Article Date: 10/1/2007

UPFRONT

UPFRONT

Responsibility

JASON S. SLAKTER, MD

This issue of Retinal Physician comes out just before most of us will make our way to the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) in New Orleans. I know that I will attend with mixed feelings, remembering all too well the 2001 meeting in New Orleans, just shortly after the tragedy of 9/11, when most of us were still in shock over what had happened and certainly nervous about the traveling involved. This year's meeting has the added impact of the recent events of Hurricane Katrina and the devastation that unfolded in this city.

Most of us remember the images of Katrina and some of the feelings associated with the unbelievable devastation of the flooding that took place, as well as the suffering we witnessed via news reports. Unfortunately, as too often happens, time moves on and we forget the intensity of the emotions we felt at the time of the disaster. We live in an era of fast-moving events, and as a result, we quickly become accustomed to shifting from one crisis to another, from one set of emotions to another.

As we travel to the AAO meeting this year, I believe it is important to keep in mind that what we see at the Convention Center and in the French Quarter does not truly represent the current reality of New Orleans. While I expect to have an enjoyable social and cultural experience, there are still many parts of the city that remain essentially untouched since the tragedy, with entire communities that were completely wiped out and unlikely to be rebuilt in the near future. While the dollars going toward tourism and our support for the city of New Orleans are important, we should not forget about those who have lost so much and have yet to regain even a semblance of their original lives.

INSPIRATION FROM NEW ORLEANS

Upon returning home, I feel it is also important to remember that, while the drama that unfolded in New Orleans captured our attention because of the media coverage, there are certainly uncountable small crises and tragedies that occur within our own cities and towns each year. I hope that traveling to this year's AAO meeting will not only serve to open our eyes to new and interesting technology and scientific achievements in ophthalmology, but will also remind us of our responsibility as citizens and, in particular, physicians. Let's use this opportunity to rededicate ourselves as individuals who have taken an oath not only to enhance the well being of our patients, but to also better the quality of life of the communities in which we live.

Rental PHYSICIAN
Editorial Advisory and Review Board Jason S. Slakter, MD. Editor-in-Chief
New York, NY. jslakter@aol.com
(212) 861-9797
Lloyd P. Aiello, MD, PhD, Boston, MA
Fareed Ali, MD, FRCS(C) Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Riva Lee Asbell, Philadelphia, PA
Abdhish R. Bhavsar, MD, Minneapolis, MN
Stanley Chang, MD, New York, NY
Emily Y. Chew, MD, Bethesda, MD
Kevin Corcoran, COE, CPC, FNAO San Bernardino, CA
Donald J. D'Amico, MD, New York, NY
Dean Eliott, MD, Los Angeles, CA
Sharon Fekrat, MD, Durham, NC
Frederick L. Ferris, MD, Bethesda, MD
Donald C. Fletcher, MD, San Francisco, CA
Morton F. Goldberg, MD, FACS, Baltimore, MD
Julia A. Haller, MD, Baltimore, MD
Allen C. Ho, MD, Philadelphia, PA
Lee M. Jampol, MD, Chicago, IL
Mark W. Johnson, MD, Ann Arbor, MI
Eddie F. Kadrmas, MD, PhD, Plymouth, MA
Peter K. Kaiser, MD, Cleveland, OH
Martin A. Mainster, PhD, MD, FRCOphth Kansas City, KS
William F. Mieler, MD, Chicago, IL
Joan W. Miller, MD, Boston, MA
Dennis A. Orlock, CRA, New York, NY
Kirk H. Packo, MD, Chicago, IL
Carmen A. Puliafito, MD, MBA, Miami, FL
Carl D. Regillo, MD, FACS, Philadelphia, PA
Richard Rosen, MD, New York, NY
Philip J. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD, Miami, FL
Reginald J. Sanders, MD, Washington, DC
Steven D. Schwartz, MD, Los Angeles, CA
Ingrid U. Scott, MD, MPH, Hershey, PA
Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM, Boston, MA
Stephen C. Sheppard, Springfield, MO
Jerry A. Shields, MD, Philadelphia, PA
Lawrence J. Singerman, MD, Cleveland, OH
Richard F. Spaide, MD, New York, NY
Paul Sternberg Jr., MD, Nashville, TN
Michael T. Trese, MD, Royal Oak, MI
George A. Williams, MD, Royal Oak, MI
Lawrence A. Yannuzzi, MD, New York, NY


Retinal Physician, Issue: October 2007