Since the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 has upended our lives in a turn of events that, just months ago, would have only seemed possible in a science fiction movie. What is traditionally an exciting time of year for medical trainees has instead become a time of tremendous uncertainty and fear. Our clinics have grinded to a halt. As residents, we rely heavily on our patients to learn our craft; each patient ...

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A call to arms The thought never crossed my mind that as an ophthalmology resident, I would play a direct role in treating patients with this novel virus. The rapidity with which the virus had spread would become a poignant reminder of the lethality of pandemics. In a few short weeks of the first COVID patient arriving in NYC, increasing social distancing measures were taken as the city’s hospitals became overwhelmed. ...

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We are in the midst of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The numbers are scary and changing by the day and hour. Johns Hopkins University has a real-time dashboard where you can monitor global cases. Cases in China have leveled off, while elsewhere in the world, cases are on the rise. At the time of this writing, there are about a quarter of a million confirmed cases worldwide ...

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It is a busy time of year. I made my rounds to collect my skis after tuning, to pick up items for our Christmas guests, to get my haircut, and to claim my new eyeglasses.  I drove to my golf course and took a half-hour walk on snow-covered paths with my dog.  Dropped him at the groomers, then made stops for last-minute food shopping.  While my wife took on the masses at a megastore, ...

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OK, quick — word association time. I say “doctor,” and you think what? “Smart,” right? And it’s true. Doctors are smart. But before you buy into the myth that every doctor has breezed through school and could fall out of bed with a #2 pencil and crush an exam without thinking about it, consider that over 1,100 internal medicine doctors fail their board exam every year. And that’s just one medical specialty. When ...

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Four years ago, there was legitimate concern over Hillary Clinton’s health. Between her coughing spells, facial tics, stumbles and falls, not to mention her prism glasses and inability to hold more than a few campaign events per week, it wasn’t at all clear that she was up to the rigors of being president. Now it’s Joe Biden and his red eye-raising red flags over his health. His so-called gaffes are well ...

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Claire Elise Boucher, 31, known professionally as Grimes, is a Canadian singer, songwriter, record producer, and visual artist. Her music incorporates elements of varied styles, including dream pop, R&B, electronic music, and hip hop. Since 2018, Boucher has been in a relationship with technology entrepreneur Elon Musk. Grimes recently became the star of a new Adidas advertising campaign. In announcing this new ...

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The trend of increasing specialization in medicine may lead to unintended adverse consequences. There is an old saying, “We see what we recognize and we recognize what we know.” My wife’s recent adventures in ophthalmic care is such an example. I offer it as a cautionary tale. She was born with granular corneal dystrophy (GCD). We would later learn that this autosomal dominant gene was thought to have originated in a ...

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Nothing quite catches our collective attention like clear and dire issues that need solutions and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), the leading cause of death and disability across all population demographics, are no exception. More and more research is demonstrating the serious and widespread impacts of TBI.  Every day, about 153 people die from injuries that include TBI. In 2013 alone, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ...

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I have known him for over thirty years. He has been legally blind for the past five. He tends to be a practical, no-nonsense man. The other day, he seemed restless and very concerned as he lowered his voice and said: “I don’t want you to come to the conclusion that I’m crazy, but I’m seeing things,” he began. “I’m seeing children with elfin faces …” His large, thin hands were in ...

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Eye surgery is a delicate business. It involves operating within an orb the size of a large marble to remove a cataract or repair a retinal detachment. Not only is superb eye-hand coordination a must, but also an awareness of the myriad other medical issues in the elderly population most in need of eye surgery. Traditionally, patients undergoing cataract surgery had a preoperative medical evaluation, including blood work, chest X-ray, and EKG, ...

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After three months of using hot compresses to shrink the stye on my daughter’s eyelid, it wasn’t getting any smaller. My daughter is prone to this sort of growth, called a chalazion. This one would have to be removed surgically, like the one she had removed from the same eyelid two years earlier. But there was one ...

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In the early epoch of human development, mankind learned to shape and sharpen wood, stone and metal objects to facilitate plunging them deep into other humans’ chests, abdomens, skulls and eyes in the ultimate form of conflict resolution. Over tens of thousands of years, other less pugilistic and more compassionate humans crudely — but later artfully — insinuated an increasingly sophisticated array of implements into the human corpus to cure diseases, ...

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