Ophthalmology Business

OCT 2013

Ophthalmology Business is focused on business topics relevant to the entrepreneurial ophthalmologist. It offers editorial, opinion, and practical tips for physicians running an ophthalmic practice. It is a companion publication of EyeWorld.

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Social, digital media excellent platform for education by Erin L. Boyle Senior Staff Writer The website, Facebook page, and blog cater to surgeons in a "for surgeons, by surgeons" format. This approach has worked effectively, Dr. Oetting said, with Facebook allowing for the most interactivity of the three. "What I have found, particularly on the Facebook site that we have, when we post a video [of a case] that was tricky for us, an interesting or a common problem that surgeons encounter, we get all kinds of feedback, and it's productive feedback," he said. Benefits, concerns E veryone these days, it seems, has a Facebook page, many for staying in contact with family and friends. But the social media site, as well as other social and digital media websites, can be an effective way for surgeons to connect and educate. Through surgical video postings, discussions online about difficult cases, and pearls shared on blogs and other forums, social media sites including Facebook, YouTube, and society pages can provide surgeons multiple ways of connecting and learning. "I think [social media] is the best way to [present] education material, and for ophthalmologists whose primary job is not education, it's also a great way to educate their patients. I think for those reasons, it's powerful," said Thomas Oetting, MD, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Iowa City. "It's a way for us to learn and grow as ophthalmologists. It's also a great way to learn from each other." Dr. Oetting helps run EyeRounds.org, an educational website from the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, which is his longest running project in the field, a "Cataract Surgery" page on Facebook, which has well over 14,000 likes, as well as a blog called "Cataract Surgery for Green Horns," which has more than 180,000 page views. He said the online concept was started by then-resident at the university, Andrew Doan, MD, who Dr. Oetting called the "grandfather of digital ophthalmology" because he recognized the all-important future for ophthalmology in social and digital media. Jorge Arroyo, MD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Harvard Medical School, Boston, started a vitreoretinal web video series called "The Endoscopic View" to educate students and surgeons, offered through the BIDMC website. "The process of learning, at least in medicine, not just in ophthalmology, and especially in surgery, is essentially a communal process," he said. "It's a process that involves more than one person's experience, more than one person's thoughts, more than one person's education." Dr. Arroyo said the morbidity and mortality conference, or M&M, is an important part of student education, facilitating discussion among physicians about the various challenges, stakes, and issues in surgery. He started the endoscopic video series in January as an experiment, to see if education similar to live M&M conferences could be successfully achieved digitally. continued on page 15 12 Ophthalmology Business • October 2013

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