Four dry eye experts offer their suggestions to ODs who are interested in adding a dry eye clinic to their practices. Their suggestions include having a passion for dry eye instead of following the masses, creating a dry eye protocol, honing needed clinical skills, and incorporating patient questionnaires.
There is a lot of dry eye information available to ODs by a variety of channels. Lectures, articles, workshops—all for us to improve our dry eye diagnosis and treatment skills.
But how do you get started? Often the first steps in any process are the hardest.
I had the good fortune to discuss just this with four leaders in the dry eye field:
– Whitney Hauser, OD; director of clinical affairs at Keplr Vision, founder of Dry Eye Coach and Signal Ophthalmic Consulting
– Scott G. Hauswirth, OD, FAAO; assistant professor, department of ophthalmology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine – Tracy Swartz, OD, FAAO; in group practice in Madison, AL
– Crystal Brimer, OD, FAAO; in private practice in Wilmington, NC
To each of them I posed one question: What advice would you give to an OD wanting to start a dry eye subspecialty in their existing office?
A passion for the topic was mentioned by both Dr. Hauser and Dr. Swartz.
“Don’t treat dry eye because everyone else is,” offers Dr. Hauser. “Don’t be peer pressured into it. Have an interest in dry eye and want to pursue it, otherwise you’ll quit.”
“You have to have a passion for dry eye,” adds Dr. Swartz.”You sincerely have to want to make the patient better.”