American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting

American Academy of Ophthalmology Meeting

November 17, 2013
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New AAO president issues call to action for ophthalmologists

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NEW ORLEANS — Ophthalmologists should advocate for colleagues and patients amid a challenging and increasingly complex regulatory environment, President-elect Gregory L. Skuta, MD, said at the American Academy of Ophthalmology meeting here.

“Compassionate and devoted service to our patients serves as a foundation for what we all do,” Skuta said after his induction at the opening ceremony.

Skuta replaces Paul Sternberg Jr., MD, as AAO president.

“The opportunities for service extend far beyond clinical practice,” Skuta said, citing his own involvement in the AAO and other organizations. “To be engaged in the activities of these organizations has represented a very satisfying, even joyful, experience, the essence of which is captured by a simple but powerful verse penned by [Rabindranath] Tagore, Nobel Laureate and revered poet of India: ‘I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and, behold, service was joy.’”

Various challenges amid reimbursement cuts and health care reform are incentives for ophthalmologists to serve the specialty and not focus only on daily clinical practice, Skuta said.

“We could easily focus exclusively on our clinical and surgical practices,” he said. “However, we must resist this temptation and remain committed to service of the profession at large, which brings its own set of rewards and sense of satisfaction.”

Ophthalmologists should participate in state ophthalmic societies and support related educational and advocacy activities, Skuta said.

Disclosure: No products or companies are mentioned that would require financial disclosure.