Saturday, June 27, 2009

From the AOA

AOA House votes in favor of Board Certification after full day discussion

A full house in the House of Delegates, and a full day of debate and discussion. Final vote on the motion to recommend creation of the American Board of Optometry and that it follow the model created by the Joint Board Certification Project Team: 1126 yes to 887 no.

At the annual meeting of the American Optometric Association (AOA), members voted Friday 1,126 to 887 in favor of establishing the American Board of Optometry (ABO) as the entity to develop and implement the framework for board certification and maintenance of certification.

The AOA is one of six optometric organizations that formed the Joint Board Certification Project Team (JBCPT) in 2007 to examine the issue of optometric board certification and propose a model for certification and maintenance of certification that is attainable, credible and defensible.

“Our members’ actions Friday indicate that optometrists see the need for a mechanism to clearly demonstrate continued competency to patients, legislators and payers,” said Randy Brooks, O.D., president of the AOA. “The creation of the American Board of Optometry will provide a unified national platform to establish and demonstrate competency and value and will position our profession solidly for the future.”

The approval process of certification includes board certification and maintenance of certification for optometry and authorizes the AOA to participate in the development, formation, implementation and governance of the American Board of Optometry (ABO) and will give the ABO the authority to officially develop the model for board certification.

“The AOA wishes to thank every delegate for their participation in the discussions surrounding board certification,” said Dr. Brooks. “We are pleased with the adoption of the motion and we will continue to monitor changes and developments in health care reform. Our association is committed to remaining at the forefront of health care and looks forward to optometrists continuing to provide high quality, accessible eye care for all Americans.”

Formal adoption of this resolution is subject to final action by the AOA’s Judicial Council.

Comments: I was honored to be a delegate in the AOA HOD when the final vote made history for the profession of optometry. Board certification and MOC will allow us to continue to demonstrate how well optometrists serve their patients with consistent, high quality eye and vision care. Optometry is the one and only primary eye care provider to the nation. Our patients already know the public, governmental bodies, third party payors and others will also know this as well. DM


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ICO Alumni Council Meets at AOA

Members of the Illinois College of Optometry Alumni Council met at the recent American Optometric Association meeting in Washington, DC to discuss the good and welfare of ICO alumni and to greet ICO alums at the ICO booth in the exhibit hall and during the ICO reception.

Pictured to the right are:
Donovan Crouch, OD ’63, FAAO, Connie M. Scavuzzo, Director of Alumni Development, Dominick M. Maino, OD ’78, MEd, FAAO, FCOVD-A, Secretary-Treasurer, Charles W. Harrill, OD ‘74 Vice President, and Mamie Chan, OD ‘00, President ICO Alumni Association.

COVD at the AOA

(Pictured above, COVD Executive Director, Ms. Pamel Happ, Dr. Carol Scott, President COVD and Dr. David the right, Dr. Len Press, fuzzy lipped and VERY serious, in the AOA House of Delegates)

The Board of Directors for the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and individual members of COVD were actively supporting the political process during the American Optometric Association meeting in Washington, DC. The final motion on Board Certification recognized the importance of being a Fellow of COVD and was supported by the AOA House of Delegates.

The ICO Class of 1978 at AOA

The ICO class of 1978 was very well represented at the recent AOA meeting in Washington, DC. DR SELMO SATANOSKY, DR DANIEL THOMAS FITZPATRICK, and Dr. Dominick Maino are pictured here. DR RANDALL G MELCHERT was also present.

ICO Faculty Recognized

Photos above: Dr.Paul Freeman, Editor "Optometry" Journal of the AOA, Dr. Janice McMahon (award winning ICO faculty with Dr. Steve Beckerman (not pictured) and Dr. Arol Augsburger, President ICO. Photo to the right Dr. Freeman, Dr. Kent Daum, ICO Dean, Dr. McMahon, Dr. Sandy Block, Associate Dean ICO, Dr. Geoffrey Goodfellow, Chair of Clinical Sciences, ICO.

The article: McMahon JM, Beckerman S.Testing safety eyewear: how frame and lens design affect lens retention.Optometry. 2007 Feb;78(2):78-87. was the most requested article via a PubMed search for Optometry in 2008. Drs. McMahon & Beckerman of ICO were recognized for this achievement at the recent AOA meeting in Washington, DC.

I'm thrilled to call both of these fine docs friends. Janice's office is right across the hall from me so I'm hoping some of her most deserved fame rubs off on me!! DM

ICO active in AOA HOD

(Photo from L to R: 1/2 of Dr. Kent Daum, Dean ICO,Dr. Sandy Block, Associate Dean of ICO, Dr. Michael Chaglasian, Chief of Staff at ICO/IEI, Dr. Arol Augsburger, President of ICO and far right a bit out of focus, Dr. Jay Pertersma, ICO alum)

The Illlinois College of Optometry administration, facluty and alumni actively support the profession within the House of Delegates during the recent meeting of the American Optometric Association in Washington, DC this June.
Many motions were adopted including the creation of the American Board of Optometry.

Standing side by side with Optometry's Best

At the recent American Optometric Association meeting in Washington, DC, I had the unique pleasure of standing side by side with 3 of optometry's very best.

