Greetings to All Virginia Ophthalmologists:
I am happy to write to my colleagues and report to you that our organization, the Virginia Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, is strong, vibrant, and hard at work for all of us. If you are currently a member, thank you, and please remit your yearly dues. If you have not yet joined, please stand with your colleagues and help us with our professional efforts.
Our society is focused on education, advocacy and collegiality. I have written before about how much of what affects our daily practice life is handled at the local or state level rather than on a national level, and therefore active participation in our organization is vital for the long term health of Ophthalmology.
Whether you have used the Society this year for education at our fantastic annual meeting, or called upon us for help with coverage for a new procedure from an insurance company, or joined us in calling upon legislators, or attended our ICD-10 coding seminar, or simply dropped in for social contact at our board meetings, we hope you enjoyed the experience and found it beneficial.
We certainly realize that the trends in employment in medicine in general and ophthalmology in specific are changing. Whether you practice as an individual, in a small or large group, as an employed physician as part of a multi-specialty or single specialty group, or are in academics, we want you with us, and we want to be part of your voice.
Recently, while on vacation at the beach, I was sharing with my brother (who is non-medical) that some of my proudest achievements in Ophthalmology were when I made systemic diagnoses on patients who presented with eye symptoms. I particularly remember one young man who presented with iritis, who I was able to work up and diagnose with HLA B27 positive disease. He later related to me that he had been chronically ill and not feeling well since his teenage years, and the source had eluded diagnosis. Now that he was being treated by a rheumatologist he was able to enjoy life again, and he credited me for it. I went on to tell my brother that the insurer did not want me to work up my patient's iritis; they would have been happy for me to simply prescribe steroids and be done with it. As a solo voice I did not have much sway with the insurer (and I would not have had much sway with an ACO or with a risk sharing multi-specialty group) but as a member of our society, I was able to call upon our resources and was able to prevail and practice medicine in the best way for my patient. The ability to practice as a professional, and be recognized as one while delivering the best care for our patients lies at the heart of why our society exists.
Thank you for what you do in bringing the best of eye care and ophthalmic surgery to your patients. We need your assistance in creating and maintaining a vibrant Virginia Society that works for all of us. Please join us in maintaining a strong, vigorous voice for our profession.
Geoffrey G. Cooper, MD, FACS
Ophthalmology in the LEAD
Lean, Efficient, ADvancing
VSEPS 2016 Annual Meeting Registration
is Now Open-Early Bird Rates Open until May 1
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