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MDs Defending ODs Performing Procedures

Q:

Good thought, John, but to what would we be responding on social media?  Though it is likely a small audience, posting a response to Ophthalmology/Optometry Times is at least relevant.  A post to Twitter/FB/etc. may seem like a random rant, unless the article has also been tweeted out, in which case we can respond to that.  I just want to make sure we, as a profession, do not come off as whiny and defensive.  I think a large portion of the general public already sees us as “just” eye doctors, not on par with neurosurgeons/cardiologists/orthopedists, and often not knowing that ophthalmologists are MDs (or DOs).

I think a more consistent message would be some sort of statement put out by the AAO.  That particular idea certainly might be overkill, but I feel something similar to that appears more professional and less petulant than 200 of us commenting on an article.  In essence, it would be nice to have a larger representative organization speak on behalf of many of us in these sorts of situations.  Maybe I’m wrong.

Tough situation.  Still amazed that it was published to begin with.  An ounce of prevention…

– Nadeem

A:

nobody reads AAO announcements except we eye doctors, so once again–preaching to the choir

PLEASE TAKE IT FROM ME, look at the incredible list of media in my sig file–and that’s only half of my experience

making a separate public site on knet, while laudable, prob wont be worth the time, as nobody will go there/read it

prob w ophtho times posts are same–preaching to the choir

the only way to do this properly so we influence both the general public and congress is to:

1. reply/post/comment on whatever thread the original cited article provides, most provide some feedback

2. if no feedback is provided, email the comment to the author, as most authors these days are freelance, ie paid per article, not a salary position, particularly on internet news, so it is their financial interest to write a follow-up article and get it published, as they’d make 2x as much $ for little more effort, so if a lot of us email the author, or one of us emails him/her a really valid/interesting rebuttal, he will then go to his editor and ask for permission to do a follow-up article

3. social media is very helpful, as many people weirdly enough get the bulk of their news from sm. i’ve had many pts in their 20s say they chose me bc they know me through instagram bc my dog rhett the borzoi has 600 followers. i agree this is the most bizarre way to choose your surgeon, but i am telling you that people under 30 do stuff like this. a press release by AAO would NEVER be read by them, and if they did bumble across it, they would dismiss this as written by “THE MAN”–in contrast, social media is seen by millenials as more “authentic” and “unfiltered”

4. you can also write to your congressmen, as they all have full-time staff members who just tally letters/emails, and if a large majority say x, the elected official 99x out of 100 will support x, bc he wants to stay in office and have a job (so that is why lots of short letters are more effective than a few long ones, as they are normally just counted and the politician almost never even gets to see any individual letter

so that’s my summary on how we should be effective!:)

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*Emil William Chynn, MD, FACS, MBA*

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