December 2020


Thoughts on 2020

by Rosa Braga-Mele, MD Cataract Editor

When asked to write a reflection of the past year, I took a deep breath and sat down for a bit. So many emotions ran through me when I thought about this past year. It truly has been a roller coaster ride and a lesson in rapid adaptation. But rather than look back with trepidation and angst, I can look back with pride. The medical profession has evolved quickly in dealing with COVID-19 and all of its challenges.
Personally, I have learned to be very thankful for my family and close friends. My family has kept me going, and my friends have been a wonderful support system. I realized even more than before how much I love spending time with my kids, partner, and dogs, and how much I love doing things outside of ophthalmology.
Professionally, a lot has changed. Telemedicine has made a difference with patients. It is so much more efficient to talk to patients about surgical procedures and technology over the phone when I have more time. It is also good to be able to triage patients’ issues and assuage any fears or concerns in a more rapid manner. I hope it is here to stay. My office is at about 80% volume to accommodate for social distancing, but I like the slower pace and the ability to spend more time with individual patients, even through masks and Plexiglass. My OR days have changed, as I have implemented immediate sequential bilateral cataract surgery for some of my patients (despite lower reimbursement) to help facilitate patient care, decrease visits (and thereby exposure risks), and decrease waitlists. It has been a challenging transition, but in all, I think we have managed quite well.
That all being said, what I do miss are in-person meetings. Although I get to see my colleagues and friends in Zoom meetings, I am craving the return to in-person meetings and dinners, where I can give everyone a big hug. I miss you all and will hopefully be able to see you in person at the 2021 ASCRS Annual Meeting. Until then, take care and be safe.

Thoughts on 2020 Thoughts on 2020
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