And You Call Yourself a ‘Specialist?’
I was initially excited to see an article written on “ How To Establish a Successful Glaucoma Practice” in your July issue.
However, the cover shows an O.D. standing next to a sign that reads “Glaucoma Specialist.” In my state of Illinois, and in many states, optometrists can’t call themselves specialists since we have no special training, such as a Board Certification. Calling yourself a specialist is a violation of state law and you will be reprimanded by the Department of Professional Regulation.
Secondly, regarding the comments on the necessity of “advanced imaging technology” (OCT, GDx, HRT): Imaging of the optic nerve with these devices is essential in modern glaucoma management. This is a significant error because without this type of imaging you will not be able to manage glaucoma with the accuracy your patients deserve, possibly affecting the outcome of their disease management, maybe leading to significant vision loss.
If you don’t have optic nerve imaging technology, then find an O.D. or M.D. who does and work out an arrangement so they do this for you. Once your glaucoma practice grows, you will be able to afford your own.
Lastly, where’s your goniolens? Gonioscopy needs to be done yearly. Also, the equipment you say is needed—a tonometer, slit lamp, pachymeter, perimeter and camera—should already be in every optometrist’s office, even if they don’t manage glaucoma.
Managing a disease that has blindness as a possible outcome is serious business. Every O.D. who makes the decision to treat glaucoma should incorporate all the tools to stay cutting edge for the benefit of our patients and to keep our ophthalmology friends from having more reasons to feel superior.
—Jeff Blanco, O.D.