I have two kids in college, and up until last year, they never showed an interest in becoming an optometrist. Like many of you, I had them work in the offices doing all the glamour jobs—licking recall stamps, counting frames, taking out trash, cleaning baseboards, and many of the other jobs that often cause a revolt of paid employees.
I saw a new patient today complaining of redness, itching, and burning. When asked how long she had been feeling these symptoms, she reported it had been since cataract surgery. She reported seeing her surgeon about her eyes and was told the surgery was successful and shown the door. That was nine months ago.
I started my own practice on January 4 —finally—after six years in practice. This decision was hardly a hasty one because I dreamed of having my own practice since the first day of OD school. Like most ODs fresh out of school, however, I was saddled by debt and fear of the unknown.
Among the thoughts I’ve had since the Super Outbreak of tornadoes that hit Alabama on April 27, 2011, is this: if there’s not already an ICD-10 code for “Tornado-induced viral conjunctivitis, bilateral, initial encounter,” there probably should be.