the process. This is known as poor preparation.

More to it

Other skills can aid us in providing such medical care. For example, an attentive interpreter can explain the medical staff’s directions and questions to the patient, and relay patient concerns and information to the medical staff. Thoughtful words can assure the patient that he/she is receiving the best possible care. Also, as a patient’s advocate, you must be prepared to make tough decisions.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence that these are the same skills I have come to admire and value in the healthcare professionals who care for my family and me. OM

Optometric Management, Volume: , Issue: February 2013, page(s): 6