“It’s hard to find a good eye doctor,” says ophthalmologist with serious eye conditions
Medical professionals need to be trained in what they’re doing, not just how to treat their patients, says Carol O’Brien, who has more than a decade of experience in the field.
“It takes years of practice to be an effective eye doctor, but you can still be a great eye doctor if you follow the right training.”
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A number of organizations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Ophthalmological Association, have issued guidelines for medical schools, offering guidance on how to be a good ophthalmoscope.
These guidelines are designed to make the process easier for medical students.
O’Donnell’s ophthalmic school, however, doesn’t offer any guidelines.
She says her goal is to provide a better medical education to students than most other schools.
“I want the medical students to be able to see the difference between a good doctor and a bad doctor,” she says.
“We want them to have the understanding of what they should be doing.”
To get an idea of how well she and her colleagues are doing, she points to a new ophthalmia clinic, called the Ophthalmic Clinic at Jackson State University, which opened in the fall of 2018.
It’s open to the public and offers an on-site appointment.
Ophthalmia is the primary specialty for ophthalms and is one of O’Connor’s specialty areas.
The clinic is run by Dr. Daniel Tull, who graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in ophthalmolgy and received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The clinic is open seven days a week.
It has about 100 ophthalma students who receive care at the clinic and also participate in on-campus classes.
OConnor, who is currently studying at the University in St. Louis, is a full-time student.
O’Connor said the clinic has helped her in the past, and now, she says, she’s glad it’s open.
“It helps with getting students on the path to becoming a better ophthalmorist,” she said.
“This is not a place for students to go and get a degree, but this is a place where they can go to get their first appointment.”
When asked about what the clinic is teaching the students, Tull said it teaches a “lot” about how to diagnose and treat eye problems.
“If you have a problem with your eyes, the clinic can diagnose that, and if you’re not looking for a solution, they can help you to find one,” he said.
Tull said the students are taught about different types of eye problems, and they also learn about the benefits of eye drops, ophthalmiologists, and other eye care options.
He also teaches them how to get and keep an eye exam.
“We are very specific about what we do,” he says.
When it comes to getting students into the clinic, O’Connors’ ophthalmmologist, Dr. Michael Gorman, says students are given a checklist of what to expect.
“You should always see a doctor, especially if you have other problems,” Gorman says.
“[The clinic] will be your first stop.”
Students at the OphTampa clinic can expect to see a patient twice a week, with two hours for an exam and another 20 minutes for a face-to-face consultation.
They can expect an average of four to five appointments per week.
O’Connons clinic is in the midst of a major expansion, with more than 2,000 new patients now coming in, and another 3,000 to 5,000 students now enrolled in Ophtampa’s Ophthalmolgical Clinic.
“This clinic is doing what I thought it would be doing for years,” says O’Connor, who also teaches ophthalmy and ophthalmisology.
“There are so many eyes in this country, and I just want to see them all.
It feels good to know that I have a place in this world.”