After practicing for over 21 years, I certainly haven’t “seen it all”, and whenever I think that I have, something or someone comes into the office that reminds me of that. I actually really enjoy these patients and problems, they move me out of my comfort zone and really challenge my clinical thought process and decision making. Most patients and their problems though fall within the “I’ve seen this many times” zone. I still have many things to consider about these patients and its this thought and decision making process that is the real service that I provide my patients with.
All of the technology, office procedures and processes are all set up to provide me with the information that I need to make these decisions. I’ve purchased technology and set up office procedures to streamline and shorten this process considerably, but in the end, I still have to filter all of the information and decide what the problem is and come up with a plan of attack to deal with it. Whether its the farsighted 5 year old from yesterday who needs glasses to see easier (but not his entire Rx because he wouldn’t be able to adjust to it all at once), the 69 year old Glaucoma patient who has stable visual fields and anatomy but who’s pressure is too high even on his two glaucoma medications (one of which he may or may not have taken that day) or the 49 year old grocery store owner who “just” needs to use reading glasses to see up close. Each patient presents a set of usually familiar problems and findings, and its my job to put the puzzle together for a solution.
I started thinking about this while sitting in my sons’ orthodontist’s office for 3 hours this morning as they had their braces removed and read this blog post on the topic. I’m glad that they have wi-fi access so that I could write about it while the thought is fresh in my mind! I have wi-fi available in the office, but we try to not keep our patients and their families in the office long enough to need the access!!