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Peter J. McDonnell, MD
He is director of The Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and chief medical editor of Ophthalmology Times.
#Dressgate redux
As everyone knows, teenage girls have the knack of identifying the important new trends that come to define our culture: boy bands, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and reality television. For this reason, I became instantly alert when Dean, a talented ophthalmologist and loyal Ophthalmology Times reader, contacted me one evening about what was shortly to become the latest Internet sensation.
When a doctor is at center of political corruption scandal
Sheldon Silver was, until recently, Speaker of the New York State Assembly. This post made him one of that state's two or three most powerful political figures. He was forced to resign his post when indicted for corruption.
The 'Jacques Cousteau' of the cortex
The 'Jacques Cousteau' of the cortex
Vernon Benjamin Mountcastle, MD—recipient of the Lasker Award and the National Medal of Science—was the first person to understand how the cells in the higher regions of the brain are organized, earning him the nickname of "the Jacques Cousteau of the [cerebral] cortex." He was the first president of the Society for Neuroscience and editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology.
What dying wishes or regrets might ophthalmologists have?
When faced with a particularly difficult decision, Alastair Mitchell Mitchell uses the “big red bus test.” He thinks about walking out of his building in London and crossing the street, only to turn and see that one of those monstrous London double-decker red buses is literally about to flatten him and send him to the hereafter. In the brief instant before the bus hits him, he wonders what would be the thing that he would most regret not having accomplished. The answer to this question should guide prioritization of the efforts of a successful chief executive officer, businessman, or (presumably) ophthalmologist.
Ignaz Semmelweis: A physician-hero
Recently, I had my photo taken with Ignaz Semmelweis. Not with the man himself, but with his statue. Although his is not a household name, the man is a physician-hero.
Is honesty really the best policy?
Is honesty really the best policy?
Politicians rarely tell the truth, so why should ophthalmologists . . . right?
Realizing the fullness of life
The play "Our Town" may be three-quarters of a century old, but my feeling is that there is a message here for today’s ophthalmologists. I sometimes think there is a risk that we physicians can get caught up in the minutiae of medical practice—transitioning to electronic medical records, fighting for pre-authorizations to get our patients the treatments they need, dealing with the Byzantine system of medical billing, etc.
An Attack on Elite Educational Institutions
Two zombies are eating a comedian. First zombie says to the second one: “do you taste something funny?”
We [ophthalmologists] are the 99%!
Like you, I chose to attend medical school with the goal of helping patients who were ill and needed curing, comforting, or both. So perhaps the financial rewards of a career in medicine have made you feel slightly embarrassed and concerned that people might be resentful or jealous. Well, here’s good news: research suggests we physicians aren't so financially successful after all.
The Life of Albert Schweitzer
Dr. Peter McDonnell discusses his thoughts on the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa and the physician who inspired the philosophy of reverence for human life.

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