Working with the MDs

Stencil font reading "MD and OD"

This fall, I was at my contact lens externship site: Kresge Eye Institute in Detroit, MI (connected to Wayne State). While there, I fit and evaluated soft lenses, scleral lenses, and GP lenses. However, this blog isn’t about fitting contact lenses. 2.5 days a week, we got to be upstairs working next to the resident’s clinic. The resident’s clinic was filled with (shocker) ophthalmology residents. So, when our schedule was light and the walk-in schedule was full, we ended up taking some of those patients. Between the three of us ICO students, we saw:

  • multiple central corneal ulcers (2 related to contact lenses)
  • preseptal cellulitis
  • huge chalazion (which was removed in office)
  • herpes zoster ophthalmicus
  • lattice corneal dystrophy (rare according to the MDs)
  • CN VI palsy possibly due to malaria
  • cultures
  • severe glaucoma
  • ocular cicatricial pemphigoid
  • ankylosing spondylitis with severe uveitis

We worked with two glaucoma specialists and one general ophthalmologist. One of the MDs is up for a Nobel prize, and another is like an encyclopedia for ocular disease. We prepared patients for in-office YAG and pre- and post- follow-ups for cataract surgery and glaucoma surgeries.

Working with the ophthalmologists is an interesting experience. We get to see some cases that we may not see very often, and what these doctors do after we refer our patients to them. It is also an opportunity to show them what we know. Some of the residents didn’t know if we could check eye pressure or a BIO (FYI, MDs call it an “indirect.” “BIO” will get you a strange look). It is a great way to start forming relationships with MDs, figure out what is important to them, and how to co-manage your patients.


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