Peter J. McDonnell, MD

Trying new things in medicineMy classmate in medical school, Eric, only became a medical student because his father insisted. Eric wasn’t happy about this until he discovered he loved ophthalmology. He went on to perform brilliantly as a resident and built an extremely successful and fulfilling practice. Eric’s story is not unique.
Put to the testI have an idea. The idea is based upon what seems to be an almost-universally accepted belief that before there should be widespread use of surgical or medical therapies to treat patients with diseases, those therapies should first be vetted in controlled clinical trials involving a limited sample of the afflicted population.
Does the ‘compliment sandwich’ give better feedback?One approach that is sometimes recommended to give honest feedback is to deliver it between two positive comments. This is known as the “compliment sandwich.” While some advocates of this approach still assert its value, it is largely out of favor and is often ridiculed.
Maryland ophthalmologists are regular people
The doctor’s doctorA few months into my residency, a patient and her husband came to see me in clinic. The history revealed they had already sought the opinions of two internationally acknowledged giants in the field of retinal disease, one of whom was a department chairman. The answers they received on those visits had differed somewhat, so they were now coming to get the tie-breaking third opinion. “Thank goodness they have no idea I am just a first-year resident,” I thought to myself.
Bascom Palmer takes top honors in Ophthalmology Times Best Programs SurveyAfter a seven-year hiatus, Ophthalmology Times resumed its Best Programs Survey this fall. While a few new names popped up on the list, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, remained at the top of the Best Overall Program category, followed again by the Wilmer Eye Institute at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore. Number three in the overall list has a new name with Dean McGee Eye Institute at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City—the first time that institute has appeared in the top category since the survey’s inception 20 years ago.
Have we dodged another Zika bullet?Now with mosquito season past in most parts of North America, it seems we can be confident the predicted spread will not come to pass—at least in this year.
Evidence-based ophthalmologyWhy it is that ophthalmologists who read the same papers in the same journals have such widely varying approaches?
May the force be with you, too
May the force be with you, tooTomasso, a vitreoretinal surgeon, recently shared a blog by someone who calls him/herself “Neuroskeptic”.Neuroskeptic penned a spoof “scientific” article about midichlorians, which are the little organisms inside cells that give Jedi Knights (the good guys in the “Star Wars” movies) their powers (and unfortunately, confer those same powers to certain bad guys, like Darth Vader).
Something we may be missing
Something we may be missingMy friend, Dave, an oculoplastic surgeon, trained the same time I did. He was extremely intelligent and possessed a great sense of humor. A real jokester, he provided free cosmetic services to his office staff, and claimed in their presence that his treatments prevented them from frowning at him.