There's me, and next to me are ...

Dr. Charles Mullen, Past President of the Illinois College of Optometry and the newest inductee to Optometry's Hall of Fame, Dr. Arol Augsburger, current ICO president and Dr. Peter Kehoe, President of the American Optometric Association. I am thrilled to call all both friend and colleague!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

At the AOA

I am at the AOA meeting in Washington DC. Tomorrow I get to take some CE to make me a better teacher....then take photos at the ICO reception...then help out during the poster session! Way cool! DM

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

'Monofixational exotropia' may better describe patients with constant microtropia

..."The presence of monofixation syndrome after surgery for presumed intermittent exotropia most likely reflects the fact that it was present preoperatively," the study author said. "Many of these patients manifest a constant microtropia preoperatively and hence should not be called intermittent exotropes. The term monofixational exotropia is more appropriately descriptive."...

Comments: So the surgeon does surgery without knowing the true diagnosis? All intermittent exotropes should have optometric vision therapy first. The success rate is excellent. DM

Smoking Linked To Brain Damage

...New research which suggests a direct link between smoking and brain damage will be published in the July issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry. Researchers, led by Debapriya Ghosh and Dr Anirban Basu from the Indian National Brain Research Center (NBRC), have found that a compound in tobacco provokes white blood cells in the central nervous system to attack healthy cells, leading to severe neurological damage....

Music Keeps Rhythm for Heart and Lungs

...Cardiovascular and breathing rates consistently fall into step with musical crescendos and rhythms, according to a controlled clinical trial that may give impetus to new musical therapies. Contrary to the conventional view of music as an intensely personal medium, researchers found that the same piece of music had similar cardiovascular effects on all subjects....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LA Times Story:The key to 3-D vision

....A visual impairment that condemns children to see in only two dimensions can go unrecognized for years and be mistaken for stigmatized disorders....
I was 20 years old and a college student before I learned that I did not see the world like everyone else. I had been cross-eyed as a baby, but three childhood surgeries made my eyes look straight. Because my eyes looked normal, I assumed I saw normally too. But, in fact, I was stereoblind -- unable to see in three dimensions.That means I could not see the volumes of space between objects. Instead, things in depth appeared piled one on top of another, making me feel nervous and confused in cluttered environments. As a child, I didn't understand why my friends were so entertained when they looked through a View-Master. I didn't see Disney characters or Superman popping out at me. All I saw was a flat image....

Comments: The story of how Susan Barry, PhD, regained her 3D vision continues to amaze and astound. This Los Angeles Times story continues the saga on how optometric vision therapy helped this neuroscientist regain her vision. DM

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ocular manifestations of congenital toxoplasmosis

...The mean age of patients was 4.2 months. Of the 44 children evaluated, 31 (70.4%) presented ocular involvement and 29 (65.9%) of them had retinochoroiditis lesions. The retinochoroiditis lesions were bilateral in 22 (75.8%) patients and unilateral in 7 (24.2%). The retinochoroiditis lesions were active in 8 (15.7%) eyes and had healed in 43 (84.3%). Most of the lesions were concentrated in the papillomacular area (76.3%). Other associated ocular alterations were present in 22 children, the most prevalent being cataract, microphthalmia, and strabismus....

Fixing my Gaze

Comments: My colleague, Charles Shidlofsky, O.D. , reviewed, Fixing My Gaze by Susan Barry, PhD. If you haven't gotten a copy of this book you should. Click on the title above to go to Dr. Shidlofsky's blog. DM

I just finished the book "Fixing my Gaze" by Susan Barry. This true story is about a neuroscientist who discovered the wonders and beauty of binocular vision at the age of 50. Sue had strabismus as a child and while 3 surgeries managed to "straighten" her eyes she never developed binocular vision. This is actually very common among those who have had strabismus surgery. Only about 1/3 of all patients who undergo strabismus surgery develop binocular vision. Sue became a very successful neuroscientist despite her so-called disability. She really didn't think she had missed anything by not having binocular vision.When she was in her late 40's she was referred to an Optometrist not far from the University that she taught and did research. The Optometrist evaluated her and determined that with a prescribed program of Vision Therapy, Sue might gain binocular vision. After some hard work, Sue did indeed gain binocular vision.Susan describes in great detail what it feels like to gain binocular vision for the first time, citing specific examples in her everyday life. As with anything this journey had its ups and downs but the end result was very positive.This book was very easy to read and understand. There are many references at the end for further study. I would strongly recommend this book for anyone who has a child who has strabismus or for any adult with strabismus. Additionally, anyone interested in neuroscience would also benefit by this book as it does break down barriers between what was long thought to be the visual gospel and what the true reality is in visual science. Lastly, I feel like it should be required reading at Optometry and Ophthalmology schools so that we can throw out the old, disproven rules and develop the new corrected views on the treatment and remediation of strabismus.
Charles Shidlofsky, O.D.

Antipsychotic drugs for kids raise hope, worry

...Increasingly powerful antipsychotic drugs available on the market, and growing evidence that starting these medications early can help children with conditions like bipolar disorder, is putting doctors under more pressure than ever to diagnose and treat young people with mental illnesses....