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    Patient expectations high as level of surgery advances

    Samuel Masket, MD, challenges young U.S. physicians to further the state of anterior segment eye surgery


    Over the years, my practice has progressively gravitated toward complex cataract management and referrals typically are related to malpositioned IOLs, dysphotopsias, and the like. Six years ago, I added Nicole R. Fram, MD, a corneal trained surgeon to the practice; subsequently, she become my partner. She, too, has an interest in complex case management and together, we have a very interesting clinical practice in Century City, adjacent to Beverly Hills, CA.

    Dr. Noreika: Let’s talk about patient expectations for cataract surgery. We have raised the bar so high. You practice in one of the highest-median income areas in the United States. I suspect your patients tend toward the far right side of that bell-shaped curve of patient expectations. How do you and your staff manage those expectations?

    Dr. Masket: I am not convinced that socioeconomic status plays a large role in patient expectations. While we do practice in a very high-income area and take care of a number of affluent patients, I find that people at all socioeconomic levels can have high expectations, sometimes unreasonable ones.


    Listen to what Samuel Masket, MD, of the Jules Stein Eye Institute says about his approach to unhappy patients, improvements in cataract surgery, and his challenge to young ophthalmologists in this interview with J.C. Noreika, MD, MBA.


    It is important that patients understand what technology we have to offer and what cataract surgery can do for them. I am very frank, particularly with respect to the optical outcome of surgery and what their goal might be—whether we are aiming for distance emmetropia, intermediate vision, or near vision with monofocal lenses or with multifocal lenses. I make certain that patients understand the limitations of our technology.

    Dr. Noreika: How do you counsel patients when suggesting a premium type of IOL or other refractive intervention?

    Dr. Masket: The first conversation I have with a patient in that regard relates to spectacle dependence and how important that aspect of life is to them. If the patient understands that there is a balance between quality of vision and dependence on spectacles, as one goes up and the other goes down.


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