In these perilous economic times, it is important to have something solid to believe in, to rely on, to desperately hold on to. Since a Goldmann tonometer is not always on hand, here are many other solid outcroppings to cling to. Believe the following:

1. If a patient gets her first PAL with AR and in a plum-colored gradient photochromic high-index material in a drill mount rimless frame, then two weeks later, youll need to raise the seg height 3mm.

2. If you order a custom-made toric multifocal soft contact lens for trial fitting purposes, the patient will tear it the first time he tries to insert it.

3. If youre leaving for vacation Friday morning, your last patient Thursday evening will present with a metallic corneal foreign body with a 1mm rust ring, hell be amblyopic in the other eye, and hell be leaving for a hunting trip to Canada the next day.

4. If a patient calls you complaining of sudden vision loss, it will be on a Sunday afternoon, even though he first noticed it on Tuesday.

5. If youre finally fed up with no-shows and cancellations and you quadruple-book your schedule, then two of your assistants will call in with a cold that morning and all the patients will show up.

6. If a patient takes two pairs of trial contact lenses home and calls you to excitedly tell you that she loves the pair she has on today, she will have no clue which combination of the four lenses she is actually wearing.

7. If you refer a patient to a general ophthalmologist and he refers for consultation to another ophthalmologist, you will never see this patient again.

8. If a family member comes to see you, he or she will: a) never pay; b) have some rare jungle eye disease; or c) both a and b.

9. Patients with IOPs of 24mm Hg will have perfect optic nerve heads and visual fields. Patients with IOPs of 13mm Hg will have 0.70 cupping and vague, unrepeatable visual field defects.

10. The more kids in one family you schedule on the same day, the less chance theyll show up.

11. Prosthetic O.S. and color deficient? Hes a new patient whos been a long-haul truck driver for 27 years and needs you to fill out his form to renew his commercial license.

12. Amblyopic and color blind? Hes 18 years old, has never had an eye exam, and needs you to fill out a form so that he can get into the Air Force Academy and realize his lifelong dream of becoming a fighter pilot.

13. A 3-year-old in the chair for a first eye exam? Mom will say, The eye drops will really hurt, honey.

14. Brain surgeon? Never had an eye exam.

15. If a patient bounces a few checks on you, youll run into her at a nice restaurant every time you go out. And shell be eating lobster (that YOU paid for, when you think about it).

16. If you truly feel in your heart that you are funny uh no.

17. If you truly feel in your heart that you are brilliant uh no.

18. If you truly feel that a given governmental official can either optimize your life and career, or damage your life and career uh no.

19. If you truly feel that you have to accept THAT vision plan uh no.

20. If you truly feel that you can handle any challenge in your office uh well you can!

So, have faith. Believe. This is a great time in your career. After all, it is always today. Take care of THIS patient!

Vol. No: 145:12Issue: 12/15/2008